By Hilary Lee & Jane Verity © Dementia Care International
Creativity is an expression of the liberation of the human spirit. The arts provide a vehicle that enable our soul to speak. Through creativity, diverse options of communication become possible and even people who have advanced dementia can access thoughts and feelings to express profound wisdom through creative expression. Creativity lets ones soul speak so the question, ‘What ignites your ‘Spark’?’ facilitates the response from the soul of humanity expressed through creativity.
The Spark of Life International Creative Arts Project with the theme, ‘What ignites your Spark?’ is about creating a rich tapestry of voices, hearts, minds and souls expressing what is most important in their lives. It is about what gives them joy and meaning, what makes them feel whole and important to be alive, and what makes them feel they make a difference in the world. This collective message is humanity’s voice and call to action that there is nothing more important than keeping this ‘Spark’ alight. Contributions are called for internationally from the field of aged care, from schools, from community organisations and from individuals. Each art work contributed will be showcased on our website at our online ‘village square’.
In a broader context, creativity within organisations is essential to find solutions to problems. Solutions do not usually lie within a box or tight framework of instructions. Solutions lie when a team is empowered to let their imagination dream of new possibilities and then reach out and pull these ideas into reality.
Creativity enables us to find diverse ways of doing things and adapt to new situations and environments. Everyone has creative potential; we just need to offer opportunity and conditions of:
- Feeling loved and supported unconditionally
- Having the freedom to be ‘me’
- Having time and space
The Spark of Life Club Program provides this an ideal framework to support creative expression.
The following questions are a useful guide for Creative Arts Facilitators:
- Do you have a well lit room closed off from distractions?
- Do you have a minimum of two facilitators (who can include volunteers)?
- Do the facilitators and volunteers have the ability to be fully present and in the moment with each of your participants?
- Do the facilitators and volunteers hold an energy of unconditional love and acceptance for each person?
- Have the creative arts facilitators and volunteers taken the time to personally get to know each participant?
- Can your creative expression activity be adapted and offered in a way that holds meaning for each participant?
- Can you make a special time at the end of each session to personally appreciate each participant’s creative art and for each participant to express their own truth and story behind their artistic expression?
As a Creative Arts Facilitator, if you feel confident that you have met your participant’s needs as guided by the above questions then your session will provide the beautiful energy of freedom to be ‘me’ and bring out the voice of the soul of humanity.
You can find out more in depth information about the creative arts from leading pioneers who have contributed to the book, Creative Approaches in Dementia Care , edited by Hilary Lee and Trevor Adams.