Art-Making Workshops at MoMA

Organization Associated with Program
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
New York, New York 10019

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City offers art-making programs using the visual arts for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders and their caregivers, both onsite in the studio classrooms and offsite at care facilities in all five boroughs of New York. Meet Me at MoMA is a core component of this strategy and incorporates classes in art-making and art history. All MoMA art-making programs, including Meet Me, are led by a professional teaching artist or museum educator.

Program History

The Museum of Modern Art is committed to enabling all visitors to experience its unparalleled collection of modern and contemporary art. MoMA recognizes the diversity of the general public’s abilities and needs and offers a variety of programs and services to ensure the accessibility of the museum and its collection. The museum strives to provide the most inclusive environment for every visitor. Through MoMA’s Access Programs, each year the museum serves over 10,000 individuals who live with physical, learning, emotional, behavioral, or developmental disabilities, or who are partially sighted, blind, hard of hearing, or deaf. Because of the large (and exponentially increasing) number of people affected by Alzheimer's disease, MoMA decided to develop special programming targeting this audience in greater depth, further enhancing the museum’s programming for older adults. The MoMA model has been replicated in museums and healthcare facilities across the world.

Program Research and Key Findings

MoMA is interested in measuring how its programs affect people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. In 2008, MoMA and the New York University Center of Excellence for Brain Aging and Dementia completed a groundbreaking evaluative study of Meet Me at MoMA. Researchers used quantitative and qualitative measures to assess the change in quality of life, mood, and level of engagement in activity of people with Alzheimer's disease and their family members. Results include several statistically significant findings that show improved mood for both people with Alzheimer's and caregivers and indicate that there can be many benefits associated with programs for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

Workshops are evaluated by staff using surveys, focus groups, photos, and attendance records.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

For suggestions on how to develop and implement an arts engagement program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders at a care organization or a museum, visit MoMA’s website.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Exhibiting Artwork, Viewing Artwork, Participate in a Workshop
Arts Discipline: Visual Arts
Target Audience: Caregivers - Family, Caregivers - Professional, Frail Older Adults, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Adaptive Program Design Mobility Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities
Program Setting: Arts Organization, Assisted Living, Healthcare - Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
Program Service Area: Urban
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice