The Balcony Bands Mural Project
Celebrating Healthcare Workers and the Human Spirit Around the Globe
2020 has been a historical and difficult year for all of us. In response to the global pandemic, FFHA wanted to do something significant and impactful for hospitals who were greatly affected by the virus, and since this was a global pandemic we wanted to do something global. Around the same time we started planning this project, videos from Italy started going viral. The videos were of people singing and performing from their balconies during lockdown. Soon there were similar stories about neighbors singing together in different countries all over the world. Like our own mission to spread hope and joy through art, these people were spreading hope and joy through music. Using this as inspiration, we found six stories from six different countries about people performing music from their balconies and created a mural design based on them.
Next, we used the locations from the six stories to find hospitals in or around the cities that the performances took place. All six hospitals were excited to participate and plans were made for a mural to be painted in each of the hospitals by the healthcare workers who were working overtime, separated from their families, and putting their lives on the line. The painting of the mural gave these people a much needed break with a little bit of art therapy. Not only did these healthcare workers get to relieve some of their own stress, but the murals were then donated to their hospital. The completed murals were hung to be a positive influence and inspiration for everyone.
One of the participating hospitals, George Hospital in South Africa, was able to host their own balcony concert for the patients and healthcare workers as the mural was being painted. Local artists came out to perform from the hospital balcony and the completed mural was displayed for all to see. News coverage from the day of celebration shows how much of an impact the art had on staff and patients (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIH7BEXNV-E).
Below are the hospitals that participated in the Balcony Bands Project:
- George Hospital, Western Cape, South Africa
- University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, Chicago, Illinois
- Duhok Department of Health System, Duhok, Iraq
- Mario Gotti Hospital, Campinas, Brazil
- Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport, Australia
- Ospedale San Gerado, Milan, Italy