The Columbus Museum of Art now offers a newly designed tour of the museum's main galleries for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Sparking Imaginations is a collaborative effort by the Columbus Museum of Art, the Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio, The Ohio State University, and Abbott Nutrition. The Sparking Imaginations Program delivers one-hour tours led by specially trained docents for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The tours, offered monthly, are limited to six people with Alzheimer’s accompanied by their caregivers.


The docent facilitator leads lively discussions in front of 5 to 6works of art, usually chosen with a theme, such as “Journeys,” or “City Life”. The discussions are inquiry-based, not lecture-centered and questions are not based on a presumption of prior art knowledge.  They are often questions which appeal to everyone, like, “What season is it?”, and “What feelings do you have with these colors?”

Research has shown that engagement with art can have significant benefits for people with dementia and their caregivers so the program was designed for both the participant and the caregiver.  Two of the goals of the Sparking Imaginations Program are:

      To encourage conversation between the person with dementia and his/her caregiver  about works of art

      To provide a safe, comforting environment that fosters a positive and enjoyable experience for all participants

Caregivers can relax in an accepting environment with a fun learning experience; for the person with dementia, the discussions can spark those parts of the brain affected last by the disease--long term memory, emotions and senses.

Further benefits of the experience for the person with Alzheimer’s can be

       an opportunity for personal growth

       an exchange of ideas without relying on short term memory       

       a means to connect to the world at large

The Columbus Museum of Art is pleased to join other major museums throughout the country who offer tours for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, a disease which is expected to increase in numbers as our population grows older.

To arrange a Sparking Imaginations tour, call Amanda Kepner to discuss scheduling, adaptive needs, and other arrangements at 614.629.5947