Scottsdale museum offering new Memory Lounge

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Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA) is offering Memory Lounge, a series of hands-on events to help people with mild dementia or memory loss and their caregivers.

Engagement in the arts can improve your quality of life by improving mood and outlook, offering a comfortable social outing, lessening the effects of depression and/or anxiety, and more.

Laura Hales, Curator of Learning and Innovation at Scottsdale Arts, joined Arizona Horizon to discuss more details.

“Each time is different; we do different art workshops. It can be improv, it can be dancing, it can be drumming, creating visual art, and we just engage in the arts for an hour and a half,” Hales said.

Their workshops include a variety of artists that are professionals in their fields. Each workshop contains a different activity such as creating Zentangle Tile, a drumming experience, or making your own shrinky-dink.

SMOCA prioritizes bringing different artists with different mediums to their workshops so people can be introduced to new experiences.

Hales mentioned the “magic moments” that occur when the brain responds to the different activities that are presented through the workshop. “It’s a fleeting moment, but the caregiver can look at their loved one and say, ‘I haven’t seen that in a while,'” Hales said.

Many people choose to return, to try different mediums and to continue connecting with other participants.

“That’s absolutely the reason we do it. People connect with each other, and when that happens, it reduces isolation and depression, and that’s a big problem for people with this diagnosis and their care partners,” Hales said.

The Memory Lounge offers its workshops twice a month from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Visit the SMOCA website to see the upcoming workshops and pricing information.

Laura Hales, Curator of Learning & Innovation, Scottsdale Arts

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