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National Center for Creative Aging Presents 'Creativity Matters' Symposium on Health, Wellness, and the Arts
Date:3/4/2009

WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) will present a conference on how to use storytelling and museum programs as a way to engage people with dementia. The "NCCA-MetLife Foundation Creativity Matters: Health, Wellness, and the Arts Symposium," will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 30, 31 and April 1.

Gay Hanna, Executive Director of NCCA said, "Cases of dementia and Alzheimer's disease increase with age, so as the population lives longer more people will be diagnosed. This symposium is unique in that it focuses on innovative ways to bring together cultural institutions and healthcare facilities to create low cost and high quality services for people with dementia and their caregivers."

"This symposium showcases best-practice programs that engage people with dementia and their caregivers in activities using the arts," said Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation. "MetLife Foundation is pleased to support this initiative to broaden creative partnerships throughout communities in the United States."

The Monday, March 30 workshop, held at IONA Senior Services will feature certification on "The TimeSlips Creative Storytelling Project" which uses images and oral communication to encourage people with dementia to tell stories. Anne Basting, Director of the Center on Age & Community at the University of Wisconsin and Founder and Director of TimeSlips will lead the workshop. The day will close with The 22nd Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy featuring Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wynton Marsalis.

The Tuesday, March 31 workshop, held at The Phillips Collection, explores how to creatively engage people with dementia, featuring supporting research presented by Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D. Director of the Center on Aging, Health and Humanities at The George Washington University. Francesca Rosenberg, Director of Community Outreach, Museum of Modern Art, will present on The Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) Alzheimer's Project: Arts for the Aging, an interactive program that brings art to people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers. Other national programs featured include StoryCorps Memory Loss Initiative which encourages people with memory loss to share and record their stories, Arts for the Aging, and TimeSlips.

The conference closes on Wednesday, April 1, with a one-of-a-kind on-site training session on, "Meet Me at MoMA," at The Kreeger Museum led by Rosenberg. The training will focus on preparation, artwork selection, in-gallery facilitation and interaction, audience dynamic and evaluation. During the session, participants will learn to develop their own programs.

The symposium is the second in a three-part series addressing creative aging through lifelong learning, health and wellness, and civic engagement. The first conference was in Miami, with the final conference to be held in San Francisco. The symposia series is targeted toward professionals in the fields of aging, education, healthcare, faith-based services, museum education, caregiving, social services, and the arts.

Scholarships and continuing education credits are available. For more information on registration, programming or membership, please contact the NCCA office at info@creativeaging.org or (202) 895-9456.

  • TimeSlips is a creative storytelling method designed by Anne Basting (Ph.D.) in 1998 to be used with people with dementia and their caregivers. For more information visit http://www.timeslips.org/
  • StoryCorps is a nonprofit project started in 2003 whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another's lives through listening. The program has recorded over 35,000 oral histories from everyday people. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD and archived for the Library of Congress. Their Memory Loss Initiative supports and encourages people with memory loss to share their stories. http://www.storycorps.net/initiatives/mli
  • The MoMA Alzheimer's Project: Making Art Accessible to People with Dementia, provides individuals with Alzheimer's and their family members or caregivers a chance to work with specially trained museum educators, artists, or exhibitions as a way to promote dialogue. For more information visit http://www.alznyc.org/events/moma.asp
  • Arts For The Aging is a nonprofit organization that provides visual, performing, literary arts outreach programs specially designed to enhance the health and well-being of seniors. http://www.aftaarts.org/

The National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to fostering and understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging and to developing programs that build on this understanding. Based in Washington, D.C., NCCA is a nonprofit with 2,500 members and is affiliated with The George Washington University. www.creativeaging.org

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its long-standing tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. The Foundation has been involved in a variety of aging-related initiatives addressing issues of caregiving, intergenerational activities, mental fitness, health and wellness programs and civic involvement. More information about the Foundation is available at www.metlife.org.


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SOURCE National Center for Creative Aging
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