ARTZ Philadelphia at St. Joseph Manor is OMA Featured Site

“This is a wonderful opportunity to be a human being with another human being and, for me, art is the way of doing it.” Sue Brown, OMA Facilitator

Two ARTZ participants stand at an exhibition of works made by people living with dementia

— “OMA”, Opening Minds Through Art, is an art-making approach grounded in person-centered care principles. The program features a one-to-one ratio of artists (residents of care communities living with dementia) and volunteers, each committed to the same program participant from week to week. ARTZ Philadelphia program facilitator Sue Brown has been a trained OMA facilitator since the summer of 2017.

Portrait of Sue Brown smiling

The Ohio-based organization recently interviewed Sue about her journey with OMA. She has been a volunteer at St. Joseph Manor for a number of years, an “ARTZ in the Making” program facilitator there for the last three years, and now she has added OMA to the programs she offers. The partnership between ARTZ Philadelphia and St. Joseph Manor, part of the Holy Redeemer health system in the greater Philadelphia area, provides residents of St. Joseph the opportunity to participate in OMA.

The one-to-one relationship in OMA allows artists to flourish. As Sue describes it, “We have one person whose dementia is so severe … she looks vacant. But you put a volunteer with her and you start working, those blue eyes start to shine and the smile comes back. It’s wonderful to watch!”

Read the full write-up here:

OMA is headquartered at Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University, a research university in Oxford Ohio. Read more about them here: