Aging is inevitable. Loss of creativity is not.

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center launches access program for individuals living with Alzheimer’s. Sessions open to the public starting in April

The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center is launching its latest access program: Meet Me @ the BBAC, designed to provide an expressive outlet and dialogue forum for individuals living with early and mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease along with their caregivers.

Meet Me at MoMA 2014 sessionThe initiative, an interactive program that combines art-looking and art-making, is based on the highly successful Meet Me at MoMA program, developed by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2006 and funded in part by the Met Life Foundation. The program was originally designed to be held in museums, and MoMA staff have trained personnel in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. In 2013, the BBAC held two days of training for staff and volunteers with a member of the MoMA staff.

The BBAC program is one of the first of its kind to use an art education venue as the setting, offering an opportunity to view and create art with no barriers in a safe environment that encourages dialogue and creativity. The process is meant to inspire creative mind functioning as well as bolstering self-esteem, which also benefits the patient/caregiver relationship.

“We’re very pleased to offer Meet Me @ the BBAC as a creative platform for positive social engagement and self-expression. It’s important to recognize strengths and talents that still exist in individuals with Alzheimer’s, despite the limitations of the disease,” remarked Annie VanGelderen, BBAC President & CEO. “The activity has also proven meaningful for our staff and volunteers, inspiring greater sensitivity toward and conversations about aging issues.”

In a typical Meet Me session, one or two pieces of art from a current BBAC exhibition will be selected for the art-looking portion, discussion with guidance to encourage involvement and reflection.  Participants then move to a fully-equipped studio for the art-making, with a hands-on project that relates to the session’s artwork. Everyone leaves with their completed project. Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Meet Me art selections are based on what is likely to inspire the most reactions and create lively discussions. Because BBAC exhibits change five times a year, and with four distinct gallery spaces, there is an abundance of subject matter.

The BBAC is working with care organizations and residential groups benefitting individuals with Alzheimer’s. Fees are determined on a sliding scale. Interested organizations and groups can contact Susan Owens, 248.644.0866, x128 or

About the BBAC

The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center has been providing “art for all” since 1957 and is a regional non-profit art center committed to promoting visual arts experiences. Each year more than 500 classes are offered for all skill levels and ages preschool to senior citizens. Throughout the year, nearly 5,000 individuals are served by classes, workshops, art camps, outreach programs, special events and exhibitions that are free and open to the public (with an additional 75,000 impacted by Art Birmingham, the BBAC’s annual fine art fair).  The BBAC also supports hundreds of artists each year, with opportunities to teach, exhibit, and sell their work. The BBAC is a 25,000-square foot facility, with nine classroom studios, four exhibition galleries, and a retail Gallery Shop. The BBAC and Gallery Shop are open Mon.-Thurs., 9am-6pm; Fri.-Sat., 9am-5pm.

The BBAC is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit the BBAC at, phone 248-644-0866 or visit our Facebook page. The BBAC is located at 1516 S. Cranbrook Rd., Birmingham MI 48009 between 14 and 15 Mile Rds.




About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at

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