Dementia & the Arts: An AlzAuthors Virtual Discussion

AlzAuthors Dementia & the Arts Authors

By Marianne Sciucco, New York, USA

The science and art worlds tell us that music, art, and dance may help us engage with people who have dementia, whether they are in the early to middle stages or deep into decline. Social media is full of videos of people thought to be “lost” moving to the beat of music from their past. Others create beautiful sketches and paintings they’d never been known to do prior to their diagnosis. Still others can sing, word for word, songs that connect them to their youth or to happier times. Poetry is also a helpful resource for those in early to middle stages to express themselves and document their experience.

All of this provides a means of expression and connection for both the individual affected with dementia and those who care for them. And these modalities are easily accessible to all involved, and may make the long days shorter, providing relief from boredom and creating meaningful interactions.

Please join us for our first AlzAuthors Live! Virtual Q&A for 2024: Dementia & the Arts, January 23 at 7 pm EST, a panel discussion centered on the use of poetry, music, and art as a means of expression in dementia care. We will explore the benefits of using these modalities and how families and others in dementia care can bring them to those living with these conditions.

You will receive the link to the event upon registering. Register here

Potential discussion points:

  • Are people living with dementia truly “lost”?
  • How can we use art to connect with people living with dementia?
  • How does music break through “dementia fog” and cause people to sing, speak, move?
  • Why does poetry break down barriers?
  • How can we make these expressive tools available to all caregivers at home or with loved ones in care?


Moderated by Marianne Sciucco and Christy Byrne Yates.

The program will be free, on Zoom, and recorded for future viewing on YouTube. It will also be made into a podcast.

You will receive the link to the event upon registering. Register here

About the Panelists

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Tom and Karen BrennerTom and Karen Brenner are a couple with a passion to help those with dementia and their families connect on a meaningful level. Both bring their professional experience to their work. Tom is a gerontologist who specializes in creating dementia care programs that are strength-based and positive leaning. Karen is a Montessori educator who co-founded a Montessori school for children who are deaf. They have worked together for the past twenty years researching and implementing the application of the Montessori Method to dementia care. After years of working directly with people living with dementia and their caregivers, they have published two books about their work: The Montessori Method for Connecting to People with Dementia, and You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello: The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia Care. Based in Chicago, they travel throughout the United States presenting workshops, training programs, and speaking engagements about their uplifting and positive approach to dementia care.

Mary Crescenzo author of The Planet Alzheimer'sMary Crescenzo is recipient of a 2022 Maude’s Award for Innovations in Alzheimer’s Care which honors her pioneer work in arts engagement through her multidisciplinary approach and development of Care Through the Arts℠  She is the author of The Planet Alzheimer’s Guide: 8 Ways the Arts Can Transform the Life of Your Loved One and Your Own, and playwright of Planet A, about the inner world of Alzheimer’s. In March 2024, Planet A is scheduled to be staged at the Tarzana Cultural Center, in Los Angeles, followed by a Talk-Back/Q& A and a creative writing workshop for audience members entitled, “Self-Care Through Creative Writing for Caregivers: Respite, Relaxation, Rejuvenation & Revelation. April, 2024, Mary will be a speaking at the 36th Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International in Krakow, Poland in April, on “How Theatre as Art and Public Forum Can Foster Dementia Awareness”. She also co-hosts a new monthly radio interview podcast feature entitled, “Dementia and the Arts™” on Alzheimer’s Speaks with host Lori La Bey. Mary is a public speaker; artist strategist and practitioner; and consultant for families of persons with dementia and dementia friendly organizations on how the arts can enrich both the lives of the caregivers and the family members with this disorder.  She has a BA in Arts Education, CUNY; Graduate studies in Art Therapy, College of New Rochelle; and a MA in Liberal Studies, University of Oklahoma.

Katya De LuisaKatya De Luisa is an artist, expressive arts program designer, freelance writer, and author with 20 years experience working with those living with dementia and their families. She is the founder/director of the non-profit The Infinite Mind Dementia Project in Costa Rica and author of Journey Through the Infinite Mind: The Science and Spirituality of Dementia.


Marc Rothman, MD photo of Marc Rothman, MD, AlzAuthors Dementia & the Arts

Founder and president of the Dementia Spring Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) venture studio that invests in visual and performing artists and innovators who are changing the prevailing narrative of dementia and bringing joy and creativity to the dementia community through their work. Founded in 2020, the Artist Network now includes over 200 artists and innovators from around the world who are grappling with memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in their work. New artist Spotlights are shared every week on the Dementia Spring website. Through the Foundation’s annual, competitive Dementia Arts Impact Award program, funding, technical & marketing support, and subject-matter expertise are provided to a select group of artists and innovators who are telling new stories of dementia and bringing theatre, dance, music, and other visual/performing arts programs to those living with dementia. Learn more at He is also the CEO of Lizzy Care (

Tryn Rose SeleyFirebird Book Award-winning author Tryn Rose Seley is a professional photographer and sought-after musician. She has supported the lives of young children, those with special needs, and elders with Alzheimer’s and related dementias for over 25 years. All of her projects and offerings are designed to empower caregivers and the one they care for. She is the author of 15 Minutes of Fame: One Photo Does Wonders to Bring You Both Back to Solid Ground.

About the Moderators

Marianne Sciucco, author of Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer's love storyMarianne Sciucco, author of Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story, is a co-founder of AlzAuthors, manager, director, podcast host and producer, and acquisitions editor. Learn more about Marianne here.


Christy Byrne Yates, author of Building a Legacy of Love: Thriving in the Sandwich Generation, is a podcast host and producer, and manager of our YouTube channel. Learn more about Christy here.


You will receive the link to the event upon registering. Register here

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