Elizabeth “Like” Lokon, MGS, PhD, Founder/Director of Opening Minds through Art (OMA), Scripps Gerontology Center
Cindy Paulin, Executive Director for Art for the Journey (AFJ)
Amy Skeels, third-year medical student at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MUCOM)
Kathryn Bender, Recreationist, Trinity Village Care Centre in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Chloé Bradwell, Drama Practitioner, PhD Candidate at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom
Meghan Young, MGS, Associate Director of Opening Minds through Art (OMA), Scripps Gerontology Center
Five organizations responded to the challenge created by the pandemic: How to maintain intergenerational connections around the arts when in-person visits are not possible? Three programs went virtual and two programs did not. All five programs are rooted in person-centered philosophy, yet distinct from one another. They address the older adults’ needs for social and creative engagement while providing students with opportunities to develop communication skills and to build relationships with older adults, with and without dementia, outside their own families.
Presenters include faculty members, a recreationist, a visual artist, and students, representing universities, a non-profit arts organization, and retirement communities in three countries, the USA, Canada, and the UK.
The goal of this workshop is to inspire attendees to think outside the box and consider limitations imposed by the pandemic as opportunities to diversify offerings. Videos, example artistic creations, research findings, and tools for replication will be shared.
Elizabeth “Like” Lokon, MGS, PhD is the Founder/Director of Opening Minds through Art (OMA), a Scripps Gerontology Center’s intergenerational art-making program for people living with dementia based at Miami University in Ohio. OMA has been replicated in 200 locations throughout North America and the world. In response to the pandemic, Dr. Lokon designed intergenerational creative engagement courses for Miami University students to maintain virtual connections with older adults. Initial evaluations show that these courses have impact comparable to her in-person courses. As an artist, gerontologist, and educator, she frequently speaks on the intersection of the arts, dementia, and intergenerational service learning and has published in these areas. She has presented her work in North America, Europe and Asia. She is also a fiber artist.
Cindy Paulin is Executive Director for Art for the Journey (AFJ), a Virginia based non-profit organization with a mission to overcome barriers and transform lives through art. AFJ provides programs designed to promote the well-being of children, adults, and older adults through creative expression with a special focus on marginalized populations. She is a practicing artist experiencing art to be a mindful retreat. Cindy is a certified facilitator of Opening Minds through Art (OMA), and maintains a partnership with Miami University, OH to train and certify others to facilitate the OMA program. Cindy continues to nurture relationships with the local community, universities, corporations and individuals to inspire continued research and development of non-pharmacological practices and programs in arts and healing.
Amy Skeels is a third-year medical student at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MUCOM) in Indianapolis, IN. For the past year and a half, she has collaborated with peers and the Opening Minds through Art program in Oxford, OH to begin the OMA programming at a local retirement community. As a continuation of her undergraduate involvement as an OMA leader, Amy has enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with elders, both in-person and virtually, and encourage creativity in elders and volunteers. She has enjoyed the opportunity to provide this unique connection to medical students in their first two years when there are limited opportunities to interact with this population.
Kathryn Bender has been a Recreationist at Trinity Village Care Centre in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada for 36 years. She graduated from Conestoga College, Health Care Aide and Gerontology Multi-Discipline program. She was certified as an Opening Minds through Art (OMA) facilitator in 2015 and has since partnered with Eastwood and Forest Heights Collegiates to implement the intergenerational art program. Her “Ageing Dialogues” exhibition of 42 OMA artwork by Trinity’s residents at the Museum in Kitchener won the acknowledgement at Queens Park municipal parliament by MPP, Daiene Vernile. In 2016 Kathryn received the Canada 150 Sesqui Centennial Award of Recognition. In response to the pandemic, Kathryn created Poetic Art Books, combining artwork by students at the Forest Heights Collegiate with imaginative words of Trinity residents.
Chloé Bradwell is a drama practitioner and current PhD candidate at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. She uses creative storytelling, movements and visual arts to collaborate with people living with dementia and facilitate relationship with their local community. Chloé has held the positions of activity manager and research associate in care homes and continues working as a freelance Drama Practitioner in dementia care. Chloé is currently collaborating with Entelechy arts, a participatory arts company based in London, to find creative ways to keep interacting with extremely isolated care home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meghan Young, MGS is the Associate Director of Opening Minds through Art (OMA) at the Scripps Gerontology Center. Her career in the field of aging and the arts began in a service-learning class during her first year at Miami University in Ohio when she facilitated story telling experiences for older adults living with dementia in nursing homes. Since then, Meghan has worked on research projects dedicated to making communities more age- and dementia-friendly, instructed virtual, intergenerational service-learning courses, and assisted long-term care providers with implementing arts-based activities for their residents. She believes everyone, regardless of age or ability, has a story to tell and art is the best way to share it.
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Innovative Intergenerational Arts Programming in Response to the Pandemic: Five Programs in Three Countries
60 minutes / FREE