Arts Programming for Individuals with Dementia and Their Care Partners

two elderly adults in front of an abstract painting Photo by Jason Brownrigg, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art.

The Mellon Foundation supports a number of programs designed to stimulate the reach of the arts and education in fostering human agency, dignity, and wellbeing through programming that is intentionally accessible and welcoming to people with dementia and their care partners. Amid the ongoing pandemic, many of these programs are now being offered virtually.

The Foundation is also learning and working alongside our peer funders to shift the paradigm of arts engagement toward disability inclusion. Learn more at disabilityphilanthropy.org.

Connect2culture's With Music in Mind pilot with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Mellon-funded Programs

American Folk Art Museum
Folk Art Reflections is an interactive, discussion-based program for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their family members or care partners. One-hour virtual sessions bring the world of folk art to life through conversation. Prerecorded virtual visits are available on the museum’s YouTube channel. 
 
Arts & Minds
Arts & Minds @Home offers interactive one-hour sessions 45 times per week.  
 
CaringKind (connect2culture)
Resources include a webinar miniseries of prerecorded 30-minute sessions with cultural partners across New York City; includes arts, music, and outdoor/nature content.
 
Intrepid Museum
The Stories Within program offers interactive one-hour sessions on a monthly basis for people with dementia and their care partners.
 
Jewish Museum
JM Journeys at Home sessions include discussion, art making, and multisensory activities.
 
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center Moments At Home includes weekly performance-based videos and activities.
 
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Met Escapes programming includes interactive discussions and art making, as well as more informal discussions about art through Met Memory Café events.
 
Rubin Museum of Art
Mindful Connections Online offers one-hour virtual sessions designed to promote engagement with works of art and with other participants.
 
Smithsonian Institution
See Me at the Smithsonian virtual events are hosted by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Freer Gallery of Art, and National Museum of American History.

elderly program participant,  seated in a wheelchair next to a caretaker, smiles and embraces the hand of an arts educatorCourtesy of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

OTHER PROGRAMS OF NOTE

The Memory Tree 
The Memory Tree offers programming designed to help individuals with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
 
Museum of Modern Art
For Caregivers: A Guide to Connecting Creatively (updated May 2020)
Meet Me at MoMA: Making Art Accessible to People with Dementia
Museum programming for individuals with dementia
 
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Orpheus Reflections offers performances for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. A playlist of virtual programming is available on the orchestra’s YouTube channel.

TimeSlips
TimeSlips offers training for caregivers and organizations serving older adults with dementia. The TimeSlips website features a Creativity Center with visual prompts and tools for creative engagement.