The Maier Museum of Art
at Randolph College

Arts Fusion

COVID-19 UPDATE: All in-person programs are suspended until further notice. 

“When I enter the museum it is like I leave the disease outside. I don’t have to worry about what I say or can’t say; I am with others who understand, so our time is spent looking, talking, and laughing about the art. I am always in a better frame of mind after these programs.”

The Maier has partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association of Central and Western Virginia since 2012 to offer the Arts Fusion program. Arts Fusion engages adults with early stages of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, along with their caregivers, in art viewing and conversation sessions at the Museum. Each docent-led session is designed to provide a welcoming space to talk about the artworks on view with a small group. Simple, hands-on art activities and multi-sensory tour components related to the session themes are also included.

Museum programs that make art accessible to people with dementia were pioneered by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in 2006. Since then MOMA has provided extensive resources and training to assist museums with creating similar programs.

The museum setting is an ideal environment for both art-looking and art-making experiences for this population. Research shows that facilitated conversations about works of art helps participants to trigger long-term memories and access personal experiences, reduce stress and elevate mood, experience intellectual stimulation, spark imagination, and encourage positive social interactions. This program gives a voice to people with dementia who often feel isolated as barriers to communication increase when the disorder progresses.

Arts Fusion is offered at the Maier Museum of Art on the second Thursdays of the month from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. 

Registration is required.

For questions, contact:
Laura McManus, Curator of Education
(434) 947-8136, ext. 5

Check out this Lynchburg Living article, “Sparking Imagination” from September 2018 about the Maier’s Arts Fusions Program!

Hear from some of the Maier’s Arts Fusion participants: