Artfully Edmonds brief: ECA offering improv memory loss workshops

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Improv talent show.
Improv talent show.

Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA)
410 4th Ave. N.

The ECA is partnering with Taproot Theatre to offer improvisational theatre workshops to people with memory loss, their family members and care partners. Called “Re-Ignite the Mind with Improvisation and Play,” the workshops are presented as part of ECA’s new Dementia-Inclusive Series, a line-up of creative and social enrichment programs with the mission to create opportunities for people with memory loss and their care partners to connect and experience joy through the arts.

Workshops take place Tuesday mornings (10:30 a.m.-noon) on the ECA Stage through Nov. 10.

“Re-Ignite the Mind” sessions use improvisation and theatre games to tap into the creative abilities of individuals experiencing early stage memory loss (ESML) and their care partners. Participants engage fully in the present, making improvisation a perfect theatre class for students living with memory loss. There is no memory requirement, just the delight of participating in an experience that releases the imagination while giving a sense of accomplishment, self-confidence and social enrichment. The class is taught by theatre professionals from Taproot Theatre, and promises 90 minutes of success for participants, social interaction and living in the moment.

In ECA’s first workshop, held Tuesday, Oct. 20, participants played theatre games and together explored ways to improvise through voice and movement exercises. One improvisation game called “Let’s Be” saw participants take turns suggesting what they would act out as a group. Ideas included, “Let’s be something beautiful!” and “Let’s be silvery clouds!”

Admission to “Re-Ignite the Mind through Improvisation and Play” workshops is $10 per class, with free admission for family members or care partners (1 partner max.) Drop-ins welcome! To register in advance, please contact the ECA Box Office directly at 425-275-9595.

ECA’s Dementia-Inclusive Series developed collaboratively with the feedback and support of senior services organizations, eldercare and memory care professionals, and arts groups in the Puget Sound region. With the mission to create opportunities for people with memory loss and their care partners to connect and experience joy through the arts, ECA is committed to providing a space where community members with dementia feel welcome and valued; where their creative contributions are celebrated; and where quality time can be spent with families and care partners.

The pilot year of the Dementia-Inclusive Series includes four “Re-Ignite the Mind” workshops; a three-film series called Musicals are Golden!: A Celebration of Classic Film, developed in partnership with Northwest Film Forum, Elderwise and Barclay Shelton Dance Centre; and a 2-day community songwriting workshop series with Songwriting Works, to be held at the Edmonds Senior Center in spring 2016.

ECA’s Dementia-Inclusive Series is made possible with the generous support of the Hazel Miller Foundation and Verdant Health Commission.

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