Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

Dancing to remember

New Mexico History Museum

March 10, 2016


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 techniques focused on movement and dance to reach learners of all abilities. Join us on Saturday, April 9, from 10 am to 1:30 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 $25 includes a light breakfast. 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—caregivers, health care workers, librarians, museum staff, teaching artists, and the general public.

The day opens with a keynote talk on the benefits of dance and movement by special guest artist Maria Genné of the Minnesota-based dance troop Kairos Alive! Participants will join in a performance of poetry, music and song on the theme of dance. In the afternoon, Genné will lead an Intergenerational Dance Hall with musicians from Santa Fe’s Lifesongs program. Ruth Dennis and Jytte Lokvig will help participants create a mural responding to the dance.

Special guest artist:

Maria Genné, founder of Kairos Alive!

Genné is a dancer, choreographer, educator and pioneering leader in the intergenerational participatory performing arts. Her national award-winning work to create interactive dance, music and story programs taps into the artistry and creativity of older adults and invites them to be central collaborators in the artistic process of dance, music and storytelling.

In 1999, she founded Kairos Dance Theatre, now Kairos Alive, the first intergenerational modern dance company in the Twin Cities and one of a handful in the country. Since then the vision and scope of Kairos has grown exponentially.

“As pioneers in participatory art and the creative arts and aging movement, we challenge the status quo and seek innovative ways to enrich the lives of participants and create vibrant communities,” she said. “Our research-based, award-winning arts programs actively engage older adults through the artistic expression of dance, music, and story participation led by professional artists.”

Genné’s Intergenerational Dance Hall revives the notion of dance halls as community gatherings for artistic, physical and social involvement of all ages and abilities—with elders at its heart. The events feature live music performed by professional musicians and participatory dance, story and theatre to promote arts engagement, health education and personal and community well-being.

Other participant/leaders at the workshop include:

Helping to offer this conference are these partnering organizations: the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter; Alzheimer’s Café; Alzheimer’s Poetry Project; Kairos Alive!; Institute of Dementia Education & Art; Lifesongs; Santa Fe Opera; New Mexico History Museum; and New Mexico Literary Arts.

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

Media contact:

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

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