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Abstract

Abstract

Persons diagnosed with dementia (PWDs) or with an intellectual disability are often marginalized by society, as are their care partners (Innes, Archibald, & Murphy, 2004). In the United States, the dementia community is growing due to the aging population and increasing numbers of persons with brain injuries (Hurd, Martorell, & Langa, 2013; Plassman et al., 2011). There is a need to find better ways to enhance the quality of life for PWDs and their care partners, and art museum dementia programs often provide a solution to this need. Prompted by the author’s own observations of the Tucson Museum of Art’s (TMA) dementia program, this article examines: (1) museum and art education strategies, (2) the use of other disciplinary theories, and (3) how an art museum dementia program positively influenced the lives of the participants. This article supports the following conclusions: (1) Museum dementia programs are strengthening the relationship between PWDs and their care partners, (2) that shared experiences have a positive effect on both, and (3) museum must continue developing effective educational strategies and creative environments for this population.

Keywords: museum education, art education, dementia programming, intellectual disabilities

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