Looking Together

Organization Associated with Program
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
1001 Bissonnet
Houston, Texas 77005

Looking Together is a program of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) for older visitors with neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and their care partners. It allows participants to engage with works of art in the museum’s collection in a meaningful way and gives them the opportunity to engage in conversation and think about something new to them. By taking part in the program, older adults and their caregivers can join and participate in a community of people who understand the unique experiences and challenges they may be going through.

Looking Together takes place for one hour the second Monday of each month, when the museum is closed to the general public. Independent care organizations come on different Mondays to enjoy private programs specifically designed for their groups. The museum’s free arts programming serves approximately 300 people on an annual basis. In addition, the museum offers guided tours for people who are blind or partially sighted, are deaf or hard of hearing, or have limited mobility.

Program History

Looking Together was launched in the Fall of 2008. This program is based on the Meet Me at MoMA program designed by New York’s Museum of Modern Art for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. It is made possible through a partnership between the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Alzheimer’s Association–Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter.

The MFAH is founded on one simple belief: art is for everyone. The mission of the Education Department is to offer the broader community programs, tours, resources, and materials that teach and engage adults, children, educators, and students in the world of art. The goal is to create experiences that embrace the importance of art and the museum, to position art and the museum as a meaningful part of a well-rounded life, and to work with partners who support the community through shared values and interests.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

The museum conducts informal program evaluations through the use of interviews and attendance records.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

Contact an organization that is already providing museum programming for people with Alzheimer's disease and figure out a way to replicate the model in a way that reflects the personality of your own museum and community.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Viewing Artwork, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop
Arts Discipline: Museums, Visual Arts
Target Audience: Caregivers - Family, Caregivers - Professional, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Program Setting: Arts Organization
Program Service Area: Suburban, Urban
Type of Practice: Promising Practices