SPARK! is a cultural program for people with early- to mid-stage memory loss and their care partners. SPARK! is located in museums, galleries, nature centers, and cultural venues across the United States and continues to expand into new communities.
SPARK! was originally inspired by the Meet Me at MOMA program, a successful outreach effort at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and has continued to grow and foster engagement activities using sensory stimulants combined with visual art conversations, music, poetry, hands-on art-making, movement, and creative performances. The inception of SPARK! began with a grant from The Helen Bader Foundation (now Bader Philanthropies Inc.) in 2009. The Bader Foundation’s Alzheimer’s and Aging program aims to make Wisconsin a leader, not just in how challenges posed by this disease are addressed, but in how growing older and the later stages of life are viewed. Through an emphasis on program development, applied research, and public policy, Bader Philanthropies strives to offer hope to families struggling with Alzheimer’s.
SPARK! programs welcome care partners to stay actively engaged in their communities while joining peers to experience art, culture, and nature in a comfortable environment with specially trained staff and volunteers. SPARK! programs typically last 60-90 minutes and group sizes average 20-25 participants. Attending a SPARK! program provides care partners an opportunity to be together IN THE MOMENT. The programs are not reminiscent nor do they rely on recalling memories, but rather focus on observations, conversations, and creative experiences. There are a variety of programs to fit every interest and comfort level. From art-making, singing, and drama to museum discussions, performances, and cooking – SPARK! offers something for everyone.
Due to COVID-19 levels in our area, protective masking is required inside the museum at all times. Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass has and will continue to use all Center for Disease Control and Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommended masking and vaccination guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors.
SPARK! programming is being underwritten by Bader Philanthropies.