On the first Monday in June, the Memory Loss Initiative partnered with the Museum of Modern Art for an afternoon of art and memories. Meet Me at MoMA is a monthly program for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their family members or care partners to enjoy art and make art. With specially trained Museum educators, the visitors joined discussions about the different sculptures in the Metropolitan Garden and were given the opportunity to create a wire sculpture or ornament.
This is our second collaboration with MoMA, and you can read about StoryCorps’ last visit to the museum in the post, “Meet StoryCorps at MoMA.” This year we recorded seven interviews at the Museum using StoryKits, our most portable form of recording equipment, and a very popular service for many of our Memory Loss Initiative participants. All of the interviews were recorded simultaneously throughout the museum while the other activities were under way. Sisters, mothers and sons, husbands and wives – all came together to share their unique stories and to bask in the world of art.
Like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. At the Museum of Modern Art, that same picture can spark a thousand memories. As part of its Meet Me at MoMA outreach program, the museum partnered with StoryCorps’ Memory Loss Initiative to assist its regular and most faithful visitors in capturing their lives’ most influential moments.
Throughout the afternoon, eight conversations were recorded on four StoryKits, affectionately known as our “recording studio in a briefcase,” between those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and their family members and friends. A mother told her son of her part in the World War II war effort as an inspector for a parachute factory. A husband and wife remembered the family portrait drawn for them by their son. A niece chatted with her aunt about how she’d like to be remembered by the rest of their family. The scope of discussions was as bright and diverse as MoMA’s collection of pop art, and continued well after the recorders were stopped, spilling into its Metropolitan Garden reception.
Since 2006, StoryCorps’ Memory Loss Initiative has collected hundreds of recordings to support and encourage people with memory loss to share their stories. Our collaboration with MoMA was an innovative first for both organizations, whose programming invites the participation of Alzheimer’s groups and populations by providing much-needed creative space and flexibility. Hopefully, this is only the beginning.
To reserve your StoryKit through our Memory Loss Initiative, visit us at www.storycorps.org/initiatives/mli.