Art in the Moment is designed to create opportunities for interaction, encourage conversation, and provide constructive ways to engage. It is intended to be used collaboratively between people who have cognitive disabilities and those they spend their time with, but it can be enjoyed by all. The questions posed and information offered are meant to be just a stating point for extended conversation.
By viewing and discussing well-known pieces of art followed by related hands-on, art making activity, older adults with cognitive disabilities, their caregivers and friends can actively participate together in a mutually fulfilling experience. Art in the Moment will use observing, discussion, and making art as an alternative way for people to communicate, reminisce, and reflect on their life experiences while enjoying themselves in the present moment.
Art directly engages the imagination and original thoughts of viewers and thus focuses on capabilities and strengths not directly impacted by one's age or ability to remember certain events. Art has also been shown to help people with dementia access long-term memories and to become fully engaged in the present moment. This program is based on research findings from similar programs and evaluation of the Art in the Moment program in Chicago by the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute.