The Hunt Museum has committed to promoting the participation of people with dementia and their families in museums and galleries with its ‘Conversation Programme’ Initiative. This is offered in –house and also on an Outreach basis. The Hunt Museum’s programme explores how to better include people with dementia in an Irish cultural context. The programme makes art accessible to people with dementia, their family, friends and carers. The arts can foster greater involvement in communities by people affected by dementia. Through the arts a space can be created for interaction and sharing between people with dementia and those close to them in a non-medicalised environment.

The in-house Conversation Programme, is gallery based and run by trained volunteers. The focus is on participants’ abilities- in order to create an accepting and engaging environment in which dementia is a non-issue. A responsive and welcoming space is provided for people with dementia to participate in facilitated discussions about exhibited artworks/artefacts so that they can become active participants in the life of the museum. Our objects are:

* To trigger imaginative responses, humorous reactions and personal anecdote reminiscences, from people living with dementia and their families and carers.

* To encourage attendees to verbalise their experiences, ideas and memories.

* To empower attendees to offer their opinions and ask questions.

The programme at the Hunt Museum is viewed as a joint, rewarding exercise for the people delivering the programme and the people attending. What has come to light is how many people’s lives have been and are affected by dementia, even just within the museum community alone.

The Conversation programme, as an Outreach Programme, is available from September to December 2018, on request. Our in-house programme will be available in spring 2019. For further information contact or ring Joni on 061-312833