Finding Funding

Quality Improvement Project

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational art-making program for people with dementia. It is a failure-free art program that provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of neuro-cognitive disorders. Developed at Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center, the program is grounded in person-centered care principles with a mission to build bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art. Both elders with dementia and intergenerational volunteers partnered with them in this art program benefit from the weekly encounters. Our research shows that OMA improves the quality of life for people with dementia and volunteers’ attitudes toward aging. Volunteers develop a deep appreciation for the friendship and even kinship they come to feel with their elder partners. It is this sense of kinship that reduces the social distance between the generations caused by the public fear of Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia. Because OMA has been designated as a Quality Improvement Project (QIP) by the Ohio Department of Aging, implementing OMA will meet nursing home licensing requirements in Ohio.

Please review all of the information below and contact for more information.

OMA has been awarded a grant from the Ohio Department of Medicaid to expand its program in the state. The grant enables Ohio nursing homes to apply for startup funding to adopt the program. Selected nursing homes will receive $2,000 scholarship for two staff members ($1,000/person) to attend the OMA Facilitator Training program and $2000 for art supplies. The grant does not cover lodging or travel reimbursement.


All applicants must be:

  • licensed as a nursing home in Ohio
  • has Medicaid certification
  • has never offered OMA
  • has never received QIP funding
  • has partnership with a university educating future healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers)

Both for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes may apply. Other organizations such as adult day centers, assisted living facilities, hospice centers, and geriatric hospitals do not qualify.

How it Works

Scripps Gerontology Center is interested in supporting nursing homes with a high likelihood of success to learn and implement the OMA program. Nursing homes with existing partnerships with a nearby university offering medical and health sciences education (nursing, social work, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy) will be given priority. Funded nursing homes will be expected to send two staff members to be trained. The training will be either:

  • In a hybrid format, which includes 12-18 hours of online interactive video training to be done at one’s own pace with a 1.5-day in-person practicum; or
  • Fully in-person for 3.5 days in Oxford, OH; or
  • Fully online training

All funded nursing homes will be expected to implement OMA and complete an annual QIP reports during the grant period. Nursing homes interested in applying for this opportunity should complete an online application form.

Program Timeline

  • Applications are accepted throughout the year.
  • Ohio nursing homes with existing partnership with a university preparing future healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers) are given priority.

Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed using the criteria below. You do not have to meet all criteria but will be asked to address them in your application.

Organizational Commitment

  • Nursing home plans to integrate OMA into its mission
  • Nursing home has an adequate budget to support OMA in the future

Staff Qualifications

  • Nursing home staff members are experienced in intergenerational programming
  • Nursing home has staff members who are visual artists/art therapists or has clear plans to recruit someone with visual arts experience

Volunteer Availability

  • Nursing home has an existing relationship with a medical school and/or universities with health sciences programs
  • Nursing home has a source of steady volunteers or has clear plans to recruit them


You may want to review the application form questions, which appear below, before beginning your online submission.

When you’re ready to complete your application, go to the online application form.

Application Form Questions

  • Name and address of the nursing home
  • Names and contact information for the administrator, the grant applicant, and two staff members to be trained as OMA facilitators

Overview of organization

  • Number of Residents
  • Number of Medicaid Certified Beds
  • Number of Residents with a Diagnosis of Dementia:
  • Percent of Residents of Color

Readiness and Sustainability Questions

  • Please provide examples of intergenerational programming currently offered at your facility (Who organizes/conducts these programs? What are the ages of the volunteers? Please indicate if a program is specifically targeted for people with dementia. (100 words)*
  • Please describe visual art and other artistic capabilities and qualifications within your team (a “team” may consist of staff members and other collaborators planning to adopt the OMA program.) (100 words)
  • Do you have an existing partnership with a nearby medical school and/or university with health sciences programs (speech, occupational & physical therapies, nursing, social work, etc.)? If Yes, please describe your partnership activities (types of programming, number of students, frequency, etc.) If yes, provide name and contact information of the university’s faculty/staff. If No, type “n/a” (150 words)*
  • Do you have other sources of volunteers (aged 16 and up) prepared to commit 90 minutes on a weekly basis? If yes, please describe your sources and estimated number of volunteers from each source. If no, please describe your plans to secure consistent volunteers. (150 words).*
  • Please state the dollar amount of your annual activity/programming budget and the number of residents served with this budget.
  • Please describe how you plan to financially sustain the OMA program after the grant period is over (100 words).

Letter of Support

A letter of support from an educational institution (High school level or higher) stating their commitment to send students to the nursing home site on a weekly basis will greatly strengthen the application.

Return to Top
Show URL on hover link