New Mexico History Museum

One-Day Workshop on Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care

September 08, 2014


From offering caregivers an hour of respite to discovering new wells of creativity, the acclaimed Alzheimer’s Poetry Project has spent the last decade developing techniques to reach people with memory illnesses through literature, performance, art and museum exhibits. Now you can learn these techniques from dynamic teachers with proven abilities to reach learners of all abilities. Join us on Saturday, October 25, from 9 am to 4 pm, when the New Mexico History Museum and the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project present “Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care: A Day of Learning.”

The workshop will be held at the History Museum, 113 Lincoln Avenue, on the Santa Fe Plaza. A registration fee of $35 includes a light breakfast and lunch. Continuing Education Units are available. To register, go to, or call (505) 577-2250. Seating is limited, so reserve a spot today.

Who should come? Anyone involved with improving the quality of life for older people is welcome—caregivers, health care workers, librarians, museum staff, teaching artists, and the general public. After a keynote event, participants will break into smaller groups where they can learn while doing in a series of sessions:

Gary Glazner, founder of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, leads “Dancing with Poetry,” combing music, movement and poetry. An inspired—and inspiring—poet and author, Glazner produced the first National Poetry Slam in San Francisco in 1990. Honored with the 2013 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer ’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Award, the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project forms the backbone of Glazner’s new book, Dementia Arts: Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care (Health Professional Press).

Jane Tygesson of Discover Your Story, a program at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, teaches ways to give vibrant museum tours to people living with memory loss. Tygesson wrote the manual Opening Doors to Memory & Imagination to help museums create programs that engage the senses and spark conversation among people with memory loss. Since 2008, Discover Your Story has brought more than 3,000 adults with memory loss into the museum.

Alysha Shaw, program coordinator of the Santa Fe-based Lifesongs, shows how the project helps people in nursing homes and hospice create original and enlightening music. Shaw is an interdisciplinary artist, musician and community organizer who has studied and worked with performance, music, video, interactive arts, sculpture and writing. Lifesongs is a program of the Academy for the Love of Learning and Littleglobe.

Ruth Dennis, social services director of Vista Living, and Jytte Lokvig of the Alzheimer’s Creativity Project lead a hands-on art-making workshop. Dennis is a professional sculptor and painter whose programs helped Sierra Vista become one of the most respected assisted living facilities in New Mexico. Lokvig founded the nation’s first Alzheimer’s Café in Santa Fe to offer creativity and socialization for people with dementia, caregivers, family and friends.

Poet Stuart Hall of Santa Fe will be the featured guest artist.

Helping us to offer this conference are these partnering organizations: the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter; Alzheimer’s Café; Alzheimer’s Poetry Project; Discover Your Story, Minneapolis Institute of Art; Institute of American Indian Arts, MFA Creative Writing Department; Institute of Dementia Education & Art; Lifesongs at the Academy for the Love of Learning; New Mexico Literary Arts; the Institute of American Indian Arts, Creative Writing Department; Southwestern College; and Vista Living Communities.

The conference is in support the New Mexico Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia State Plan, with the endorsement of the Office of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department, and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

Media contacts:

Gary Glazner, executive director, Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, (505) 577-2250,

Kate Nelson, Marketing Manager, New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors,                        

(505) 476-5019 and (505) 554-5722 (c),


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