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Opening Minds Through Art
Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational art-making program for people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of neurocognitive disorders. It's failure-free program provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with dementia. OMA also provides volunteers with opportunities to improve their attitudes toward aging through the weekly interaction with OMA program participants.  Click here to learn more about the OMA program.

Richmond-based Art for the Journey implemented its first OMA program at St. Mary's Woods, an assisted living community also in Richmond, VA.  In addition, the talented and committed staff at Art for the Journey have already begun training and certifying new OMA facilitators, many of whom are LeadingAge Virginia members, with the goal of expanding the OMA program throughout Virginia.

In addition to being a vehicle for wellness and healing for the artists, a critical component of this innovative program from Scripps Gerontology Center/Miami University, OH, is participation from an enthusiastic and energetic group of Virginia Commonweatlh University students, making OMA a unique intergenerational collaboration.

Several LeadingAge Virginia members were recently certified by Art for the Journey in 2017, and several more have already committed participate in the online course and certification program. To learn more about the program, visit Opening Minds through Art and look for the "Hybrid Training" link.  Continuing education credits are available. For questions, contact Cindy Paullin, Assistant Executive Director, Art for the Journey.



Richmond based Art for the Journey (, a non-profit organization is one of four training centers in the U.S.A. and Canada for the “Opening Minds through Art” program designed to help people with dementia (in partnership with Scripps Gerontology center, and the Founder, Dr. Elizabeth Lokon).

 To date, more than eighty individuals have been certified by Art for the Journey to implement the “OMA” program in facilities across the nation.

Sydney Thomas, Director Member Services for Leading Age Virginia, attended the most recent Richmond, VA practicum November 7th and 8th, after completing the online course administered through Miami University, Ohio. The OMA program received a best practice award from Leading Age, Ohio and has numerous international awards.

The Opening Minds through Art program is an innovative, empirical, inter-generational and person-centered abstract art program that has been successfully implemented in many nursing and assisted living facilities across the U.S.A. and Canada.

 “Our goal at Art for the Journey is to help the expand the award-winning OMA program to create increased community engagement and to help provide well-being, and joyful positive results that affect the elder, the caregiver, the volunteer, and the staff in facilities around Virginia,”~ Cindy Paullin, Executive Director. 

The next online OMA Facilitator training begins on February 6th, 2020, and Richmond, Virginia practicum to be held on March 19th and 20th.

Register today and prepare to implement the award- winning OMA program in your facility!

To register for the next training, click here.