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Once Upon a Time -- Again

Making Memories

Taking the Story on the Road continued...

In New York City, a play based on several stories will be running at HERE Arts Center between Oct. 30 and Nov. 18. Additionally, an art installation will be featured Oct. 15-Nov. 15th in the main lobby of New York City's Empire State Building. (For more information, visit timeslips.org.)

The hope for the public arts campaign is to raise awareness about the potential of people with Alzheimer's, says Basting. "There are all sorts of ways to share this with the community so you can increase volunteerism, so if this dementia occurs in someone's family they are not afraid of it," she says. "These people with dementia are totally isolated and it doesn't have to be that way."

The dream for the project, says Basting, is that people spread this to other cities. "I'd love for people to pick up on it, to be able to use creativity not only for those with Alzheimer's but also for the staff because the job is so hard," she says.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the storytelling session in Atlanta, staff members begin to wheel some of the residents back to their rooms; others stay behind to watch TV. Sam, one of the most active storytelling participants, is asked by a reporter what he thought of the story he and the others made up.

"You're going to tell me a story?' he asks.

No, he's told, you just told us a wonderful story. He smiles and nods -- maybe, just maybe, with a hint of recollection in his eyes. In the end, it's OK that he forgot: For one hour he was transformed and, with his imagination, he flew himself and others up to the sky.

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