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Cathy's mission is to share her deep experience as a pioneer in the field of using arts in the aging and healing processes. A successful and eclectic professional musician, Cathy DeWitt has shared the stage and airwaves with the likes of Garrison Keillor, Pete Seeger, Rob Bargad, Dave Frishberg, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, and many more. A leader in the field of arts and aging, she has been the Musician in Residence and music program leader for Shands Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida since 1994, playing at bedside, teaching and training volunteers, writing grants and acquiring instruments (including two grand pianos), and hosting and coordinating concerts throughout the hospital. She is a Certified Artist Trainer for the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), and she was recently selected to be a member of their National Speakers and Consultants Directory.

Cathy provides training sessions, workshops, keynotes, and seminars at universities, geriatric facilities, palliative care facilities, arts & healing events, hospitals, conferences for the Society for the Arts in Healthcare (SAH), spiritual gatherings and retreats. As a consultant, her clients include Vanderbilt University, Tidewater Arts, Virginia Tech, San Diego Hospice, Hospice in Albany, Oregon; Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and the Royal Hospital in London. She has presented both educational and experiential programs at NCCA events, and is known for her ability to create music for oral history, theatre, visual arts, movement and dance workshops.

Along with numerous individual songwriting awards, including two from the 2006 Unisong International Songwriting Contest (with entries from 90 countries), she is the winner of a Fetzer Grant for her Healing Music Program, a Florida Arts Council Individual Artist Enhancement Grant, the National League of Penwomen Branch Award for Music (Gainesville 2005), and Gainesville's Musician of the Year Award (2010).

While participating in several research projects involving the healing power of music, she became particularly interested in its effects on people with dementia and memory disorders. Her work with creativity and aging began in 2003 at the Florida Center for Creative Aging, where she coordinated events and produced their newsletter. In 2006 and 2008 she helped coordinate and facilitate the NEA/NIH-funded Vital Visionaries Program at the University of Florida, bringing community elders together with medical students to share arts activities in a museum setting. Since then she has become even more active with the National Center for Creative Aging, as a founding Network member, presenter, and teaching artist. She has been guest faculty and lecturer for many institutes and organizations, including UF Colleges of Medicine, Geriatrics, Nursing, Fine Arts, and Education; Oak Hammock Retirement Community at UF, Alterra House, the Alzheimer's Association, VSA, Veterans Administration hospitals and senior centers.

In addition to customizing her seminars for specific needs, Cathy offers several well-designed workshops that can be both educational and experiential, including Melody and Memory, Modes and Moods, The Value of the Arts at End of Life, and Creating a Successful Arts and Aging Program.

Contact Cathy to have her conduct training or present a keynote at your facility.

Excerpts from Cathy's presentation on Arts & Aging for the Alzheimer's Walk at Oak Hammock: