THE MAGIC OF COLLABORATION
An important piece of each of our projects have been to include opportunities for participants, many of whom are living with dementia, to engage in creative activities with a wider community. We believe the best way to shift perceptions are to have firsthand experiences. Our activities allow for various levels of participation, collaboration, and conversations to emerge. It decreases the isolation that many older adults face, while giving the general public the opportunity to witness the many gifts our elders have to share. We invite other groups within the community to join in the creative activities and in some cases, such as during the Art Crawl, and the Sunnycrest Mall Pop Up Studio, we open our work up to the public at large.
When opening up our work to others outside of our staff team, it has been important to establish a set of guiding principles which we often refer to as our “agreements”. This ensures a kind and consistent approach to the work and the dialogue. We find it helps to emphasize the importance of positive response (sometimes referred to as Yes, and..), and to give all involved an overview of the project’s “bigger picture.”