Posts by Meryl Schwartz
I’ve racked up a lot of frequent flier miles working with The MoMA Alzheimer’s Project. My colleagues and I have had the great pleasure of traveling to places like Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Alexandria, Louisiana (population: 48,000) to facilitate training workshops on how to use art to engage individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
I used to take dance classes as a kid, and I remember the first time I walked into MoMA I was struck by the gallery floors—perfect for dancing.
The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Education serves thousands of diverse visitors each year through its programs, from the local Girl Scout troop, to older adults in long-term care residences, to English-language learners who’ve only recently arrived in New York.
It’s a universal thing: September is a busy month for students and educators of all kinds, as the relaxed pace of summer makes way for the back-to-school rush. We’re no exception here in MoMA’s Department of Education. Just last week, for example, we kicked off our season of arts engagement programming for people with dementia and their caregivers.
I’m not an artist. If someone set a blank canvas and some paint down in front of me with the instructions to “go at it,” I’d have a hard time. It’s intimidating!
The Department of Education has a long history of working with an array of audiences in its mission to make the collection accessible to people of all abilities, backgrounds, and ages. Over the years we’ve come to recognize what a major part of the Museum audience senior citizens are—which makes sense since, according to statistics from the American Association of Retired Persons, individuals age 65 and over constitute one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population.
For The MoMA Alzheimer’s Project, my colleagues and I work to expand upon MoMA’s programs for individuals with dementia and their caregivers, which currently include gallery conversations and art-making programs at MoMA as well as off-site visits to assisted-living facilities.
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