Adult day center attendees, assisted living residents and staff from several low-income-serving Twin Cities facilities have participated in a series of poetry workshops with teaching artists from Alzheimer’s Poetry Project Minnesota (APP-MN) this fall, thanks to grants from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) and the Dorsey Foundation.

Now, these elder poets will take center stage at the Twin Cities Poetry Party, a culminating celebration and collaborative performance event at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). The event is free and open to the public, and will take place on Thursday, December 12, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Studio 112 of MIA’s McKim wing, on the first floor near the café.

The Poetry Party honors the creativity of elders and others navigating memory loss, and will feature group performance of some poems created during the workshops; it also marks the international Alzheimer’s Poetry Project’s tenth anniversary and celebrates the emergence of its new affiliate, APP-MN, here in the Twin Cities. The National Endowment for the Arts listed the APP as a “best practice” for their Arts and Aging Initiative, and APP was awarded the 2012 MetLife Foundation MetLife Foundation in the category of Community Engagement (visit for more).

Poet-participants in the workshop series are from Heritage Park’s Open Circle Adult Day Program and Thomas T. Feeney Manor; Eastside Neighborhood Services’ Friendship Center; Ebenezer Minneapolis Adult Day Center and Southwest Senior Center.

A highlight of the Party will be audience creation of new poems, led by APP founder and director Gary Glazner, and Rachel Moritz and Zoë Bird of APP-MN. Joining the poets will be Jane Tygesson, creator of MIA’s “Discover Your Story” program for adults with memory loss; dancers from KAIROS ALIVE!; and other community artists.

This will be a fun, high-energy event with lots of audience participation. All are welcome to come and experience this exciting form of creative engagement for people with dementia, their allies and the larger community!

This free event is made possible by the voters of Minnesota, through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund; and by the Dorsey Foundation.  

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