connect2culture

Organization Associated with Program
Alzheimer's Association, NYC Chapter
360 Lexington Ave, 4th floor
New York, New York 10017

The Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter’s cultural arts program connect2culture® provides a gathering point for cultural venues that provide dementia specific programs persons with dementia and their caregivers. Connect2culture offers access to programs initiated at the Chapter and to partner programs developed with prominent cultural institutions in the city. The Association trains museum educators to develop and launch programs for this unique population.

Program History

The Alzheimer’s Association was invited to develop training and act as a resource for educators at the Museum of Modern Art for the Meet Me at MoMA program.

Greet Art developed from that collaboration. Greet Art gave family and professional caregivers the “Meet Me” experience encouraging family and professional caregivers to use art as a communication tool in the museum environment as well as at home.  Greet Art became  popular with museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American Museum of Folk Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, The Rubin Museum, The Jewish Museum and The Studio Museum of Harlem.

We Sing! is a sing-a-long with live musical accompaniment held quarterly in English and Spanish at the Chapter for persons with dementia and their caregivers. Participants join trained singers to recall popular songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

We Sing and Dance! evolved from the We Sing! program adding an hour of dance led by Rhythm Break Cares, skilled ballroom dancers who have been trained in dementia care.

As the Chapter continued to train increasing numbers of educators from various institutions it became obvious that the Chapter could serve as a central point for the gathering of these professionals. The trainers from the Association’s Connect2culture® program support museum staff by sharing up-to-date information and best care practices for persons with dementia and their caregivers. Institutions are empowered to deliver optimal care to this population.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

This program is currently not evaluated due to the difficulty of conducting evaluations across many partners organizations. 

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs
  • Know your audience. Culturally sensitive and appropriate material varies with each group.
  • Have a clear understanding of dementia. Build on retained strengths.
  • Make the experience as normal as possible.
  • Keep it simple. Go with the flow.
Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Viewing Artwork, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop
Arts Discipline: Dance, Folk/Traditional Arts, Museums, Music, Visual Arts
Interdisciplinary Connections: Education, Volunteerism
Target Audience: Caregivers - Family, Caregivers - Professional
Adaptive Program Design Hearing Disabilities, Visual Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities
Program Setting: Arts Organization, Community Center
Program Service Area: Urban
Type of Practice: Promising Practices