Celebrating 16 years of OMA!

December 4, 2023

At the end of 2023, Dr. Elizabeth “Like” Lokon, the Opening Minds through Art (OMA) Founder and Director, will retire after 16 years of leading the program. Dr. Lokon’s legacy of building bridges across age and cognitive abilities through art has transformed innumerable lives. 

During Dr. Lokon’s leadership, OMA at Miami University has: 

  • Created 3 innovative educational programs: OMA, ScrippsAVID, and the Creative Caregiving Guide;
  • Published 13 articles documenting the positive impact of these programs on its participants. Older adults showed better well-being during OMA than in other activities. Students showed more positive attitudes toward people living with dementia after participating in OMA. 
  • Trained 1,028 artists, health care professionals, and educators as OMA Facilitators;
  • Established four training centers in Richmond Virginia; Cleveland, Ohio; Calgary, AB; and Jakarta, Indonesia;
  • Engaged 2,898 older adults and 2,812 students in intergenerational programming conducted at Miami University;
  • Won 16 awards, including innovation in Alzheimer’s care awards from The Rosalinde Gilbert Foundation and Family Caregiver Alliance and The Richard & Maude M. Ferry Foundation; a Program of Distinction designation from Generations United; a Quality Improvement Project designation from the Ohio Department of Aging; and a Fulbright Scholar award to establish OMA in Indonesia;
  • Given 154 presentations at conferences.
  • Received funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Department of Medicaid, NextFifty Initiative, Ohio Arts Council, and RRF Foundation for Aging, among others.  

The OMA team, including Dr. Amy Elliot, Meghan Young, and Krysta Peterson, supported by Scripps Gerontology Center’s staff members under the leadership of Dr. Katherine Abbott, will continue working on new ways to engage and support intergenerational programming for younger and older adults.

Dr. Lokon has requested donations to OMA in lieu of retirement gifts to ensure that the organization can continue to make a positive impact. We look forward to the year ahead and greatly appreciate your support as we use the arts to build age- and dementia-inclusive societies.

Join us in Celebration!

You’re invited to attend our end of year celebration events below:

Virtual OMA Art Show:

We are so excited to be hosting our very first Virtual OMA Art Show. We had over 450 submissions from the United States, Canada, and Indonesia! We would love to have you join us for the Virtual Reception on Friday, December 8, 2023 at 2pm EST. Click the image below or visit https://bit.ly/49WR2fg to register for the event!

Save the Date 2023 Virtual OMA Art Show

Like’s Retirement Open Studio:

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Dr. Lokon’s retirement during Second Friday, December 8, 2023, at the Oxford Community Art Center (10 S College Ave, #327) from 6-7:30 pm.

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Krysta Peterson

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