Creative Spirit Symposium 2015 at the Michener Art Museum Will Explore Intersection of the Arts, Individuals, and Dementia

Creative Spirit Symposium 2015 at the Michener Art Museum Will Explore Intersection of the Arts, Individuals, and Dementia


DOYLESTOWN, PA – On Wednesday, November 4, 2015, from 1 to 4 pm, the James A. Michener Art Museum will host its 2015 Creative Spirit Symposium: “Where the Arts, Individuals, and Dementia Meet.” The program, which will be held in the Museum’s Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion, will spotlight the intersection of arts-centered experiences with the experiences of dementia, and will address how the arts can provide meaningful, stimulating, and enjoyable respite for people living with Alzheimer’s disease as well as their caregivers. Open to the public, the program is free with paid admission to the Museum.

The keynote speaker for “Where the Arts, Individuals, and Dementia Meet” will be Peter Whitehouse, MD, Ph.D., a professor of neurology and a founding member of the Department of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University. Panelists will include Susan Brown, textile designer and artist; Dr. Florence Gelo, pastoral counselor, psychoanalyst and associate professor in the Department of Family, Community & Preventive Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine; Kevin Jameson, founder and president of the Dementia Society of America; Rea Tajiri, award-winning filmmaker and 2016 Pew Fellow in the Arts; and Laura Zeisler, licensed clinical social worker and registered art therapist and assistant professor of art therapy at Cedar Crest College. The 2015 program is a collaboration between the James A. Michener Art Museum and ARTZ Philadelphia.

Launched in 2003 by the Michener Art Museum, the annual Creative Spirit Symposium invites artists with physical and cognitive impairments to connect with audiences to share their experiences of living and creating art. The program was designed as an educational outreach effort to increase awareness and museum accessibility for artists living with impairments. Each year’s program includes lively audience participation and representation of the various resources available for the broad community of artists and caregivers.

The theme for this year’s Creative Spirit Symposium was inspired by the Michener Art Museum’s Art for All program, piloted in 2015 and supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Merck and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation. The Art for All program provides gallery-based art appreciation experiences for individuals living with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s. Specially trained staff, docents, and volunteers have welcomed groups from four local care facilities for a series of gallery programs inspiring lively conversations. Future Art for All programs will also include studio-based art-making programs.


About The James A. Michener Art Museum

The James A. Michener Art Museum collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits American art, and promotes the work of nationally and internationally known Delaware Valley artists of all eras and creative disciplines. The museum presents exhibitions that explore a variety of artistic expressions and offers diverse educational programs that develop a lifelong involvement in the arts. The James A. Michener Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, PA. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm; Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday noon – 5:00 pm. For more information, visit or call 215.340.9800.




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