Museums making arts accessible to people with dementia

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Museums making arts accessible to people with dementia

Posted on January 12, 2011

Due to the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) decided to develop programming for this particular audience, thereby further enhancing MoMA’s programming for older adults.
These programs give those living with the degenerative disease an expressive outlet and forum for dialogue. Specially trained Museum educators engage participants in the early and middle stages of the disease in lively discussions by focusing in depth on iconic art from MoMA’s collection and special exhibitions.

These programs have met an extraordinary success. Following the lead of the MoMa, more and more museums are making their arts available to people that have dementia.

The program, modeled on programs on art for people with dementia at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, has been so successful that the Carnegie is expanding it.

“Art appreciation and making art hold immense potential to impact quality of life,” said Jennifer Lingler, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh who also works as director of education and information core of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center within the medical school’s department of psychiatry. Dr. Lingler spoke at a recent workshop the Carnegie held for docents who wanted to train in the expanded program and for the public.

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