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Meet Me at MOMA

This month’s spotlight on research has been provided by Claire Ford, Creative Engagement Facilitator / Activities Coordinator

The ‘Meet Me at MOMA’ programme, which is a specific Alzheimer’s Project, reviewed the creative benefits to older people’s lives during 2007 to 2009. They examined both Art History and Art Making to explore wider results inspired from creativity. In order to capture all aspects of the museum’s experience, there were self-report scales, take home evaluations and observer-related scales which were developed by New York University and MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art). 80 individuals were enrolled and all had a diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease or a related dementia.

The ‘Meet Me at MOMA’ programme provides engagement in meaningful activity and personal growth, a forum for exploration and exchange of ideas without relying on short term memory, access to personal experiences and long term memories, the means to make connections between individual experience and the world at large, mental stimulation and cognitive exercise offering further health benefits as well as providing a safe and comfortable environment where all participants are respected and valued as contributors.

As a result of the ‘Meet Me at MOMA’ programme:

  • It can provide an opportunity to explore interests in art
  • Arts can provide new ways of communication and stimulating conversations
  • Social Engagement with other caregivers and the opportunity to share stories and challenges
  • A respite, both physically and psychologically
  • All participation is equally valued and nobody is valued, everyone feels validated and empowered
  • Improved well-being and lowers depressive tendencies
  • Creates a new balanced community of caregivers and the individual living with dementia
  • No wrong answer with the space to explore and play with innovative ideas

The ‘Meet Me at MOMA’ programme has now become a nationwide initiative which is currently been developed in multiple settings from museums and galleries to hospitals and assisted living facilities. In the UK today this model is now addressed in multiple galleries, improving the lives of many people living with dementia.

If you would like to read the full article, the full reference is: http://www.moma.org/docs/meetme/Resources_NYU_Evaluation.pdf

Arts and Health, An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, Volume 1, Issue 1, March 2009