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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Micro Grants stories: the Art Appreciation Program

Viviana Hamilton develops programs to engage people living with dementia (in the community) in a safe, enjoyable social environment at the regional gallery.

With her Arts OutWest Micro Grant she developed a weekly outreach program of laminated pictures of art with printed questions that facilitate conversation at home by both formal and informal care workers.

Viviana is based and works in the Orange/Blayney area.

What did you with the funds from your Arts OutWest Micro Grant?

“The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of an Art Appreciation Program designed for individuals with dementia living in the community of Orange.  The participants have been isolated at home for weeks and their care workers have mentioned to me that they miss their “little social group” of 10.

“I developed a second weekly Outreach Art Appreciation Program of brightly coloured packages containing laminated pictures of artists and their art, printed facilitator questions, simple related art or craft activities, music selection and pages of mindful colouring… all designed to “spark” conversation at home with formal and informal care workers.  I have included some of the packages developed.

What were the benefits gained from your Arts OutWest Micro Grant and how did it help you or others during the Covid-19 crisis?

“The experienced care workers, who were involved in the face to face Art Appreciation Program at the Regional Gallery, enjoyed with participants the interesting packaging, art visuals and facilitator questions as an instrument for conversation. Some workers even documented the participant’s responses and took pictures of the activity for further discussion on further volunteer Programs being developed during Covid 19.

“Unfortunately, there has been a change of staffing and the new care workers enjoy sharing the activities with participants but do not understand that the aim of the Program, is to keep those with dementia still communicating regards Art, and brighten their day reminiscing about their “old” social group at the Gallery.  I miss the little group also and I put a lot of “love” into those packages.