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. Due to these efforts, and to the dedication and initiative of our colleagues worldwide, over 100 arts institutions have committed to implementing and supporting educational programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their care-partners.
But the fact remains that there’s only two of us staffed on the Project’s training initiative, while interest in learning more about serving individuals with Alzheimer’s disease remains vast. And as much as we’d like to, we can’t be in Kansas City, Vienna, Boulder, and Zurich all at once. So a while back we started thinking about harnessing the reach of the Internet to make our training workshops accessible to a broader audience. The MoMA Alzheimer’s Project already has a stunning website, through which we’ve made our written resources available free of charge. So instructional videos seemed like the next logical step.
One year, two film shoots, three video editors, and countless cups of coffee and (tearful) computer crashes later, we’re so pleased to present 10 new videos on how to facilitate art discussion and art-making programs to people with Alzheimer’s disease. Content is applicable to museum educators, recreation therapists, personal care-partners…frankly, anyone who may be interested in learning how to use art to engage individuals with dementia, regardless of setting or situation. The videos outline our general teaching methodologies, goals, and approach, while also covering nitty-gritty topics like how to select and sequence artworks for your group discussion, or what to do if a participant finishes his or her art-making project before the rest of the group. Throughout, we share clips from our programs in action, so viewers can get a sense of how things look and feel in MoMA’s studio classrooms and galleries. Viewers can watch all at once, or in installments—focusing solely on “Art Making: Educator Preparation,” for example, or “Art Discussion: Tips & Tools.” We’re so pleased to be able to bring some of the lessons we’ve learned through many years of working with people with Alzheimer’s disease to the online community. Our hope is that these new video training resources will encourage another 100 museums to take on this exciting and rewarding work.