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"Building bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art."
Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an intergenerational art program for people with dementia. It is aimed at promoting their social engagement, autonomy, and dignity through the experience of creative self-expression. The program was founded in 2007 at Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University. It is grounded in "person-centered" ethics, and has a specific methodology that ensures failure-free creative experiences. There is a growing body of empirical evidence that creative expression improves the physical and psychological well-being of people with dementia.
The intergenerational weekly art program is implemented in group sessions: Up to about a dozen people with dementia do art with the assistance of trained staff members and university student volunteers who work with them on a one-to-one basis. The art-making sessions culminate in a gallery exhibition celebrating the artists’ accomplishments while educating the public about the creative capacities of people with dementia.