Congratulations, you have now completed Module One: Introduction and the Museum.  In this module we introduced you to the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s Artful Moments program and our philosophy for how we as a museum can offer meaningful and interactive programming that supports the abilities and needs of our participants, resulting in engagement and improved wellbeing.  We stressed the importance of experience over results, and how this philosophy can be applied to programs in other museums, art galleries, historical homes, and outdoor settings, using the collections and strengths of each place for program design.

We explored stigma and unconscious biases that are present in our communities, participants and even within our organizations, and took first steps towards combating the harmful impact that stigma can have on people living with dementia and their loved ones.

We talked about the important role that museums can play in people’s lives through programs like Artful Moments, and explored the successes and barriers that are present within museums across the country.  Hopefully the findings from our survey and research will help you to see the potential of these kinds of programs, and inspire you to take the next steps in creating your own program.

And finally we introduced the framework that we use to plan our own programs.  The Model for Successful Engagement communicates our foundation, the museums in which we all find ourselves, our focus on a participant centred program, the three areas for consideration that must all be addressed to achieve engagement.  We have also touched upon our true outcome, which is improved wellbeing.   Each of these areas will form the central theme for the modules that follow, guiding you step by step through the knowledge you need as you build a program of your own.

I recommend that you complete the learning activities as you go, and take some time to reflect on what you’ve learned.  While our focus is on people living with dementia in this program, a great deal of your learning can also improve other work.

Should you wish to explore these ideas further, you will find a full list of references for each module under the Materials tab.  See you in Module Two!