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Past Conference
Saturday, April 9th, 2016 10am to 1:30pm

DEMENTIA ARTS CONFERENCE: Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care- A Day of Learning

The New Mexico History Museum joins the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project to share techniques for reaching people with memory illnesses through dance, literature, song and performance on Saturday, April 9th, 2016 from 10 am to 1:30 pm, New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Avenue Santa Fe, NM 87501. Registration fee of $25 includes continental breakfast. Continuing Education Units will be available.

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For more information call 505-577-2250


2016 Conference

Workshops are:

Easy-to-implement ideas and methods to help you learn to bring creativity to the lives of older adults and to your own life.

Opening remarks by Myles Copeland, Cabinet Secretary, Aging and Long -Term Services Department.

Gary Glazner founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project will highlight innovative arts interventions for people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia. Glazner will give examples from his book Dementia Arts: Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care, published by Health Professionals Press, 2014.

Guest artist Maria Genné will discuss her work with Kairos Alive! and the health benefits and research supporting participating in dance programs. In addition, we will discuss with Alysha Shaw, Ruth Dennis and Jytte Lokvig how to create songs and visual artwork with people living with memory loss respectively.

The conference attendees will then help to create and participate in a group performance on the theme of dance and movement. The creation and performance will allow the conference attendees to experience and put into practice what they have learned from the workshop leaders’ talks.

In the afternoon Genné will lead an Intergenerational Dance Hall™ with musicians from the Lifesongs program. In addition, Ruth Dennis and Jytte Lokvig will guide participants in the creation of a mural in response to the dance.

Genné’s Intergenerational Dance Hall™ revives the notion of dance halls as a community intersection of artistic, physical and social involvement designed for all ages and abilities, with elders at its heart. The events feature live music performed by professional musicians, and participatory dance, story and theatre to promote arts participation, health education and personal and community well-being.

Along with dancing during the Intergenerational Dance Hall™ participants will have an opportunity to create visual art in response to the dance.

Special Guest Artist:

Maria Genné, founder of Kairos Alive!

Genné is a dancer, choreographer and educator, recognized as a pioneering leader in the intergenerational interactive participatory performing arts, and arts and health fields. Her national award winning work to create interactive dance, music and story programs for intergenerational participants is designed to tap into the artistry and creativity of older adults and invite them to be central collaborators in the artistic process of dance, music and storytelling.

In 1999, noted dancer, choreographer, and artistic director Maria Genné founded Kairos Dance Theatre, now Kairos Alive!, the first intergenerational modern dance company in the Twin Cities and one of a handful in the country. Since then the vision and scope of Kairos has grown exponentially.

As pioneers in participatory art and the creative arts and aging movement, we challenge the status quo and seek innovative ways to enrich the lives of participants and create vibrant communities. Our research-based, award winning arts programs actively engage older adults through the artistic expression of dance, music, and story participation led by professional artists.

Intergenerational Dance Hall™ – a revival of the dance hall as the community intersection of artistic, physical and social involvement – designed for all ages and abilities (ages 1-101), with elders at the center. These intergenerational, intercultural events feature live music performed by professional musicians, and participatory dance, story and theatre – intended to promote arts participation, health education and personal and community well-being.

These Intergenerational Dance Halls™ build upon the Kairos Alive! Dancing Heart™ program, and provide opportunities for people ages 1-101 to share their creativity – no matter their abilities – with their peers, families and friends in an inclusive and lively event with live music, dancing and storytelling. They are designed as a creative collaboration between participants and professional artists where the boundaries between performer and audience are dissolved.

Keynote Performance Event will be led by:

  • Gary Glazner, Founder of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, An inspired—and inspiring—poet and author, Glazner produced the first National Poetry Slam in San Francisco in 1990. Honored with the 2013 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer ’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Award, the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project forms the backbone of Glazner’s new book, Dementia Arts: Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care (Health Professional Press).
  • Alysha Shaw, program coordinator of the Santa Fe-based Lifesongs shows how the project helps people in nursing homes and hospice create original and enlightening music. Shaw is an interdisciplinary artist, musician and community organizer who has studied and worked with performance, music, video, interactive arts, sculpture and writing. Lifesongs is a program of the Academy for the Love of Learning and Littleglobe.

Ruth Dennis, recreational director of Sierra Vista, and Jytte Lokvig of the Alzheimer’s Creativity Project lead a hands-on art-making workshop. Dennis is a professional sculptor and painter whose programs helped Sierra Vista become one of the most respected assisted living facilities in New Mexico. Lokvig founded the nation’s first Alzheimer’s Café in Santa Fe to offer creativity and socialization for people with dementia, caregivers, family and friends.

Helping to offer this conference are these partnering organizations: the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter; Alzheimer’s Café; Alzheimer’s Poetry Project; Kairos Alive!™; Institute of Dementia Education & Art; Lifesongs℠; Santa Fe Cares; Santa Fe Opera; Sierra Vista; New Mexico History Museum; and New Mexico Literary Arts.

Partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission; Santa Fe Community Foundation; McCune Foundation; New Mexico Arts, Pabst Charitable Foundation for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.