LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts’ Janice H. Pellar Entrepreneurship Project Partners with Baton Rouge General’s Arts in Medicine Program

03/12/2013 11:08 AM

BATON ROUGE – The Janice H. Pellar Creative Arts Entrepreneurship Project in the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts has partnered with Baton Rouge General’s Arts in Medicine program to help bring the healing qualities of performance arts to local hospital patients.


Through the partnership, LSU students will volunteer their musical, artistic and dramatic talents in the hospital at patients’ bedsides and through performances throughout the hospital.


Launched in the fall of 2012, the Arts in Medicine program aims to bring the healing power of arts to not only patients at Baton Rouge General, but to the Baton Rouge community as well. The program features local artists from the community who offer a creative outlet to patients with visual arts such as painting, as well as a variety of musical arts.


“At the beginning of the year, I challenged our students to consider the concept of social entrepreneurship. Essentially, I wanted them to look at the resources in our college and figure where we might plug in to one of the community’s great needs,” said Joseph Skillen, professor of tuba & euphonium in the LSU School of Music and Pellar Entrepreneurship Project director. “After some consideration, the group determined that we have a wealth of performers and creative people looking for more non-judgmental performing venues. Then the group reached out in the Baton Rouge community to find places where those performances could offer the greatest benefit. The Arts in Medicine program at Baton Rouge General seemed to be a perfect fit.”


A longtime patron of the arts, LSU and healthcare, as well as an active business leader in the Baton Rouge community, Janice Pellar played an important role in making the project possible. In 2010, she established the Janice H. Pellar Creative Arts Entrepreneurship Project through the College of Music & Dramatic Arts. The program is designed to bring business and entrepreneurship knowledge and skills to students within the college. In addition, Pellar also serves on the Baton Rouge General’s board of trustees and the Baton Rouge General Foundation’s board of governors, and is a strong supporter of the Arts in Medicine program.


“It is exciting to see my passion for music, entrepreneurship and service to our community unite through this project – sharing the gifts of music with patients and our community and enhancing the students’ educational experience through Baton Rouge General’s Arts in Medicine program,” Pellar said.


“Music and the arts offer tremendous therapeutic benefits and Baton Rouge General is pleased to enhance our Arts in Medicine program through this project which will enrich our patients’ experiences and provide a unique learning opportunity for the LSU music students,” said Dr. William Russell of Baton Rouge General.


“Hospitals have multiple venues where a human touch with art, drama or music could alleviate so much anxiety, boredom and pain,” Skillen said. “We hope to bring some of the humanizing and transcendent qualities of our art to the hospital while our students receive a firsthand message of the power contained in that art.”


Skillen, along with several LSU students, kicked off the new project on March 8 with a tour through the hospital, joined by Baton Rouge General Arts in Medicine Music Therapist Mary Malloy. Recently joining the Arts in Medicine program, Malloy brings musical arts to patients in the hospital through her guitar melodies and song. During the tour, the students were able to interact with and learn from Malloy as she visited patients in the hospital. At the close of the tour, the students also met with Pellar, who shares her own musical talents as a pianist for the Arts in Medicine program’s live concert series.


The Baton Rouge General Arts in Medicine program is supported in part by a grant through the Livestrong Community Impact Project. The program’s weekly live concerts, which will feature local musical artists, will take place every Friday at noon at both the Bluebonnet Boulevard and Mid-City campuses of Baton Rouge General. For more information on the Arts in Medicine program, visit and click on the “Community Programs” link.






Contact MaryAnn Rowland
Baton Rouge General
(225) 237-1675


Contact Ronette King Boshea
LSU School of Music


Contact Aaron Looney
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013