Make Moments is an Auckland-based programme that works to connect and engage older people, and people living with dementia, with the rich and diverse art and cultural opportunities Auckland has to offer. Connect the Dots’ trained and passionate arts educators deliver facilitated art tours and art making workshops at local arts venues.
The discussions and supported art making engage participants in intellectual stimulation, cultural engagement and social interaction. This project aims to make connections between Auckland’s public galleries and organisations that support the needs of elderly members of the communities, particularly organisations working with people with dementia.
These popular tours lead the participants in a relaxed and gentle conversation based on the observation, interpretation and personal connection to the work. For the art making workshops, the participants take the ideas from the discussion and use them as stimulus to create art work that is meaningful to them. All Make Moments programmes include a home-made morning or afternoon tea!
Academic research shows that engaging in arts discussion and art making can provide older people, and people living with dementia, tangible benefits. To be active and involved in the local community not only provides an opportunity for social connection, intellectual stimulation and personal expression, but also works to increase feelings of self-worth.
When particpants arrive they are made to feel welcome and comfortable in the space. They will engage in a facilitated discussion lead by experienced and trained Connect the Dots educators, experience art making, and then relax at a social morning or afternoon tea. Whilst we will be reflecting on the themes and concepts in the selected artworks, a key focus for this programme is personal connection and the sharing of ideas.
Participants take the time to understand the work and its materials through close observation, and touch where possible.
Together as a group, we put together a description of how the work looks and feels, taking time to consider the formal elements of the work, including colour, light, texture, line, shape and form.
Building on the descriptive elements of the work, with the addition of relevant conceptual and contextual information, participants share their own interpretation of the work and how the formal elements in the work support these ideas.
An equally significant part of the discussion is the support of the participants personal connection to the work. Gentle and inclusive discussion can lead participants to connect the work to an idea, event or memory personal to them. This part of the tour can be very rich and enhances social connection as participants share stories with one another.
We serve tea, coffee, and something delicious after the tour to contniue conversation and connection. Participants receive postcards from the tour which helps them reflect on their experiences after the session.
There is the opportunity to respond to the ideas in the works with scaffolded art making workshops. Participants are encouraged to be creative, in a safe and informal space, regardless of their skill level, using a range of art media and techniques.