Creative Aging Directory - Unforgettable Art Programs

Program Title
Unforgettable Art Programs
Program Summary

Unforgettable Arts Programs provide age-appropriate visual and auditory stimulation through the use of artwork, music, and poetry to older adults with memory loss and their caregivers in the greater Denver region. During one-hour classes, artwork and art-making is made available to older adults who seldom view art, many of whom live in senior residences, assisted living homes, and long-term care communities. Unforgettable Arts Programs are conducted on an ongoing basis at a variety of aging services facilities that serve an older demographic and are accessible to individuals living with disabilities.

Unforgettable Arts Programs integrate the Museum of Modern Art’s methodology in art viewing techniques for older people living with neurocognitive disorders resulting in memory loss and their caregivers and also offer training for other organizations and teaching artists who would like to utilize the methodology. The programs are professionally led by an experienced arts educator. Participants are engaged in the arts through conversation with and about great works of art, giving them opportunities for social engagement while reducing their isolation and contributing to their wellbeing and quality of life.

Program Background and History

Maureen Wells started running art appreciation programs in 1998, after she was inspired by experiences in her son’s elementary school classrooms. She went on to develop and expand art engagement activities in her work place (an adult day program) and other facilities serving older adults under the name Unforgettable Art Programs. The organization has developed strong partnerships with the Alzheimer’s Association, Denver area arts institutions, and retirement communities to help integrate the arts program throughout the community.

Program-Specific Research and Key Findings
Program-Specific Assessment and Evaluation

This program does not currently have evaluation processes in place.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

It is important to consider bringing the arts to the spaces where older adults live, as many do not have access to outside arts engagement experiences. 

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State (Main)
Phone-Phone (Main)
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Art Appreciation program

Arts Discipline
Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus
Viewing Artwork, Participate in a Class, Watch a Lecture/Demonstration
Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus Other
Interdisciplinary Connections
Creative engagement
Target Audience
Active Adults, Caregivers - Family, Caregivers - Professional, Frail Older Adults, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Adaptive Program Design
Hearing Disabilities, Visual Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities, Psychiatric Disabilities
Adaptive Program Design Other
Program Setting
Aging Organization (e.g. Senior Center), Arts Organization, Assisted Living, Community Center, Education (e.g. School / University), Healthcare - Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Library, House of Worship / Religious Center
Program Service Area / Geography
Suburban, Urban
Program Service Area / Geography Other

Greater Denver Colorado