Opening Doors to Memory and Imagination: Creating a Museum Program for People with Memory Loss is a 97-page manual available free of charge. Compiled by Jane Tygesson, it offers museums and cultural institutions a road map for launching programs for families with memory loss. Small, large, rural, urban — any museum or cultural institution can open their doors to serve those with memory loss and their caregivers.
Download the manual by clicking on the graphic below. Additional resources that have been curated since the manual was published are also listed below.
- Reports and case studies from successful programs at Midwestern museums
- Step-by-step guide on creating a new program at little or no cost to your museum
- Materials for training docents and volunteers
- Sample tour topics, communication tips, promotional materials, and evaluation tools.
Since the publication of Opening Doors to Memory and Imagination, Jane Tygesson has continued to curate and collect additional resources that are helpful to individuals working with this population. You’ll find them itemized below.
1. How to Listen + Communicate Effectively
- Listening: Read tips on how to be an active listener, unlocking the door to the mind of an individual with memory loss by truly listening to what they have to say, even when they are not using words. [Download]
- Non-Verbal Communication: Read how to work effectively with a non-verbal individual, by looking beyond words to what you can see about a person. [Download]
- Asking Questions: Read how to encourage individuals to talk about their feelings with open ended questions and leading statements. [Download]
2. Positive Effects of the Arts on Participants + Grant Language
- Funding: Read tips on how to identify and nurture possible donors. Grant writing can be a challenge; what is the right language to use? Laura D’Amato from the Racine Art Museum shares insights. [Download]
- Effects: Read insights on how arts experiences benefit the whole person. This is appropriate language for use in a grant. [Download]
- Impact: Read an NEA research article, “The Arts and Aging — Building the Science,” that reviews the impact of arts programming on seniors. [Download]
3. How to Create Effective Hands-On Art + Poetry Experiences
- Art Making: See resource from SPARK! on how to deliver a hands-on art experience, with examples of tried and true art projects. [Download]
- Poetry Making: See resource from The Alzheimer’s Poetry Project on how to build a poetry program. [Download]
- Implementation: See resource from Art ala Carte, “What Does Success Look Like?” with a checklist on who does what from the viewpoint of an artist and facility when planning an arts experience. [Download]