Renaissance Enterprises is a nonprofit organization devoted to bringing the arts to residents of long term care facilities and senior centers. They are one of the few agencies to address the need for regular arts and therapeutic music interaction between professional artists, artisans and performers and the isolated elderly.
Renaissance Enterprises was founded in 1988 by Bob Rowe to reach out to elderly members of the community. The organization operates in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and New York as well as some neighboring states.
Audience for a Renaissance program
The mission of Renaissance Enterprises is to provide therapeutic entertainment at nursing homes and related facilities through the use of artists, artisans and performers.
The aim is to deliver messages of love, healing and hope by means of the live arts to residents of long term care facilities. They note that abundant medical literature exists supporting the benefits of music to elderly and people with significant impairments such as physical pain or mental disorder. Music therapy is an accepted medical approach.
Renaissances uses a staff of 25 volunteer artists for this purpose.
In 2006 the executive director was presented with the Mother Teresa Award for this work.
In 1994, Mother Teresa wrote: "Your work of love in nursing homes, hospitals and for the aged, the neglected and the forgotten is truly the work of peace, for the fruit of love is service and the fruit of service is peace. Works of love like yours bring one face to face with God. Continue to use music to make the presence of God - His love and compassion better known to those in need - His little ones who have forgotten to smile. My prayer is with you in a special way and also with all connected with Renaissance Enterprises."
The organization's work has been featured in several newspapers and magazine, including Time Magazine, USA Today, Cover, Mature Years, Daily Word, National Enquirer and Detroit News.
See the article on Bob Rowe for description of awards and recognition.
Renaissance is supported by charitable foundations, individual donations, corporate donations and support from the care facilities where they work and from sales of artist's CDs.
Foundations that have supported Renaissance Enterprises include:
- Arcus Foundation
- Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo
- Battle Creek Community Foundation
- Berrien Community Foundation
- Frey Foundation
- Frederick S. Upton Foundation
- Guido Binda Foundation
- Irving S. Gilmore Foundation
- Kalamazoo Community Foundation
- Leo Buscaglia Foundation
Time Magazine article: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,986297-2,00.html Clear Channel article: http://newmusic.clearchannel.com/artist/bobrowe