Meet Me @ the BBAC

AGING IS INEVITABLE.  LOSS OF CREATIVITY IS NOT.

Art-looking & art-making program for individuals living with Alzheimer’s

The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center’s Meet Me @ the BBAC is designed to provide an expressive outlet and dialogue forum for individuals living with early and mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease along with their caregivers. (Click here for a newsletter story from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.)

 

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Meet Me is all about art-looking & art-making experiences for people who have early & mid-stage Alzheimer’s & dementia (along with their caregivers). The sessions are an opportunity to view & create art with no barriers in a safe environment that encourages dialogue & creativity. There are no wrong answers & no art experience is needed!

The BBAC works with care organizations and residential groups that benefit individuals with Alzheimer’s.  Fees are determined on a sliding scale.  Interested organizations and groups can contact Susan Owens (248.644.0866×128 or SusanOwens@BBArtCenter.org).

There is also a public component of Meet Me @ the BBAC available typically twice per month. The cost for both participant and their caregiver is $10 total.  Pre-registration is required; contact the Alzheimer’s Association/Michigan Chapter via their 24/7 Helpline, 800.272.3900. 

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The initiative, an interactive program that combines art-looking and art-making, is based on the highly successful Meet Me at MoMA program, developed by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2006 and funded in part by the Met Life Foundation.  The program was originally designed to be held in museums, and MoMA staff have trained personnel in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia.  In 2013, the BBAC held two days of training for staff and volunteers with a member of the MoMA staff.

The BBAC program is one of the first of its kind to use an art education venue as the setting, offering an opportunity to view and create art with no barriers in a safe environment that encourages dialogue and creativity.  The process is meant to inspire creative mind functioning as well as bolstering self-esteem, which also benefits the patient/caregiver relationship.

Meet Me @ the BBAC is a creative platform for positive social engagement and self-expression, recognizing strengths and talents that still exist in individuals with Alzheimer’s, despite the limitations of the disease. 

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In a typical Meet Me session, one or two pieces of art from a current BBAC exhibition will be selected for the art-looking portion, discussion with guidance to encourage involvement and reflection.  Participants then move to a fully-equipped studio for the art-making, with a hands-on project that relates to the session’s artwork.  Everyone leaves with their completed project.  Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Meet Me art selections are based on what is likely to inspire the most reactions and create lively discussions.  Because BBAC exhibits change five times a year, and with four distinct gallery spaces, there is an abundance of subject matter.

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Initial funders of Meet Me @ the BBAC include The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Edelweiss Foundation along with several private donors.