SPARK! at Racine Art Museum

The Helen Bader Foundation (now Bader Philanthropies Inc.) Alzheimer's and Aging program aims to make Wisconsin a leader, not just with challenges posed by this disease, but in how growing older and the later stages of life are viewed. Through an emphasis on program development, applied research, and public policy, the Foundation strives to offer hope to families struggling with Alzheimer's. 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 and hands-on art making.

What Sparked SPARK! at RAM
In 2009, Racine Art Museum was one of the initial five museums to receive a grant from the Foundation with the goal to make RAM's collections and exhibitions more accessible to people with early to mid-stage Alzheimer's disease, as well as to their care partners.

RAM began the SPARK! program through researching and partnering with Racine County's Aging and Disability Resource Center, Lincoln Lutheran, and other facilities to present this opportunity to their clients. The program has presented additional activities and events in partnership with other cultural institutions, such as the Racine Public Library, the Racine Arts Council, the Racine Heritage Museum, and Milwaukee's Danceworks.