Dementia, Diversity and the Arts

Wednesday 27 Jan 2021 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Two elderly South Asian ladies arm in arm

Dementia, Diversity and the Arts

Wednesday 27 January

Zoom webinar & online roundtable discussions

*** Recording of event coming soon ***

This special event celebrated the important role of art and creativity in the lives of people living with dementia. We explored how art can help those living with dementia communicate and connect, and enhance mental health and emotional wellbeing. There was a strong focus on diversity, opening a dialogue on how art, theatre and music can help people live well with dementia, personalise support, and reach underrepresented communities.

Guest speakers shared their experiences, followed by roundtable discussions for attendees to collaboratively explore themes raised in the presentations, share their learning and discuss examples of good practice. 

This was a partnership event organised by Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends Programme.

Presentations by key speakers

Guest speakers shared their experiences of Dementia, Diversity and the Arts.

A picture of Ronald Amaze, who will be talking at our event Dementia, Diversity and the Arts    

Welcome and Introductions – Mike Clarke, Alzheimer’s Society and Independent Age
Mike Clarke from the Alzheimer’s Society and Independent Age opens the event, introduced the speakers and talks about his role in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

The Arts, Education & Dementia: Time to Get Creative – Dr Mary Kennedy, University of Essex
Dr Mary Kennedy from the School of Health & Social Care at the University of Essex talked about changing the way we think about dementia and influencing the practitioners of the future.

From The Garden to Love Unspoken – Arti Prashar
Artist, director and producer Arti Prashar talked about her journey of developing multi-sensory shows for diverse communities living with dementia and how they responded to them, and her joy of finally connecting with South Asian communities living with dementia.

Making a New Language: Dementia, Music and Me – Ronald Amanze
Ronald Amanze, Poet, musician and ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Voices, talked about how music and culture can widen the conversation on dementia, and how it can help you live well with dementia.

PART TWO 2.00-3.00pm
Roundtable discussions: a collaborative enquiry

Using the presentations in Part One as a springboard for discussion, online roundtable sessions provided an opportunity for attendees to explore themes raised in the presentations, network with each other, and share their learning and examples of good practice.

Roundtable discussions were hosted by friends and partners of ECDP and Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends Programme, including:

    • Shuhala Abbas, Dementia Support Worker, Redbridge South Asian Services
    • Essex-based author Sade Fadipe
    • Penny Hodgkinson and Marty Jacobs from the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Essex
    • Mark Neville, Essex Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator (North East & West Essex), Alzheimer’s Society
    • Pradip Mistry, Chair of Thurrock Dementia Action Alliance / international speaker, writer and new lifestyle coach
    • Christian Nweke, Harlow Dementia Action Alliance, and Dementia Ward Princess Alexander Hospital
    • Ian Wilson, Dementia Activities Coordinator, NetPark Wellbeing, Metal & Southend Borough Council Mental Health Project


We wanted to bring together a wide variety of those interested in dementia, diversity and the Arts to enable a broad discussion. This event was especially for representatives of BAME and diverse communities in Essex; artists and arts organisations who work with, or want to work with, those living with dementia, their carers and communities; professionals and service providers who want to champion arts and/or diversity.


Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends Programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. For this event, Dementia Friends have teamed up with the Essex Cultural Diversity Project to particularly engage with the less represented members of our communities to bring the message across, build bridges and strengthen relationships in order to work together, co-designing future services that are culturally appropriate to meet the needs of our Black Asian Minority Ethnic communities.


Essex Cultural Diversity Project vision is to energise cultural diversity in arts and heritage, in Essex and beyond. We aim to stimulate participation and provide a focal point for the development, celebration and co-ordination of cultural diversity through arts and heritage activity. This event will mark the start of a long-term partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends Programme, as part of our focus on health, diversity and the arts.

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