Resident Art Program

Organization Associated with Program
Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home
5425 Western Ave., NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20015

The Resident Art Program is an initiative of the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home in the District of Columbia. The program’s mission is to enhance the lives of older adults living in the home through a rich and varied curriculum in the visual arts. The primary focus is on promotion of creative engagement in later life by offering a full range of stimulating art activities. The program encourages even those who believe they have no artistic talent to participate, allowing each to enjoy the positive effects of creativity on the aging process while experiencing a greater sense of purpose and renewed vitality. The artistic growth and talents of the residents who participate have been both unexpected and quite amazing.

The Resident Art Program meets twice a month for nine to ten months; each session lasts a couple of hours, for a total of 20 hours. The program culminates in an art show and the sale of residents’ work. All art classes are led by volunteers and serve between 15 and 25 residents each year.
 

Program History

The mission of the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home is to provide extraordinary health and life care services to indigent and modest-income older adults of the District of Columbia, empowering them to live their lives to the fullest. The home’s family is committed to seeing the truth and beauty of growing older and believes that time and age need not be a gift of the past but a promise of a full and well-spent future.

The Resident Art Program was developed in 2007 by a former employee of the home. The concept was to engage the residents in artistic endeavors to expand on their life experiences. The program has led to partnerships with the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities, local restaurants where resident artwork is displayed, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Along with budding partnerships with local organizations, the Resident Art Program has also led to more positive press exposure for the home.
 

Program Assessments and Evaluations

The Resident Art Program is evaluated by staff and volunteers on an ongoing basis through the use of informal interviews, notes, and observation. This program has also been reviewed by the press on numerous occasions.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

Make sure your program develops organically, because if it becomes too structured participants lose interest.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Exhibiting Artwork, Viewing Artwork, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop
Arts Discipline: Design, Visual Arts
Interdisciplinary Connections: Design / Architecture / Built Environments, Volunteerism
Target Audience: Frail Older Adults, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Program Setting: Healthcare - Long Term Care
Program Service Area: Urban
Type of Practice: Promising Practices