Sustenance Stories: Patrick Sky & Guitar Lightnin’ Lee

inTheir Needson May 30, 2019

Music Maker Artist Support Specialist Christelle Ndong, MSW meets with partner artist Patrick Sky at the Music Maker office in Hillsborough, NC

The individual situations of artists can be infinitely complex when it comes to addressing their needs. Music Maker Artist Support Specialist Christelle Ndong, MSW is constantly working to navigate the labyrinths of social services and dig into the issues faced by our partner artists so that their basic needs can be met and the music can keep on going. Recently, Christelle was able to identify some critical needs for Patrick Sky and Guitar Lightnin’ Lee.

Legendary folk singer Patrick Sky has received support from our Sustenance Program for several years. The support has helped him get critical medicine for his Parkinson’s disease as it progresses. Patrick resides in the mountains of Western North Carolina with his wife Cathy. Over the years, the setting has gone from remote to isolated. A series of appointments at Duke Medical has required Pat & Cathy to travel down to the Triangle area – which proved to be a rather daunting task for both of them.  While in the area Pat and Cathy were able to meet with Christelle who quickly identified that Cathy would need support herself given her new and increasing role as Pat’s caretaker. Christelle is working with both of them to prepare for life changes as Pat’s condition progresses and now has them both on her weekly call rotation.

New Orleans icon Guitar Lightnin’ Lee has been dealing with a similar set of issues. Lee’s brother recently fell very ill and Lee has stepped up as his primary care-provider – which has resulted in Lee having to turn down gig opportunities. With this drop in income Lee has needed some additional support that Music Maker was able to provide through the support of donors like you.

Guitar Lightnin’ Lee’s new fridge

Additionally, Lee was in desperate need of some furniture and appliances and we provided him with a fridge, stove, and couch. It’s been a tough couple of years for Lee after recovering from a cancer diagnosis last year and needing help to make some critical repairs to his house.

But Lee sees the light at the end of the tunnel and appreciates the support of Music Maker’s donors. He really cheered up when MMRF founder Tim Duffy took him to see his billboard portrait located off of I-10, a main artery of New Orleans traffic. The billboard is part of our 25th Anniversary exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art entitled Timothy Duffy: Blue Muse.

Your contributions are critical to ensuring that musicians like Patrick Sky and Guitar Lightnin’ can meet there basic needs. Please show your support at musicmaker.org/donations


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