“What was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself--lifehurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose?” Willa Cather, Song of the Lark
AFTA was founded in 1988 by renownedsculptor Lolo Sarnoff• NIA partnered on study• Nurses observed that people with Alzheimer’s disease who were involved in arts activities showed: – Better moods – Less agitation – Positive impacts lasted even after workshops finished
WHAT WE DO• Deliver personalized, high quality arts experiences• Facilitated by 12 trained teaching artists• Designed to minimize the effects of a range of physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges• Focusing on diverse communities of frail and vulnerable seniors.
SERVICE DELIVERY• In 16 day care centers, nursing homes and community centers throughout the D.C. metropolitan area• In Maryland - 8 (Montgomery County 5, Prince George’s County 3• In DC – 4• In Virginia – 4• At no charge to centers in needs of high-quality programs
National Endowment for the Arts Creativity and Aging Studywww.AFTAarts.org/newsroom Regular participation in professionally led arts programs can minimize the effects of age-related physical and cognitive impairments, and contribute to better physical, intellectual and emotional health.
Research shows benefits ofcreative activity on longevity and overall quality of life “Creative and mentally challenging activities can stimulate the growth of brain cells, boost the immune system, and ward off depression.” ~ GW Medicine and Health
PROGRAM GOALS• Increase morale and self-confidence• Improve levels of emotional comfort• Creative expression• Develop interpersonal relationships• Trigger reminiscence and sharing of life-stories
How to Keep Your Brain From Aging Wall Street JournalDoing everyday tasks in new ways, like writing with yournon-dominant hand, jogs the brainand can help prevent dementia
I always like to sew So I would cut outpatches of different color and put themtogether in squares And still I like to do it Now I am doing thething that I do not like to doand that is writing Elsie
The skills and perspectives gainedfrom being able to generate[creative and artistic] ideas, or from being better able to see and express beauty, may enable a caregiver or an activities director to better relate to and understand our elders and themselves. - Camilla Beck Art Therapist
MINKWhat we want is never simple. A mink coat would be nice, But I am old now,and there are not many places I could wear it. It was a nice dream.But we can dream, can’t we? Bertha
“The wonder of each person’s unique story continues to amaze me and reaffirm my own artistic journey… Sometimes when I go to a center, I’m initially overwhelmed by thelimitations of the setting and of the participants because of their handicaps. Always when I start to interact with the seniors, the power of our shared creative expression transforms all of us. We become more human, more whole.” Nancy Havlik (right) Choreographer, AFTA teaching artist