Our Executive Director, Karen Mang Kennedy sang many concerts with her a cappella trio, Kallisto Trio, for the Health Arts Society while living in British Columbia. During this time, Karen discovered in a profound way, how music has a lasting, positive impact on people with illness or disability or others who are unresponsive to human interaction. During Kallisto’s concerts, some residents in care responded with singing along, outcries, moaning, exuberant, spontaneous clapping, cheering, rocking forward and back. Others joined Kallisto’s performance! Time after time, it became clear what impact these concerts was having on people. It was truly a joy to see people enjoying the gift of live music and expressing it publicly. One memory resonates to this day. Kallisto was performing at a care home where the mother of celebrated Canadian mezzo -soprano, Judith Forst was a resident. Ms Forst was at this time was unable to speak and generally unresponsive. As Kallisto was singing, she began moaning loudly in recognition of the music, something the staff said later was really astonishing. Karen experienced many more beautiful moments including connecting with and holding the hands of residents after the concert. These experiences made a deep and lasting impression and so after immigrating to the US in the spring of 2019, she was inspired to use this model in Idaho.
Through presenting in-house, free, professional concerts, Idaho Concerts in Care aims to contribute positively to the mental, physical and spiritual health of residents in care homes. Our goal is to enrich the quality of life of people who spend their last years in care.
In the Treasure Valley, there are approximately 53 residential care homes, including retirement living, assisted-living and memory care. Idaho Concerts in Care has the potential to serve approximately 4000 residents and their families.
Our vision is to serve as many residents in care as possible in the Treasure Valley with a scope to expand throughout Idaho. We hope that this new offering of professional concerts will foster joy and positivity and that that this program is seen as an integral part of excellent care for those living their last years in care homes.
MEET THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Karen Mang Kennedy
Karen hails from Saskatchewan. She completed her Bachelor of Music Performance (clarinet) at the University of Victoria. While there, she toured extensively with the UVic Chamber Singers. She served in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 13 years in North Vancouver, Headquarters and Surrey, BC. Karen has sung with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, musica intima vocal ensemble and as section leader with Christ Church Cathedral Choir in Vancouver. Before immigrating to Boise, she worked as a free-lance musician in the Vancouver area. Having sung for the Heath Arts Society in BC, she is excited to bring this concept to residential homes in Idaho.
Laura von Boecklin Curry
Laura is the Executive Director of the Idaho Commission on the Arts. She, too, is passionate about arts in our community and is delighted to serve on the board of Idaho Concerts in Care. Laura brings over a decade of non-profit leadership to Ballet Idaho, coming most recently from the College of Western Idaho, where she was the executive director for the CWI Foundation. Before coming to Idaho, Laura spent ten years in Steamboat Springs Colorado, where she served as the ED at LiftUp of Routt County , an organization serving Routt County’s low-income residents. While there, Laura led LiftUp through a major expansion. Prior to her tenure at LiftUp, Laura served as the ED for Routt County Council on Aging, an organization providing meals, transportation, and social opportunities to senior citizens all over Routt County. Laura also worked for the Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation, managing grants and public relations for the organization. Laura attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, where she earned a BA in English with a minor in Public Relations.
Kevin moved to Boise Idaho over 20 years ago from Ann Arbor Michigan where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Film & Video History & Production from the University of Michigan.
“I have always loved music; from Rock ‘N’ Roll to Classical, but it was in my pursuit of an education in film, that I came to truly feel and appreciate the powerful emotional and spiritual connection that music brings to a film, and of course, to our every day lives.”
After graduation, he lived in San Francisco for many years, working in the natural food business and enjoying all the sites and sounds of the “ City by the Bay”.
While living Ann Arbor, he served as Projects Coordinator for a specialty electronics design firm and worked in Residential Real Estate for more than 10 years. However, the highlight of his working career was discovered as an adjunct professor, teaching, Film History, and Aesthetics to a broad age range of students in a symposium setting.
Kevin has been involved with several nonprofits supporting cancer research as well as patient and family support.
He looks forward to bringing that same participation and passion to Idaho Concerts in Care..