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I Remember Better When I Paint

Editor’s Note: As an advocate for the arts, it’s important to me that the power of the arts for healing gets the attention it deserves. I have not seen this documentary (though it is not newly released), but it was recommended to me by a fan of one of my clients. The reviews are so impressive, and the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s is such a concern for so many, that I wanted to share it with you.

I Remember Better When I Paint, narrated by Olivia de Havilland, is the first international documentary about the positive impact of art and other creative therapies on people with Alzheimer’s and how these approaches can change the way we look at the disease. A film by Eric Ellena and Berna Huebner, presented by French Connection Films and the Hilgos Foundation. Among those who are featured are noted doctors and Yasmin Aga Khan, president of Alzheimer’s Disease International and daughter of Rita Hayworth, who had Alzheimer’s.

The Hilgos Foundation’s mission is to support and encourage the ongoing process of artistic creation with people who have memory problems and/or Alzheimer’s and who require assistance in creating art that is meaningful and enriching. The Hilgos Foundation was created in memory of Hilda Gorenstein, an accomplished painter whose career spanned 75 years. She died at age 93 and left behind her the legacy of an inspired artistic life. Choosing to call herself Hilgos, Ms. Gorenstein was known for her beautiful marine paintings, which are now in collections all over the world. She was such a skillful painter of water vessels she was chosen to paint an enormous mural depicting the history of the U.S. Navy for Chicago’s Century of Progress celebration in 1933. She completed hundreds of paintings in the last three years of her life, while she struggled with profound memory loss. The vestiges of her early, masterful renderings of waves, birds, and boats remain, but have been transformed into a new system of spontaneous, personal gestures, bordering on the abstract. The sophisticated color choices and compositions of these late works reveal how sharp her artistic eye remained up until the very end of her life.

The Hilgos Award provides student funding at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to support and encourage the ongoing process of artistic creation. The award was established by family and friends in memory of the artist Hilgos, who studied at the Chicago Art Institute as a young woman, graduated in the 1920s, and became a well respected painter and sculptor, specializing in marine themes. Hilgos painted well into her 90’s. She returned to painting with several Art Institute students even after suffering memory loss, which almost forced her to stop painting. An award has been created in her spirit and memory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

See a gallery of Hilgos’ watercolors at the Hilgos Foundation website for inspiration and hope for those who struggle with, or who are caring for a loved one who struggles with, Alzheimer’s and/or memory loss.

The website has a link to an article with fascinating insights on the connection between art and a brain failing due to Alzheimer’s, which you can access directly here: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/creative-aging-the-emergence-of-artistic-talents/266799/

I Remember Better When I Paint has been released as part of a DVD package which includes the documentary as well as a series of short supplemental films that further highlight special programs and flesh out the how-tos of organizing an outing, a creative workshop or recreating social bonds between people with Alzheimer’s and their families.

To buy a copy of the DVD package: http://www.amazon.com/REMEMBER-BETTER-WHEN-PAINT/dp/B003UN4CIA

Learn more and read reviews and comments on the film’s website: http://irememberbetterwhenipaint.wordpress.com/about/

Be sure to check out the blog – this film is still touring 4 years after its initial release, and most screenings are free!

Post-Election Impact on the Arts Update

What a dramatic and historic election night! Here are some of our top-line election results and analysis on the election’s impact on the arts.

ARTS POLITICO OF THE WEEK:  Mary Burke, Gubernatorial Candidate (D-Wi)

Madison School Board Member and Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidate Mary Burke pledged to restore the draconian multi-million dollar cuts to the arts imposed by incumbent governor Scott Walker.

Arts Alliance Update, Oregon Cultural Trust Town Hall Meeting

Arts Alliance of southern Oregon logoGreetings! We will be announcing the next Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon public meeting soon. It will be held in late November or early December in Grants Pass.
Until then, you are encouraged to attend a town meeting in Medford hosted by the Rogue Gallery & Art Center and presented by the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust: Monday, 11/3 from 1-4pm.
Thank you for supporting arts & culture in our community!
Come one, come all! 

Brian Rogers and the staff of the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust will hold 14 statewide town meetings between now and Dec. 12 to hear from Oregonians about arts and culture issues. The information gathered will develop independent plans to guide each organization over the next five years.

“Hearing from our stakeholders, which include every Oregonian, is a vitally important part of the planning process,” said Rogers. “The themes that emerge from these meetings will form the framework of our plans.” 

Each of the three-hour meetings, which kick off in The Dalles Oct. 20 and conclude in Eugene Dec. 12, will be hosted by a local arts and culture partner. Registration is encouraged but not required. The meetings are free and open to the public.

For more information to register: http://bit.ly/1yAtiIg
Town Meeting-Medford 

Monday, November 03, 2014 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Pacific Time)

Rogue Gallery
40 S Bartlett St
Medford, Oregon 97501
United States
 
Map and Directions
The Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust are pleased to announce a series of 14 town meetings across Oregon to gather information about local, regional and statewide issues in arts and culture. We encourage you to attend, participate, share and learn in this important process.  The Commission and Trust will use the information we gather to develop independent plans that will guide each organization over the next five years.
We also would like you to help spread the word and invite your board members, people you serve and community leaders to these town meetings.
Registration is not required, but encouraged to help us in our logistics.  Each town meeting will be hosted by a local partner who are helping make these important meetings possible.
We also invite you to submit written testimony, especially if you are unable to attend a town meeting.
You may email testimony to brian.rogers@oregon.gov or mail to:


OAC / OCT Planning Process
775 Summer Street NE Suite 200
Salem OR 97301

Building Local Economies with the Arts

Recently at an Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon meeting, I saw a presentation by Jerry Work about how Appalachia converted poverty to a multi-million dollar economy through the arts.  There were so many similarities between that region and the Rogue Valley, I wanted to bring it to the Medford business and arts community as well.  I think this short presentation will inspire you and give you insight on how to help build cultural tourism in our area.  I feel like Medford is on the brink of vibrancy, let’s make it happen!

Please join us on Thursday, Nov 6th from Noon to 1:00 at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center for this informative presentation by Jerry Works.
Please pass this invite to others interested in building our local economy.  See you then!
Cammy Davis

https://www.facebook.com/events/1502237806705266/

ARTS POLITICO OF THE WEEK: Paul Davis, Candidate for Governor (D-KS)

Leader Davis, for pledging a restoration of the arts in Kansas and fighting against policies that damage the future of Kansas children, you are the Arts Politico of the Week!

New National Core Arts Standards Launched Today

Created by arts educators, for arts educators, these guidelines are a huge step forward for the #ArtsEd Movement!

ARTS POLITICO OF THE WEEK:  Representative David Cicilline (D-RI)

During his years in public service, Rep. Cicilline has earned a reputation as a strong supporter of the arts.

Vote Yes On Question 5 in RI

If Question 5 passes, it will dedicate $35 million to the arts in Rhode Island. That is an investment worth making.

The Arts are BIG BUSINESS

Nationally, the non profit arts industry is worth $61.1 billion annually