Poet brings words and a smile to nursing homes

July 15, 2009

Poet Sunny Montgomery reads to Glyn Dawson and staff member Tonya Perdue at Homestead Nursing Center. Photos by Tom Eblen

Art expresses the human spirit. It also can nourish it, especially in places where the human spirit can feel challenged.

That was one of the ideas behind local poet Sunny Montgomery’s visit to seven Lexington nursing homes Wednesday.

Montgomery visited dining halls and went from room to room, asking if she might spending a few minutes reading poetry.

The project was organized by the ELandF Gallery and the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass.

“Just having artists or anybody from the outside coming in consistently creates a culture that’s good for the residents and staff and more open to the community,” said Bruce Burris of ELandF.

The ombudsman agency plans a public meeting July 29 to seek ideas for other arts programs that might be done in local nursing homes. Those could include visiting artists, or participatory arts programs for residents. The meeting will be at 2 p.m. at the agency’s office in the senior citizen center at the corner of Nicholasville Road and Alumni Drive.

Montgomery visits with Emma Hutchison, right, and daughter Emily McCarty after reading poetry Wednesday at Homestead Nursing Center.