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Tidewater Arts Outreach director building on ‘great foundation’

As the executive director of Tidewater Arts Outreach, Reese Beeler believes art “makes life beautiful.”

She took over the reins of TAO in 2018 and says the Norfolk-based nonprofit is on course to run more programs in 2020 than ever before.

“Last year we did 144 programs. This year we are on track for doing 220 programs,” she said.

As TAO’s executive director, she is tasked with bringing music, painting, writing and dance to people in challenging environments. The organization’s core mission is bringing joy to older adults through the arts.

TAO pays musicians, artists and other performers to go into places such as assisted living facilities to bring cheer. It draws on a body of evidence that shows the beneficial impact the arts have on older people and those with dementia in lowering anxiety and awareness of pain.

“We go into retirement community centers, memory care units, homeless shelters, battered women’s safe houses and also the Veteran’s Administration in Hampton,” Beeler said.

TAO also organizes house concerts — music events the full article at The Virginian-Pilot HERE

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