Unlocking Memories

Anyone who has had a family member stricken by Alzheimer's disease knows the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that arise both within the loved one with Alzeheimer's and those family members watching the person they once knew slowly disappear. As we continue to find ways of extending life, we often neglect extending quality of living in our effort to support the medical treatments. A non-profit organization, ARTZ, has directed its energies toward the goal of extending quality of living by engaging patients with dementia and their family members in activly connecting in the arts, through music, visual arts, and cinema. Unlike short-term memory, often the long-term memories of a painting, an old movie, or a song remain intact and can be source of interaction and connection for a person with Alzheimer's disease and their loved ones. A recent article in the Boston Globe, Memories Unlocked, highlights the local initiatives of ARTZ. I am pleased to support initiatives that recognize supporting and increasing quality of life is as important as supporting and increasing quantity of life.

I welcome your thoughts and comments about this topic.

The Arts of Compassion: Perspectives on Arts and Health

A reminder about an interesting upcoming symposium in the Boston area, on Saturday, October 2, which promises to be a very special gathering of experts, leaders and visionaries in the field of arts and health care. The event is open to the general public and will be followed by a concert by the Longwood Symphony -- an orchestra composed of health care practitioners. Here is a press release about The Arts of Compassion: Perspectives on Arts and Health:

"A year ago, a remarkable group of engaged, curious and committed individuals who share an interest in the role of the arts in health care began to meet to share ideas and inspiration. Each month, the group, including Longwood Symphony Orchestra, gathered to hear a presentation about the remarkable work being done by one of its member organizations.

BACH: Boston Arts Consortium for Health now invites you to join us, to learn more about the remarkable breadth and depth of the field of arts and health care here in the greater Boston community.

Join us as we learn about Whittier Street Health Center's Expressive Arts Therapy program; Artists for Alzheimer's work with people living with Alzheimer's, Longwood Symphony's LSO on Call program, The Healing Empowerment Center, and much more.

During the midday break, participants are invited to learn about integrative medicine from practitioners at the Mobile Clinic from the Integrative Medicine Alliance.

The Arts of Compassion will be held from 9:00am-5:00pm at the David Friend Recital Hall at Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston Street, Boston. The conference is open to the public, and the registration fee of $35 includes materials and lunch. Online registration for the symposium is available through the Longwood Symphony Orchestra's website

Participants are invited to attend the Longwood Symphony Orchestra's opening season concert at a discounted rate of only $25. The concert is will be held at NEC's Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street at 8:00 pm. Go to www.longwoodsymphony.org and enter discount code SYMP"

Arts of Compassion

Mark your calendars! Arts of Compassion: Perspectives on Arts and Health is an upcoming symposium scheduled for Saturday, October 2, 2010 at the Berklee School of Music. The Longwood Symphony will also be performing after the symposium. The symposium is being sponsored by BACH (Boston Arts Consortium for Health). This promises to be a wonderful day of inspiring speakers and moving music!