Happening nearby: ECA announces 4th season of memory loss arts programming

memory loss ECA
Photo courtesy Edmonds Center for the Arts

The Edmonds Center for the Arts says it will continue in 2018 its Dementia-Inclusive Series — a line-up of creative and social enrichment programs designed to engage people living with memory loss and their loved ones.

Launched in 2015, the series has developed collaboratively with the feedback and support of senior services organizations, memory care professionals, and arts groups in the Puget Sound region.

From October 2018-May 2019, the Dementia-Inclusive Series includes two workshop series for individuals with memory loss and their care partners; a free arts engagement training for family and professional caregivers; and the return of ECA’s annual Golden Era Sing-Along.

“We have been overwhelmed by the community response to these programs over the past several years,” said Gillian Jones, ECA’s Director of Programming. “People living with memory loss and their caregivers can face obstacles in getting out to and enjoying traditional arts events. It’s been wonderful to hear that our participants feel more welcome — both at ECA, but also in their broader communities.”

Accessibility to low-income seniors is also a priority. Through ECA’s Arts for Everyone program, older adults with limited disposable incomes are invited to all dementia-inclusive programs, as well as ECA Saturday Matinees and Sunday Films, at only $2 per ticket.

The mission of ECA’s Dementia-Inclusive Series is to create opportunities for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and their care partners to connect and experience joy through the arts. ECA is committed to providing a space where people with memory loss feel welcome and valued; where their creative contributions are celebrated; and where quality time can be spent with care partners.

The 2018/19 Dementia-Inclusive Series opens with Kupuna Ukulele Time on Monday mornings from Oct. 8-29. Individuals with memory loss and care partners are invited to strum Hawaiian tunes, sing-along, and share stories, in a new program led by local artist Kalani Kahai’iali’i and Elderwise. Workshops offer a multi-cultural celebration of song, storytelling, and kupuna [elders]. Instruments will be provided, and no experience is necessary.

Another expanding area of the series are engagement, support and training opportunities for professional and family caregivers. Caregiving and the Arts: A Silver Kite Workshop (Feb. 5, 2019) is a free, interactive workshop led by Silver Kite Community Arts. With the goal to remove barriers to caregiver participation, this opportunity also invites those who are being cared for to attend.

Register for Kupuna Ukulele Time and other dementia-inclusive programs online at www.ec4arts.org, by phone at 425-275-9595, or in person at 410 4th Ave. N. (Arts for Everyone tickets available by phone or in person only.)

For more information about the Dementia-Inclusive Series, contact Gillian Jones, Director of Programming, at gillian@ec4arts.org or 425-275-9483.

ECA’s Dementia-Inclusive Series is made possible with the generous support of the Hazel Miller Foundation, ArtsWA, Community Foundation of Snohomish County, and the Anne & Mary Arts and Environmental Education Fund.

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