“Follow your dreams” is the ideal, all-encouraging mantra promoted in our society. But what if following your dreams interferes with your access to health care? This is the case for many artists and musicians who can’t afford health insurance. Even though our current health care system may be flawed. There is a place where artists may get the care they need. Enter the O+ festival.
O+ festival, founded in Kingston, provides a temporary solution for uninsured artists in need of health care. The non-profit organization is dedicated to exchanging the “art of medicine” and the “medicine of art”—bringing together artists, musicians, health care providers, and local businesses for a weekend of community wellness.
Musicians and artists will have the opportunity to barter their visual and performance art for free health care services in the O+ pop-up health and wellness clinic, where health care providers volunteer their services to artists in need.
Last year, the O+ weekend pop-up clinic served 222 creatives, volunteers and festival staff, who received 497 wellness treatments—including nursing, primary care, integrative medicine, massage, Reiki, aromatherapy, mental health, podiatry, chiropractic, Ayurveda, energy healing, matrix energetics, polarity therapy and Shamanic healing sessions—and 145 dental treatments.
Make a donation and receive an all-access wristband for the three-day weekend of art, music, and wellness. Each donation is worth double—thanks to a donor-advised matching grant administered by the Tides Foundation.
The theme of this year’s O+ festival is: Mothers of Invention. It will take place Friday, October 7 through October 9 in Kingston. Over 60 bands including Kaki King, Sondre Lerche, Megan Jean and the Klay family band, Twisty Bonbon, and Frenchy and the punk will play at venues all over Kingston. And over 30 visual artists will create and demonstrate collaborative and interactive work. The O+ festival will also feature a New Orleans-style kickoff parade, literary salon and collage café, wellness expo and conference, cycling events and explore classes in yoga, meditation, and dance.