This past week, Rebecca and Robert Bluestone touched a chord deep within my soul. Rebecca is an unbelievably talented silk weaver. Robert is an amazing classical guitar player. Rebecca is also an ovarian cancer survivor and cared for her mother during the last six months of her life after a breast cancer diagnosis. Robert was Rebecca’s caregiver during her life-saving treatment.
Their “Woven Harmony” project originated from a unique collaboration at the University of Iowa with Hancher Auditorium, the College of Public Health, and the Holden Cancer Center. A journey across Iowa, “Woven Harmony” included stops in Spencer, Algona, Des Moines, Grinnell, and Davenport. Over the past several weeks, Rebecca and Robert spent three days in each of these communities conducting workshops and performances. Using their “stringed instruments” of loom and guitar, they delighted audiences and inspired healthcare workers with the beauty of their art.
In Grinnell, they started at GRMC with two workshops attended by more than a hundred staff members. Of course, staff met their message of art and healing with enthusiasm and a kindred spirit. Art has been a part of GRMC’s optimal healing environment for many years. The Bluestones offered yet another example of how soulful music and exquisite visual art can enhance modern medicine.
Rebecca and Robert also provided workshops at the Grinnell Newburg High School and Grinnell College. More than 200 students experienced Rebecca and Robert’s artistry. During these presentations, the couple shared how the arts can add to the creative spirit that dwells within us all. The duo capped off their three days in Grinnell with an inspirational performance entitled “Celebrating Community” at the Voertman Theater. It was a special treat for me to have my son, Grant, (also a gifted guitarist) and my parents, Judith and Chuck, attend the performance with me. My mother is also a cancer survivor. With Mother’s Day coming up, it was extra special to enjoy the message and beauty of the Bluestones together.
Everyone who experienced Robert and Rebecca’s talent and compassion were inspired to care a little deeper, think a little clearer, and live a little richer. I look forward to future collaboration with this extraordinary couple on their mission to change the world. Thank you, Bluestones for touching my heart.
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