Seattle is blessed to live in a region with Momentia—a grassroots movement empowering persons with memory loss and their loved ones to remain connected and active in the community.
We have so many programs available to us: Alzheimer’s Cafes, art classes, drum circles, gardening programs, circle dancing, zoo walks, song circles, poetry workshops, improv theatre, and more—a rich and vibrant tapestry of activities and support. How fortunate we are.
But the farther away you get from Seattle, the fewer you will find. One tends to forget what a revelation they can be for a community largely without them.
So it was in Yakima last week.
The Larson Gallery at the Seasons Performance Hall premiered an exhibit of artwork created by people living with memory loss.
With the support of the Washington State Arts Commission and Fieldstone Memory Care, we worked with five Yakima Senior Centers and senior living facilities to provide dementia inclusive art classes. Their delightful artwork was then scanned and digitized to create ten 3’x3’ murals.
The Opening Reception was last Friday. Would anyone come? At first, there was a just a small group, friends of the gallery, people both curious and supportive. Then artists began to arrive, accompanied by their families and caregivers. Then more, all eager to see the murals, to find the artwork they had created, to discover with wonder what they had created together.
We gave them a big round of applause—thanking them for sharing their creativity and love of life with us. I had forgotten what it is like to be with a group of people so rarely honored and recognized, to experience their pride and sense of accomplishment for the first time.
It is exciting. For all the hope unleashed. For all that we can do together.