Art, Music, and Conversation

Organization Associated with Program
Alzheimer's Services of Cape Cod & the Islands
765 Attucks Lane
Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601

Art, Music, and Conversation, an initiative of Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod & the Islands, is based on the knowledge that artistic stimulation and the proper addition of music can serve as an effective communication tool for individuals with memory impairment. Use of high-quality arts interventions can also help educate caregivers about new communication techniques that they can use with their family members, which adds to their personal toolbox and supports them in the daily duties of care. Each art venue conducting a program has a monthly session facilitated by professional arts educators (on a volunteer basis) who have been trained by Alzheimer's Services of Cape Cod & the Islands to be sensitive to the unique needs of populations living with memory loss. Additionally, music programs are facilitated by a professional music therapist and classically trained violinist, adding greater depth to these programs. The educators choose the art prior to each session and create an overall cohesive theme for that day's presentation. Music is used to enhance the theme developed and provide additional sensory stimulation to the older adults who are engaged in the session. This program allows people living with memory loss to be actively engaged in and by their communities, while also providing a space for caregivers to network and find support. Each session lasts one hour and a half.

Program History

This program was launched in 2009 and serves around 200 people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers each year. Art, Music, and Conversation is based on Meet Me at MoMA, the New York Museum of Modern Art’s signature program for people living with memory loss and their caregivers. This program has been integral to Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod & the Islands’ ability to build strong partnerships with arts organizations in the community that provide mutual support and growth.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

This program is evaluated on an ongoing basis throughout its duration through the use of interviews, attendance numbers, and individual assessments. Program evaluations are conducted by staff and used to improve programming.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

The success of a program of this type requires close collaboration between the Alzheimer’s Services organization and the staff at the art organization to ensure that both are invested in presenting a successful art program of the highest quality to the community.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Viewing Artwork, Participate in a Class
Arts Discipline: Media Arts, Museums, Music, Visual Arts
Target Audience: Caregivers - Family, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Adaptive Program Design Cognitive Disabilities
Program Setting: Arts Organization
Program Service Area: Rural
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice