Accessibility Enhancement – Recover, Rebuild, Reconnect
In March 2020 the DMS leadership teams met to determine how to move forward following Governor DeSantis’ stopping all public gatherings. We are an event-based organization so this hit us hard.
As creatively as ever, many events were adjusted to fit an online delivery while the focus of the organization became “Cautious, Caring & Optimistic,” and the DMS effectively just took one week off.
Our optimism never faded as isolation extended beyond the 2-3 weeks needed to avoid overwhelming our healthcare facilities.
As gathering restrictions began to be lifted in late September 2020, our leadership shifted our focus to “Recover, Rebuild, Reconnect,” and was able to accommodate both those who wished to make music in person as well as those not yet comfortable with gathering by continuing online events.
Within months, this new approach developed into an actual “Accessibility Enhancement” program, incorporating mental health and emotional coping services. Indeed, we know of at least two suicides that were prevented from happening because the DMS kept going. In addition, we implemented the Geneva Emotional Music Scale and Higgins Community Music Tendencies into all our programs, inviting both performers and audience members to indicate how the DMS is helping people recover from isolation, rebuild their lives, and reconnect with both music and their communities.
The results have been fascinating!
Between September 2020 and December 31, 2021:
- 72% of respondents indicate their emotional state improved as a result of attending a live, in-person music event.
- 80% of respondents indicate they feel more connected to the community
- 61% of respondents indicate they feel more connected to humanity
- 66% of respondents indicate they feel more connected to specific individuals
- 84% of respondents indicate they feel more connected to music itself
- 58% of respondents indicate they feel more connected to themselves, and
- 56% of respondents indicate they feel more connected to their spiritual influence.
This project is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes).