Usando nuestro Cerebro y Corazón

A “flipbook” created by the ARTZ & Hunting Park community advisory group is bound by the stories & connections shared over the past year

— The title, “Usando nuestro Cerebro y Corazón”/”Using our Brains and our Hearts,” came from an ARTZ & Hunting Park community advisory group member named Ruby. We were brainstorming together about the direction of a future program for people living with dementia and their loved ones: “As long as we’re using our brains and our hearts…” she began. We’d been meeting as a group at Esperanza Health Center for several months. As advisory group members Ruby and Alba went to share the opportunity to be involved with members of their churches, they realized they needed to have more information in hand. They asked for a flyer to share that described the ARTZ & Hunting Park advisory group’s activities. Ultimately, we imagined that we’d build a monthly program or monthly series of events based on the interests and desires of the group— a program for themselves and other community members living with dementia or caring for someone with dementia. The flyers that tried to describe that goal didn’t capture what the project felt like: “building a program together” felt far more spare than we knew the process of meeting, talking, and reminiscing about what gives each of us joy to be. But how do you promote a program that isn’t developed yet? How do you describe the process of developing that program together that’s inviting to other community members who might enjoy being involved?

The flipbook we created together is a guide and a stand-in for that flyer. During the past year of monthly and then bi-monthly meetings at Esperanza Health Center, it went from a description of the group to a short booklet in Spanish and English, to a 50 page bilingual softcover book (a form inspired by Madelyne’s Health promoter training from Esperanza.) You can view a e-booklet version of the full flipbook below:

ARTZ Philadelphia participants sit around a table and look through the flipbook

The flipbook captures the past year together as an advisory group in Hunting Park, from words that came out of conversations about trust, faith and memory, to stories shared about finding the joy in life’s challenges. It contains advisory group members’ stories about finding signs that a loved one or neighbor is experiencing memory loss, and other members’ stories about figuring out how to talk about that. Based on the group’s suggestions, the book also includes multi-sensory prompts and opportunities to be present and to remember together.

The artwork on the cover is by an artist and staff member at Esperanza named Jessica Gonzalez. The poem at the close is by our community liaison, Madelyne Groves. And toward the end of the flipbook, there are pages of photos— moments from the events that were inspired by group members’ answers to the question “what gives you joy?”

To read more from this series about some of the people and stories behind “ARTZ in the Neighborhood,” you can view the first three stories in our monthly newsletters here, here and here!