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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.



January 2019
Art for the Journey is excited to witness and support the expansion of the OMA program. Their newly-certified facilitators at Westminster Canterbury implemented OMA in late 2018. OMA's work study students and their partners at VCU ASPiRE helped support WC staff and volunteers. The first session and art exhibit were a wonderful success!

A new 10-week OMA Facilitator Certification Course session is starting on February 8th at Saint Mary's Woods in Richmond this spring. The Practicum for this course will be held in Richmond on March 7-8, 2019. Only a few spots are left.  Click here to register.

August 2018
Williamsburg Landing's new signature Connections program focusing on personalized engagement for those living with Alzheimer's and other dementias in their Memory Support Home is now offering Opening Minds Through Art. "OMA" is an award-winning, evidence based intergenerational art program specifically for those living with dementia. Its failure-free program provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for its participants. In addition, OMA also offers high-school and college student volunteers with opportunities to improve their knowledge and understanding of dementia.   

July 2018
Congratulations to the staff, facilitators, volunteers, and Resident Artists at Art for the Journey/Opening Minds Through Art for several major accomplishments:

The Moses D. Nunnally, Jr. Charitable Trust B awarded Art for the Journey grant Funds to build upon, sustain, and grow the Art for the Journey - Scripps Gerontology Center/Miami University-OH "Opening Minds Through Art" program for people with dementia in Richmond, Virginia, and to facilitate both the robust Saint Mary's Woods program, as well as support the partnership and practicum events to train new OMA facilitators to help expand the OMA program to help many others. We are very grateful for this support to continue to facilitate a strong program at Saint Mary's Woods in Richmond,
but also to support the growth of the program through the Facilitator training. We are grateful for the support to continue this worthy endeavor!

Art for the Journey has been awarded funding from CultureWorks for the expansion of the "Opening Minds through Art" program!  Plans have already put into motion to expand their volunteer recruitment, in partnership with a second location, and to train and certify individuals in and beyond the Richmond region to bring this impactful program to many other individuals suffering dementia.

The Alzheimers Association has awarded Art for the Journey with Grant Funds to help support the growth of the Scripps Gerontology Center-Miami University-OH "Opening Minds through Art" program and Richmond Facilitator certification practicum.

To learn more, view Art for the Journey's Mid-Year Newsletter.

June 2018
Last week, Richmond non-profit organization, Art for the Journey was delighted to participate as a vendor at the Leading Age Virginia conference in Roanoke, VA. Many participants requested information about the Richmond, VA practicum, in conjunction with the Miami University on-line certification course to become an "OMA" Facilitator. Art for the Journey has provided the OMA program at Saint Mary's Woods Retirement Community in Richmond for many sessions over the past two years, and due to the success of this program has now partnered with the Founder, Dr. Elizabeth Lokon and Miami University to host the practicum and to certify individuals as new OMA Facilitators. Art for the Journey, the OMA Facilitators, volunteers, and staff, have witnessed first hand the positive impact of this beautifully designed and empirical program, and are eager to partner with Miami University in helping bring these amazing and positive results to many more individuals, families, facilities, staff and student and community volunteers in and around Virginia.

The online course gives wonderful flexibility for your schedule, and the 1 and a half day practicum, besides being fun, is filled with art projects, program experience with elders and volunteers, and will provide you with the numerous resources you will need to begin to implement OMA! CEU's available from NCCAP and NCCDP

For more information about Art for the Journey, or "OMA" contact:

April 2018
The OMA program will be highlighted with Art for the Journey receiving a Community Partner Award from the VCU ASPire Program.
March 2018
The OMA program is growing in Virginia! Congratulations to the 16 people who are now certified to implement the Scripps Gerontology Center/Miami University, OH "Opening Minds Through Art" program throughout the Commonwealth.

January 2018

Richmond, VA non-profit "Art for the Journey" has successfully partnered with the Scripps Gerontology Center/Miami University to host the first Facilitator Practicum in conjunction with the Opening Minds Through Art (OMA) online certification course. In October 2017, the initial group of 17 trainees were certified to facilitate "Opening Minds Through Art" in Assisted Living communities around Virginia and beyond. These new OMA Facilitators will implement the innovative, impactful program with AL residents with dementia/Alzheimers. Dr. Elizabeth Lokon, Founder of OMA, attended the first practicum and is pictured in the group photo above.

The second online course began on January 15th through the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University and the Richmond practicum will be held March 1st-2nd at Saint Mary's Woods Retirement Community in Richmond, VA. Dates for the next online course and practicum are being planned. For more information about "Opening Minds Through Art," visit or contact
Cindy Paullin, OMA Facilitator Practicum Trainer at