Meet Me at MoMA

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

Meet Me at MoMA is the free, monthly program for individuals with memory loss and their family members or care partners offered by New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Meet Me at MoMA provides a forum for dialogue, as specially trained museum educators engage participants in the early and middle stages of memory loss in lively discussions by focusing in depth on iconic art from MoMA's collection and special exhibitions. This interactive gallery program takes place during hours when the museum is closed to the public, and preregistration is required.

Meet Me at MoMA started in 2006, and serves between 70 and 110 people a month. The museum's offerings for individuals with memory loss and their caregivers include by-request programs for groups coming from care organizations (such as assisted-living facilities, long-term care facilities, and adult day centers). These programs, which incorporate conversations and analyses of artworks and may include art-making components, can take place at the museum and/or offsite at the outside organization. MoMA has implemented multi-session art-making studio programs both in the museum's classroom spaces and offsite at care organizations.

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 its Access Programs, each year the museum serves over 10,000 individuals who have physical, learning, emotional, behavioral, or developmental disabilities, or who are partially sighted, blind, hard of hearing, or deaf. Because of the staggering number of people affected by Alzheimer's disease, MoMA decided to develop programming for this particular audience, further enhancing the museum’s programming for older adults.

Program Research and Key Findings

MoMA is interested in measuring how its programs affect people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. MoMA and the New York University Center of Excellence for Brain Aging and Dementia completed a groundbreaking evaluative study of Meet Me at MoMA in 2008. 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, including several statistically significant findings that show improved mood for both people with Alzheimer's disease and caregivers, indicate that there can be many benefits associated with programs for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

MoMA conducts multiple evaluations throughout the duration of the program through the use of interviews, attendance numbers, and press reviews. Evaluations are developed by staff and an outside independent evaluator.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

For suggestions on how to develop and implement an arts engagement program for people with memory loss 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
Arts Discipline: Museums, Visual Arts
Interdisciplinary Connections: Education
Target Audience: Caregivers - Family, Caregivers - Professional, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Adaptive Program Design Hearing Disabilities, Visual Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities
Program Setting: Adult Day Care, Aging Organization (e.g. Senior Center), Arts Organization, Assisted Living, Community Center, Healthcare - Long Term Care, Library
Program Service Area: Urban
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice