Art Care

Art Care

The Arts Council of Kern and San Joaquin Community Hospital partner up to provide the musical and visual arts to patients, their families, and their caregivers during their stay at the hospital. This program engages participants in the creative healing process

Our Artists:


April_Mit_photo April Mitchell

“I have such a love and passion for music!”

By the age of 11 yrs April had learn to play piano, guitar, flute and the harp. Her and her sibligns have been a harp trio for several years and performed in churches, weddings, and events all over California. April is a firm believer in making a positive difference through the universal language called music. One way she is able to make a positive impact is working as a therapeutic  harpist/vocalist. April’s goal as a therapeutic harpist is to provided tailored music toeach individual patient; helping bring healing to their specific area of need.

April is a professional Harpist of 12 yrs, Certified Music Practitioner( Through MHTP)/Music Therapist, Harp and Piano Teacher. Currently playing for San Joaquin Hospital, Optimal Hospice, nursing homes, and for a wide variety of events throughout Bakersfield and Los Angeles.

“I absolutely love my job at San Joaquin specifically! Every day is a good day at the hospital. Not only do I get to bring joy and put smiles on people’s faces, but I also get to bring hope, relaxation, and healing through music. Every session with a patient is different and Unique. Wether a patient starts laughing and singing along, or relaxes so much they fall asleep, I am always thrilled that music is making a difference in hundreds of lives every year.”

“Music has been recorded to help in healing through the following: Reduce pain and anxiety, relieve stress, regulate blood pressure, steady breathing, improve short-term memory and attention span, increase social interactions, address the needs of the physical body, spirit and mind, bring joy, help with sleep, bring cohesiveness and spark memory to those with Dementia. It also regulates the normal rhythms of the physical body, and has been recorded as assisting in the transition of the actively dying. *All these have been results from my work as well as many others working in therapeutic music. My future goal in this field is to continue to serve the community as a therapeutic harpist/vocalist and teach my harp/piano students about the positive power and effects music can have on others. Eventually one day, all of Bakersfield’s Hospitals will be filled with healing music.”



 dave + brendaBrenda Hunter & Dave Ogden

Brenda Hunter and Dave Ogden love playing for the ArtCare program at San Joaquin Hospital. “We’ve had a patient’s family member sit next to us in the hospital lobby and say that they “felt better already.”  We’ve been told by doctors, nurses and patients that our music is “soothing,” and that “music therapy is good therapy.”  Helping patients and nurses relax and find some comfort in music is very rewarding to us.”
Brenda is a full time teacher at East High School, where she directs the Piano Lab. She also plays with the band Banshee in the Kitchen, a celtic music ensemble that performs all over California. She has a B.A. in music from Cal State Bakersfield, and along with harp which she plays for the ArtCare program she also plays fiddle, hammered dulcimer and piano. She has a solo solo cd out, along with several cd’s with the bands Briar Rose, Blarney Rubble and Banshee in the Kitchen.
Dave runs Clear Creek Recording, a recording studio based in Keene, CA, and plays fingerstyle guitar, the wooden concert flute of the 19th century, banjo and other instruments. He has a solo guitar cd out, along with cd’s with the bands The Sunday Drivers and Blarney Rubble.