ARTZ & Northwest Philadelphia

What gives you joy?

Research tells us that opportunities to shape one’s own life, even in small ways, can lead people living with dementia to feel re-enfranchised. Such opportunities to play an active role are part of maintaining “quality of life.”

Program Details

ARTZ in the Neighborhood is a community-centered project by and for people living with dementia and their care partners in two North Philadelphia communities.

In the Northwest Philadelphia project, people living with dementia and their care partners are making the most of their knowledge and experience to guide the creation of a new program for themselves and others in the area. The project so far is powered by storytelling, and it’s populated by a diverse group of participants (including longtime residents of northwest Philadelphia, faculty and staff at La Salle University, health professionals, students and seniors.)

Project History

Our Northwest Philadelphia project began in the summer of 2018. The advisory group for this project bridges communities within communities: members live or work in Germantown, West Oak Lane, Logan and Olney. Many members are care partners of people living with dementia. Many also share a commitment to quality of life for people with dementia and their loved ones, in their roles as community activists, public health professionals, community nurses, museum professionals, or historians with an interest in art and medicine. The group continues to grow as we meet new members at health fairs, libraries, and other community venues.

Existing members are generous in sharing their time and stories, along with a commitment to maintaining open doors and an on-the-ground approach. They will continue to drive the project, as will the stories that their friends and neighbors share.

“ARTZ in the Neighborhood” has been generously funded by Friends Foundation for the Aging, Fox Chase Bank Charitable Fund, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the Lawrence Saunders Fund.

ARTZ in the Neighborhood Conversation and Activity Book

What to Expect in this Program

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What People Are Saying

  • I was praying that I'd find a connection with my mother again. I was feeling very guilty because I couldn't watch my mom like that. When I found ARTZ Philadelphia, it made me realize it's ok to feel that way. And as a liaison, it allows me to share the fact that it's ok if you cannot be with your mom.

    — Toya A., Care Partner and Community Liason
  • Personally, I’m so invested in this. I also believe in the power of art.

    –– Siobhan C., care partner, professor, and community advisory group member
  • We should start where we are, with our personal experiences: what we wish we’d had as caregivers, what we do have. What would be meaningful, what would be inviting, interesting, engaging… we can start from our own lives and what we know.

    — Candace R., care partner, professor, and community advisory group member
  • I am so pumped-up about your program! Over the weekend, I spent time with my mother. Before she retired, she was a seamstress. I’m crocheting a skirt and I had to take measurements. My mother’s aide and I had her write the measurements down in a book. She was excited and so was I. We got a really big response from her!

    — Toya A., care partner and community liaison

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