Posted: Mar 1, 2011 4:24 PM by Jenise Fernandez
Updated: Mar 2, 2011 5:17 AM
"I haven't been to the dentist since I was 18,"said musician James Hutchinson.
That was nearly 17 years ago. He's been playing music for 20 years and like most musicians, he is self-employed and has no dental insurance.
"It's usually about the money. We're not taken care of so you have to survive anyway you can,"said Hutchinson.
He is one of forty musicians taking care of their health. Many in their profession are either uninsured or under-insured. That's why Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation, MusiCares, and Smile Program are stepping in.
"I'm getting some fillings which I've never had before,"said Hutchinson.
"Dental work is hard to get and musicians here are cultural ambassadors. Now we can give something back to them," said Kathy Richard, Director of Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation.
All the dentists there did things like fillings, extractions, and cleanings. Any musician that needed a follow up was referred to an area dentist.
"It's great to give back to musicians who give their heart and soul to this community,"said Gregory Folse, D.D.S.
Music is a major part of our culture and lifestyle. It's Hutchinson's livelihood and he's grateful for any help he gets.
"I definitely recommend it," he said.
"As long as we have musicians that can't be seen and that are calling for us, we will have dental days,"said Richard.