“When I think of what makes me happy, I don’t think of things—I think of what’s happening to me right now, this group and what we’re doing. We’re talking about poetry and it stretches the mind, feeds the imagination."
—Peter, APP-MN participant with late-stage memory loss
The Alzheimer's Poetry Project Minnesota (APP-MN)’s mission is to facilitate and enhance the creativity and well-being of older Minnesotans, and to help amplify their voices and stories in our society.
During group sessions in memory care, assisted living, and community and adult day center communities, APP-MN poets use poetry and sensory engagement to connect with people living with dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges, leading participants in joyful, lively call-and-response performance, discussion, and composition of group poems.
We are proud to be an arm of the international Alzheimer's Poetry Project (APP), founded and directed by our mentor, Gary Glazner. To date, the APP has held programming in 28 states and internationally in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Poland, and South Korea, serving over 35,000 people living with dementia.
APP-MN draws on the international APP’s strength of programming; the NEA has named APP techniques a “best practice” in its Arts and Aging initiative, and the Wilder Community Center for Aging in St. Paul has also named APP-MN’s work a “best practice for late-stage memory loss.” Now entering its sixth year, APP-MN has already brought poetry programming to thousands of elder Minnesotans and their loved ones, caregivers, and community members.
APP-MN teaching artists also lead staff and caregiver trainings, writing classes and groups for caregivers, intergenerational sessions, and multimodal sessions in collaboration with artists in other media.
We are grateful to be fiscally sponsored by Springboard for the Arts.
For information about bringing APP-MN to your site, contact director Zoë Bird.