What This Means In Practice Copy

To truly support the experience of their loved one, as facilitators we must always model and reinforce our purpose, helping the friends and family to embrace and take part in the philosophy and approach that we use in Artful Moments. This means:

  • Remembering the goals and philosophy of the program
  • Defining and understanding what success looks like
  • Reinforcing that engagement and pleasure is in the process not the end result
  • Taking pleasure in the experience, and in the sharing of it with a loved one

To restate our program philosophy, Artful Moments provides meaningful, individualized, and engaging activities that encourage participants to be creative, to express themselves, and to connect with others through shared experiences. Our focus is on enhancing the strengths and abilities of the participant, regardless of their abilities, state of health, or social circumstance. We focus on the process and the experience rather than a final product or demonstration of learning. 

  • The program’s primary objectives are engagement and social connection – we are here to have fun together, and to share an enjoyable experience. 
  • We work to enhance strengths, and use strategies (approaches) to enhance them – we meet each participant where they are, regardless of abilities, performance– or level of knowledge.
  • The focus is on enjoying the process, not what the final artwork that is created or the words that are spoken – there is no correct way to participate, no right answer and no ‘doing it right’ when making art. Enjoying participation is what we want.
  • Participation in the program should be enjoyable. There is no pressure to perform in a certain way or to demonstrate particular skills or learning. It is sharing, appreciating the ideas of others, and enjoying time together. We plan for each person to be able to participate in their own way, and celebrate it when they do.

We will discuss what ‘success’ looks like in depth in Module 6: Engagement but in short, success equals participation. This means something different for each person and can be as simple as being present in a group, making a mark on a page, or taking pleasure in listening to and watching others. For us, there is no such thing as a wrong answer, an incorrect colour, or the wrong way of making something.

We have found that sometimes, friends and family are so eager for the participant to ‘do well’ that they worry when they think they don’t. They can sometimes have unrealistic or unnecessary expectations, which puts pressure on themselves and the participants. You may observe this when they answer for the participant, correct their answers or art-making actions. They may even take over an activity.