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St. Louis Arts Therapy Organizations Give Kids With Cancer Positive Outlets

Two arts therapy organizations in St. Louis will receive an influx in donations thanks to upcoming charitable concerts. Proceeds from the 4th Annual Pazaz Gala 2014 Saturday, February 8 at the Touhill will go to the dance therapy program Drea’s Dream, and a concert Thursday, February 13 at the Sheldon based on the music of Al Hammerman will benefit the songwriting therapy program Kids Rock Cancer.

Both therapy programs help St. Louis children with cancer find a positive means of expressing their emotions. Drea's Dream, a program founded in memory of Andrea Rizzo who was tragically killed by a drunk driver while studying dance therapy,  provides an individualized dance therapy and expressive movement experience for each participant. Kids Rock Cancer provides patients the opportunity to write and record their own songs.

“The therapy song writing intervention gives them a voice,” board-certified music therapist Tracie Sandheinrich said. She works in area pediatric cancer treatment centers through Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer program. “It’s a living legacy that lives forever despite their diagnosis.”

Registered dance therapist Becky Brittain works with Drea’s Dream at Cardinal Glennon.  She said she reacts to the child’s needs, depending on his or her condition, sometimes waving scarves from the bed, while other times dancing with their IV pole.

“The beauty of it is we really want to normalize their experience,” Brittain said. "They feel safe to express their feelings."

Related Events

4th Annual Pazazz Gala 2014 (Featuring the Pazazz Performers, the Big Muddy Dance Company and the Ashleyliane Dance Company)
Saturday, February 8, 2014
7:00 p.m.
Lee Theater in UMSL's Touhill Performing Arts Center
For more information, call 314-516-4949 or visit the Touhill Performing Arts Center website

Kids Rock Cancer Benefit "I Got A Song: Words and Music of Al Hammerman"
Thursday, February 13, 2014
7:30 p.m.
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd.
For more information, call 314-570-5963 or visit the Maryville University website.

Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted bySteve Potter and funded in part by the the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.