SPARK! Memory Loss Program | Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass
Today’s hours: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
always free admission

SPARK! Memory Loss Program

What is SPARK!?

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. IMPORTANT HEALTH NOTE: Due to current COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC and Winnebago County Health Department, face masks are OPTIONAL inside Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass. Thank you for your support.

Q: When are SPARK! programs held at Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass?

A: Every second Tuesday of the month from 10:30 am to 11:30 am.

SPARK! programming is being underwritten by Bader Philanthropies.

Upcoming SPARK! Programs

Marble Pumpkins

Tuesday, October 11, 2022
10:30-12:00 PM CT
FREE – Registration requested–space is limited

Discover the science and history behind the art of marbling. Marbling is the art of printing multi-colored swirled or stone-like patterns typically on paper or fabric. We will not be using paper or fabric, but instead small pumpkins. We will form patterns by first floating the colors on the surface of a liquid, and then dipping the pumpkin onto the colors to absorb them. Join us for snacks when you finish your project!

Register at the bottom of this page, or call 920-751-4658.

Wine Cork Pumpkins

Tuesday, November 8, 2022
10:30-12:00 PM CT
FREE – Registration requested–space is limited

Pumpkins have become a fall favorite décor staple. Did you know pumpkins symbolize gratitude, generosity, harvest, and abundance? Commemorate a fall favorite by painting and decorating your own fall pumpkin, made out of wine corks.

Register at the bottom of this page, or call 920-751-4658.

Festive Holiday Cards

Tuesday, December 13, 2022
10:30-12:00 PM CT
FREE – Registration requested–space is limited

A joy of the holiday season is sending and receiving beautiful holiday cards. During our December SPARK!, we will use buttons and other mixed material to create our own holiday cards. Display them on your mantel or send them out to a loved one.

Register at the bottom of this page, or call 920-751-4658.

Object Based Symbolism

Tuesday, January 10, 2023
10:30-12:00 PM CT
FREE – Registration requested–space is limited

Reflect on our current exhibit, “Between Seeing and Knowing,” by Anne Boothe and Nancy Cohen. Comprised of hundreds of objects fabricated using multiple glass processes, Between Seeing and Knowing is a large-scale, site-specific installation. Between Seeing and Knowing is the result of both artists’ long-standing interest in and in-depth study of Tibetan Buddhist thangka paintings and the integration of their otherwise very separate studio practices. Thangkas are ordered cosmological paintings, often scrolls, created for the purpose of meditation and composed of numerous visual elements. This installation reinterprets the symbolism in the paintings to create new work that reflects the organizational structure and palette of the paintings, as well as the sense of expansiveness and lack of hard resolution characteristic of Buddhist ideology. Visit will include a docent led discussion and a reflective art piece.

Register at the bottom of this page, or call 920-751-4658.

Glass Picture Frame

Tuesday, February 14, 2023
10:30-12:00 PM CT
FREE – Registration requested–space is limited

Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 14th every year, is a time for individuals to express their affection with greetings and gifts. This Valentine’s Day, join us as we create a one-of-a-kind glass picture frame. Gift the frame to your loved one or place a photograph of your loved one in your frame.

Register at the bottom of this page, or call 920-751-4658.

SPARK! Registration Form

Which SPARK! session will you be attending? You may check as many as you like at this time. You can also come back and register for future dates later. Only check a box if you plan to attend that date. This helps us plan our sessions for the right size audience. Thank you!

NOTE: There will be a slight delay and then a confirmation that your registration was sent. Thank you!