Resource Bank: Dementia and the Arts

To accompany our Dementia, Diversity and the Arts event, here is a list of useful links, case studies and projects by artists and art organisations working with people living with dementia. 

Alzheimer’s Society Blog: Spotlight on Dementia and the Arts

Alzheimer’s Society takes a look at the link between dementia and the arts, with some examples from our supporters around the UK. With examples of film, theatre, music and photography.

Spare Tyre Theatre – Arti Prashar’s Love Unspoken

Love Unspoken is the final in a trilogy conceived and directed by Artistic Director Arti Prashar, developed in collaboration with people living with dementias from South Asian communities. The show explores the theme of love in its many forms and includes ritual, dance and sound respecting those participating and treating them as an equal partner in the live theatre experience.

Ronald Amanze talks to Alzheimer’s Society about music and dementia

In this article, Ronald Amanze talks about ‘Making a new language’: How music and culture can widen the conversation on dementia

Metal – NetPark Wellbeing: Dementia Groups

Metal in Southend run ongoing traditional art classes for people living with dementia, providing two hours respite for carers. They use iPads to show photographs or memories which the participants draw, sketch or paint. These popular sessions have been running since 2016. All of the staff are trained as Dementia Friends and their newest app, Garden of Remember, was created by their Dementia Drop-in service users.

Disability Arts Online (DAO)

DAO is an organisation led by disabled people, set up to advance disability arts and culture through the pages of their journal. Their raison d’être is to support disabled artists, as much as anything by getting the word out about the fantastic art being produced by artists within the sector. They give disabled artists a platform to blog and share thoughts and images describing artistic practice, projects and just the daily stuff of finding inspiration to be creative. DAO has many articles and features regarding dementia and the Arts, so well worth a look.

Arts 4 Dementia

Arts 4 Dementia believes that people living with dementia and their carers have the right to enjoy life to the full. Participating in arts activity, rekindling and learning new artistic skills enables them to bypass dementia symptoms and enjoy new creative experiences together. We develop arts programmes to empower, re-energise and inspire people with early-stage dementia and carers through challenging artistic stimulation, to help them live better for longer in their own homes. Our signposting website lists local arts events for people living with dementia in the community and dementia-friendly arts venues, serving both those looking for stimulation and providers. Our early stage and dementia awareness training for arts facilitators enables them to deliver effective workshops.
A4D focuses on what people can achieve, often much more than they imagine.

Engage: Dementia inclusive galleries training

This one-day training event was developed in partnership by Luminate and Engage Scotland to provide an overview to being dementia aware and making your venue space, staff and programmes dementia inclusive. This archived page includes links to the speakers and their presentations, including Newcastle University’s Dementia and Imagination project, National Gallery of Scotland’s and events for visitors with specific access needs, including their dementia-friendly workshops, dementia friendly projects at Capital Theatres, and An Talla Solais’s Dolphin Arts Project, a creative engagement programme for older people, carers and people living with dementia based in Ullapool.

Royal Academy – InMind: Art, coffee and conversation

For several years Royal Academy have run an ongoing event called InMind: Art, coffee and conversation sessions for individuals living with early to mid-stages of dementia and their carers, friends and family members. The session comprise a hot beverage alongside an in-depth discussion and exploration of artworks from the RA Collection, supported by the use of multisensory objects relating to the work.

Generate – Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth: inclusive arts workshop for people with dementia

Generate emerged from a research project with the University of Portsmouth which aimed to explore how visual arts workshops could benefit the lives of people with dementia. The sessions provide a comfortable environment for participants to learn new arts and crafts skills, supported by artists Roy Eneas and Abi Wheeler, whilst enjoying a weekly sociable activity. Since it’s creation in 2015, the group have produced four exhibitions at Aspex.

House of Memories: National Museums Liverpool 

House of Memories is a museum-led dementia awareness programme which offers training, access to resources, and museum-based activities to enable carers to provide person-centred care for people living with dementia. Museums are experts at recording and caring for people’s memories. Using our experience in reminiscence work, as well as access to museum objects, House of Memories’ unique and innovative training and resources support carers to creatively share memories with the people living with dementia that they are caring for. The award-winning House of Memories dementia awareness programme was created by National Museums Liverpool.