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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hospital Audiences, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Human Services, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Mission: HAI provides cultural access through music, dance, theatre and the visual arts, reaching out to the frail elderly, mentally and physically disabled, seriously ill children at health and social service facilities and youth in grades K - 12.

Programs:

HAI’s On-Site Performance Program schedules over 200 monthly performances of live music, dance and theatre events at health, social service and educational facilities.

This program is made possible by a variety of grants including funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Office of Mental Health, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Department of Homeless Services, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development as well as the New York City Department of Education.

Additional support comes from the ASCAP Foundation, which underwrites performances by prominent senior ASCAP composer / performers who share their musical experiences, histories, knowledge and talents with HAI audiences. Music That Heals, a program established by two HAI artists, Kathy Lord and Susan Weber, funds music performances for seriously ill children. The Howard Bayne Fund provides support for cultural opportunities for homeless individuals and families.

HAI’s roster of professional artists is also available for corporate and special events. Booking an HAI artist is another way to support the charitable mission of HAI.

Professional performing artists are selected through an audition process and represent the wide spectrum of cultural communities, including bluegrass, classical, folk, international, rock,  rap, dance (of numerous genres), circus arts, and theatre events.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for over 25 years and it has been the most rewarding experience. The people at HAI are so wonderful and totally focussed on helping the disadvantaged.Even though they started out helping hospitalized children their mission over the years has expanded to include so much more.Recently they used ther buses to take volunteers to Rockways to help Sandy victims.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a new volunteer at the HAI Saturday Art Studio and I relish my time working with this group of dedicated artists who come here each week to connect through art making. I am continually blown away by the art that comes out of this nurturing and supportive environment and am so grateful to be part of this program. As a working artist I find this experience has enriched my own practice by experiencing so many new ways of thinking about art.

Cassandra4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HAI is an excellent service organization filling the needs of so many NYC residents. I've personally had the opportunity to volunteer for a large number of their programs across all of their departments and have seen the significant impact that their services have on individual lives. Their after-school programs provide a much needed outlet for hundreds of students at schools throughout the five boroughs, giving them the opportunity not only to express themselves but to learn about new forms of expression by attending plays and performances in this culturally diverse city. Their arts workshops are probably my favorite program. They provide a Saturday Workshop with free materials to individuals with little to no training and who have often been marginalized because of mental illness. I value the time that I've spent serving with HAI, and the positive impact on communities throughout NY that I've personally witnessed as a volunteer with their services. I will undoubtedly continue to serve with them in the future.

Frank O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer art instructor at the HAI Saturday Art Studio for almost 3 years, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I often feel that the workshop participants have taught me far more than I have taught them. As an art director, graphic designer, illustrator, and teacher at Parsons the New School for Design, I have found my practice immeasurably expanded through volunteering at HAI. The enthusiasm and creativity of the participants has opened up my thinking about visual art more than I would ever have imagined. Most importantly, I feel like part of an extended family. It is an honor to be part of it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Because I fell apart after the death of my mother in 1993, I went to a Continuing Day Treatment Program (CDT) to begin to put myself back together. Her death triggered my schizoaffective bipolar type disorder. I was severely, suicidally depressed, and unable to function. My affect was flat. All of my college buddies lived far away, so I basically had no friends. Because of the disorder I could not teach, my passion, and I had no income. I had nothing except for dreary time on my hands. But one day at CDT, we were told about HAI and of a performance that HAI had free tickets for. I think it was Ballet Hispanico. I went, and even though I could not enjoy it at that time, it did something for me. I went to an occasional event that HAI gave tickets to. In 1996, at an Intensive Psychiatric Treatment Program (IPRT), I was in an art group where I was invited to attend the HAI Art Studio--My life started again after that. I had a weekend activity. I made friends. I started doing art, I got cats for the first time in my life and I started painting cats. HAI and Cats put passion back in my life. I began exhibiting my work, and eventually began selling it as well. I now have a second career that I am passionate about, and I am an award-winning Outsider Artist of HAI where I had a solo art exhibit of 60 paintings, and have appeared in international magazines and other publications, all thanks to HAI. (I still attend HAI events.) Now I am on the Board of Directors of HAI, where I do my best to give back to HAI and to give HAI to others who would benefit from the services of HAI.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a performer with HAI for over 20 years. They send us to populations that would never have the chance to hear the quality of music/drama that we can offer. And all of us work there for less than we normally work for, because we believe in their mission. They have struggled for years to serve the under-valued people of this city; the elderly, the homeless, the sick. They are a valuable and needed organization in the City of New York.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Five years ago a friend recommended HAI (Hospital Audiences) as a great venue for volunteering. Since I finally had some time to donate and to “give back”, I started volunteering at HAI. My goal was to provide my services to others by facilitating their attendance at cultural events and thus enhancing their lives.
Little did I know that, thru my years of volunteering at HAI, my life would also be enhanced and enriched!
There are no words to describe my joy at watching someone in wonderment as they experience, sometimes for the first time, a cultural experience which they never would have gotten to see if not for HAI.
I hope to continue to see first- hand the benefits experienced by the community which HAI serves for many years to come.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

HAI is an organization that provides opportunities for individuals with Mental Ilness and MRDD patients and others, who canmot afford to go places like the Movies ,Broadway shows ,Basketball games, etc, without HAI most of these consumers could never afford a ticket to these activities . A lot of these individuals isolates themselves , as a Social Service Worker i do my best to make sure that these consumers utilize all services provided by HAI as part of their Treatment Plan , to Learn Socialization Skills , meet new people, learning how to interact and present themselves in public , HAI is the best orginization that provides valuable intertainment to my consumers and individuals with disabilities every where ,HAI continue to do the beautiful work that you are doing with God's Blessings.

Ulrike F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HAI has a program for blind and visually impaired people. They describe live theater and when I volunteer for example at the Radio City Christmas show and the kids go up to the describer afterwards and hug them and tell them how much the enjoyed the show, I know I am doing a great thing. Way to go HAI

Volunteer

Rating: 4

HAI provides a invaluable source of entertainment and cultural education for our city's under-served and handicapped communities. A diverse array of events are offered to the members of HAI and as volunteers, we have the pleasure of providing admission to these activities, while being able to engage in a very personal and intimate setting. I have had the pleasure of enjoying dance recitals, baseball games, and community dances with our community and have shared their moments of joy and excitement. The HAI program truly makes everyone's lives a little better.

Paula H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I retired in 1997 and for 3 years I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my spare time. The first year of my retirement my husband took ill and passed away. Therefore I had even more time on my hands.

I met up with my cousin's coworker at a family function, and knowing that I used to arrange theater groups, he told me that he volunteered for an organization called Hospital Audiences (HAI). He told me the functions of a volunteer and how they help distribute tickets for events to groups that come from hospital facilities for the physical and mentally disabled, and it was like I had an ephiphany. I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with my spare time.

I went for the interview and got the job as a volunteer. I have been volunteering with HAI for over a year and it has been a wonderful experience. I couldn't have worked for a nicer group of people.

The joy on the faces of the people we serve is a reward in itself as they enjoy the different events that are scheduled.

I try to volunteer on a average of 4 times a month because I know that many of these residents look forward to these outings.

I am also pleased that I also enriched my own cultural experience as a volunteer and I get to take my granddaughter with me as my guest to share in the cultural experiences.

I love volunteering for this agency. After 40 years of working at a job because I had to, I am finally doing something that I love to do and helping others enjoy this experience as well.

Client Served

Rating: 5

THANKS SO MUCH FOR A WONDERFUL EVENT MY GRANDKIDS FLEW IN FROM COLORADO , SO IT WAS A FIRST EVENT FOR THEM. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS COLD THE BEAUTIFUL THANKSGIVING BALOONS , CERTAINLY MUST HAVE HYPNOTIZED THEM BECAUSE THEY NEVER COMPLAIN THEIR MOTHER WAS JST AS EXCITED. AGAIN THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND HEART FOR ALLOWING US TO ATTEND.

Review from Guidestar

Gina L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a 2 year old little boy with Down's syndrome. He does not walk and as it is difficult to attend a busy parade with a child, this orgnaization provided us with a pass for a specific area so that he could enjoy the parade.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. The contact people were very helpful and informative. The set up was excellent, police were very accomodating when we arrived. We enjoyed experiencing the parade with the other families of disabled children and the military personnel. Perhaps others who use the area could be better educated as to the various needs and limitation of those in wheelchairs and with autism. (see below)

Unfortunately, a family arrived late after the parade had begun and were ushered in at our spot. I tried to explain to the mother that her kids could not stand in front of my grandson because he sits so low in his wheelchair that he could not see over them. I also explained that he flapps his arms whem excited so to be careful putting ehr children up next to his wheelchair. She continued to motion for her children to get in front of him throughout the parade (foreign language spoken) I tried to get her to lean down and put her head at his level so she could see that he was already havent to look throughnt he barricade, but she refused. I asked a police officer to help me explain to her and he said she has the same pass you do so he couldn't do anything. There was another older child in a wheelchair next to my grandson. This child had MD and was nonverbal with aspergers. This woman kept leaning over in front of him to take pictures. Blocking his face with her arm. I told her that was a human being even though he could not speak and she needed to keep her arm out of his face. She also complained to another family becasue the parent was having to hold her autistic child at times throughout the parade especially when she urged her children to crowd infront of them. She stood behind me and continually held her camera next to my face to take pictures. Other parents tried to explain to her that this area was for special needs children and she should give them the space they needed. One parent even told her that we had all arrived the hour early to ensure a pleasant experience for our children. I was glad when the parade was over because of having my hair pulled but her camera hand and being pushed from behind by her.

All this said I am greatly appreciative of the opportunity this special viewing area afforded us and would endure all the negativity experienced again for my grandson to get a front row seat to the parade as he had a blast!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for over 20 years now and the reason I keep volunteering is that everytime I help Hai I get immediate gratification from seeing the joy on the faces of the charity participants.
Unfortunately although New York has so many wonderful live events the cost of attending is way beyond the means of the people being serviced by HAI. It is wonderful to see cheildren experience a live event for the first time and just as wonderful when a senior that thought it wouldn't happen again experience it.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been using HAI for 16+years. The Omnibus service is wonderful. The staff is knowledgable and curtious with the residents. They are patient and kind. They get our residents on and off the bus quickly and safely. I have used other bus services in the past that have always ended in disaster. My residents only want HAI!

I also use the entertainment serves through HAI and am always pleased. I would recommend them to everyone!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love what we do at HAI.
It's well run and our participants are happy with what we give them access to.
I'm looking forward to seeing HAI become a public service.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This is a fantastic organization. They bring so much to the people they help and it's great to be a part of that.
You walk away with a great feeling that you helped to bring a small bit of joy to these people's lives and at the same time, you get to enjoy a fun event with them.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with HAI for several years now and their wonderful work never ceases to amaze me. My own experience helping to entertain Vets coming to N.Y from Walter Read Hospital, in Washington, is truly life changing. These young people have had unspeakable physical and mental trauma, and their lives have been changed forever. For some, it's their first time coming to the "Big Apple" and I hope that for a few days we can help put a smile on their faces, as well as their families. I believe that by getting out of their daily envionment and routine has to make even a small difference. HAI has been very professional, sensitive, & supportative to these groups on all of their visits. I hope we can continue to play a small part in the lives of these very special people.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

it is incredible volunteering for HAI. Seeing what experiencing the arts can do for the population they serve, discussing events and engaging with the HAI groups after, you can see how it changes lives! They also have fabulous programs with seniors getting Valentines, Homeless gifts for the Holidays, and creating amazing experiences with Vets & Soldiers.

Review from Guidestar