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“Art knows no barriers, no boundaries. Art doesn’t know or care if you are disabled or a person living with dementia.”

February 19, 2019

ARTZ Philadelphia is featured on Advocate for Mom and Dad, a website for caregivers and family members of people living with dementia. Read on for the interview, by Debra Hallisey.


--Debra Hallisey, Advocate for Mom and Dad

"Art is the pure expression of who you are at this moment in time, free from any illness.This pure expression is why ARTZ Philadelphia exists. It’s why Sylvia, when asked about working on a piece in one of their programs, could say: “It feels like freedom: I can do whatever I want.”


“It Feels Like Freedom…” When Creativity Transcends a Diagnosis, is an art exhibit I had the pleasure of viewing at The Philadelphia Foundation. It comes out of the work of ARTZ Philadelphia a 501(c3) founded five years ago by Susan Shifrin, PhD.


When you get Susan talking about ARTZ Philadelphia and its programs, the passion and joy she has for this work is on full display. You can hear it in her voice, see it in her eyes and her hands, as she motions to describe the people living with dementia who participate, the art they create, and the volunteers.


“Dementia is a family disease, a community disease. ARTZ Philadelphia works to ensure programs are quality-of-life centered, joy centered. Too often the narrative around people with dementia is the narrative of loss. The focus is on what has been lost, what they can no longer do. ARTZ Philadelphia turns the narrative of loss on its head by showing the people living with dementia, their care partners and care community staff that they are still there, through the art they create.” Susan


Read the full post on Advocate for Mom and Dad here: https://advocateformomanddad.com/artz-philadelphia/

Deb Hallisey, creator of Advocate for Mom and Dad, is an educator with a passion for helping others advocate for older adults and their families. Read more about Deb on her website here: https://advocateformomanddad.com/about-caregiver-knowledge-expert-deb-hallisey/

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Photos: Raymond Holman, Jr. and Linda Ruth Paskell / Peek-A-View Photography