Goddard House Assisted Living in Brookline, MA began its OMA journey in 2016 when Ginny Mazur became an OMA trained facilitator. In 2018, another staff member, Erica Curcio, became the second OMA facilitator at Goddard House.
OMA Artists Working Collaboratively
Ginny and Erica worked with Lesley University Expressive Therapy students and community volunteers to serve five Goddard residents. “We are a small group, but mighty!” declared one artist. One interesting variation at Goddard is when OMA artists worked in pairs, creating 18×24 inch painting.
These collaborations were then expanded and grew into “OMA Grande!”—a 2017 collaboration with the town of Brookline to provide outdoor summer camp for people living with memory loss. At this camp, collaborative art making produced a triptych of magnificent 48X48 inch each.
OMA in the community
In 2019, Erica and Ginny paired 15 Goddard residents with 15 in-coming Boston University freshman as part of their orientation week. The goal was to increase student’s awareness of the creative capabilities of people living with memory loss. They also engaged over 100 professionals in an art presentation and OMA exercise (Kandinsky Circles) at the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Conference.
A big surprise!
No inquiry was more surprising, than when Goddard House received a call from Lindsey Johnson, a recent Miami University graduate and first year graduate student at Boston College. She wanted to continue her OMA experience while at graduate school because she said, “I’ve never known college without OMA. I was in it every year and its part of my life. I loved the program but learned even more from it. As I got through my fear about dementia, I realized that the OMA artists with whom I was working were building my own confidence and ability to believe not only in them, but in myself. We changed each other. That recognition was the most powerful to me.” Johnson volunteered at Goddard immediately.
OMA repeatedly demonstrates to participants living with memory loss and to the community that creativity, inspired through intergenerational relationships, knows no bounds. Goddard House OMA team was awarded the Program Innovation of the Year Award in 2017 by LeadingAge Massachusetts.
“The artwork is great but being together is what it’s all about!”, maintains one of the artists. The students could not agree more, as one said, ““The artists who participate in OMA have inspired me in many ways, but most of all I respect their ability to take a leap every time. Challenges are good!”
Congratulations to Goddard House for being the Featured Site this quarter!