Alchemy Sky Foundation
Jaye Budd, Executive Director
About the Organization
Type of Organization:
Veterans (Mental Health)
At Risk Youth (Homeless and Unaccompanied) (Mental Health)
The Alchemy Sky Foundation brings the healing power of music to those who need it. We partner with organizations in the community as well as a broad network of music and health professionals to create needs-based programs for those we serve.
Briefly describe the organization’s primary programs and activities.
Our military veterans have given their lives in service to others. They have dedicated a portion, if not all of their lives, and their families’ lives to support our freedom. Sadly, in return hundreds of Veterans today are not living their final days in the comfort of a loving home surrounded by family and friends. The world for many of our Veterans is in a facility where they are provided one small room to exist in. They feel lonely, isolated and ignored. That is why the Alchemy Sky Foundation exists!
- ASF funds and facilitates group music therapy for the residents of the Community Living Center (CLC – nursing-home) at the VA Medical Center of Atlanta.
- Two sessions per month held on-site (3rd floor CLC)
- Each session averages 12 residents and lasts ~60 minutes.
- Each session is led by a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) and has one volunteer present to assist.
- A VA Recreational Therapist, is also present during each session.
- Music Therapy Sessions @ VA YTD – 19 sessions (66 sessions since Oct. 2014)
- Documentation and rosters are compiled for each session and for each resident (no names or confidential information are collected)
Supplemental programs funded and facilitated by ASF for the CLC:
- “VR (Virtual Reality) at the VA” Sessions @ VA since October of 2014 – five sessions
- “Bingo Rocks” Sessions @ VA since October of 2014 – three sessions
Current Music Therapy Program Measures & Methodology
The current program at the VA CLC is a group session every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month. ASF, in partnership with Metro Music Therapy, meets with a range of 12 to 20 residents (average 14) to provide cognitive stimulation, opportunities to express emotions, improve gross motor skills and coordination, and reinforce and practice verbal communication. This is done using music to work on these non-musical goals. Participants are asked to engage in whatever way they can at times moving, expressing, deciding, remembering, singing, improvising and playing with the Licensed Professional Music Therapist (LPMT). The group improves the quality of life of the participants and helps to enrich the sense of community between its members. The group is led by a Licensed Professional Music Therapist and a Professional Musician. After each session, LPMT records data on six categories from observations during group.
We currently record data on:
- Level of Coherence
- Eye Contact
- Interaction with others
- Anxiety Level
Research Sited for Current Program
- Treatment participants with brain injury demonstrated improvements in executive function (Thaut et al., 2009).
- Active engagement in music therapy reduces psychomotor agitation in patients who have severe brain injuries (Formisano et al., 2001).
- Music therapy for persons with non-fluent aphasia demonstrated singing strengthens breathing and vocal ability, improves articulation and speech prosody, and increases verbal and nonverbal communication (Tomaino, 2012). Music and language are linked in the structural patterns and brain processing in those with aphasia (Patel, 2005).
- Persons with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) who participated in a music therapy singing intervention gained vocal range, experienced improved mood, and had better affective intonation (Baker, Wigram, & Gold, 2005).
- Music therapy in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation improved patients’ overall emotional adjustment while it decreased depression, sensation seeking, and anxiety; although control participants had better emotional adjustment and less hostility, they had decreased memory, positive affect, and sensation-seeking behaviors (Thaut et al., 2009).
Organization’s Staff Size:
3 (Includes Contracted Labor)
Organization’s Annual Budget:
Year the organization was founded:
About the Board of Directors
Top 3-5 skills that you are looking for in potential board members:
- Community Visibility – ASF needs to increase its share of professionals serving on boards in Metro Atlanta community.
- Evolution of Programming – ASF has an opportunity to better market the program we have today in order to help more Veterans. Our results are powerful but our positioning in the greater community needs work.
- Fundraising – ASF has many fundraising opportunities that need to be better leveraged.
- Social Media Support
Current board size:
How many new board members are you seeking?
Minimum or average financial contribution expected of board members:
$500 annually (“give or get”)
How often does the board meet?
ASF’s board meets four times a year, face to face, in Atlanta
Note – Regular, monthly communications are emailed out to all board members. Also, if the board members are local to Atlanta, they are welcome to observe our sessions at the VA.
Are members expected to participate in committees?
Formal committees are in formation. (Charters, Roles & Responsibilities, etc.)
Time commitment for committee participation:
2-4 hours per month.
Estimated total time commitment required:
Approximately 50 hours annually.
Length of term of board service:
Two year terms-with an opportunity to serve a maximum of three consecutive terms
Will the board face any special circumstances in the next year or two (endowment campaigns, executive transitions, etc.)?
Working towards substantial and measurable growth.
Is there any additional information you would like to provide?
We are a new nonprofit with much potential. An ideal board member is one that is looking for a “ground floor” opportunity. Currently there are no Music Therapists at the VA Medical Center in Atlanta even though that facility administers healthcare to thousands of Veterans. Said another way, there is virtually an unlimited opportunity to help our Veterans with Music Therapy.