Art2Remember is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Our mission is to enhance the lives of caregivers and their loved ones living with early-stage dementia through creative arts experiences and to promote the value of arts programming in dementia care. We use artistic expression to help unlock creativity, improve self-esteem, create new memories, and strengthen relationships.
Art2Remember recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every person, regardless of diagnosis, and we celebrate each person's capacity to fully participate in the journey of life. We believe that access to creative expression is an essential component to our human experience.
Art2Remember was established after Executive Director, Joanne Blum, and Art Group Facilitator, Karen Kringle, worked together in an adult day program and advocated for utilizing the arts with older adults experiencing chronic conditions. After introducing creative arts projects to a small group of people experiencing dementia, they witnessed the positive effects of the art-making process: less anxiety, increased focus, and improved self-confidence. For some, art became a new way of communicating and engaging with those around them, and this enriching experience often spilled over into their relationships with friends and family.
In response to the positive feedback from participants and caregivers, Art2Remember was born. The organization's initial goals:
Joanne Blum, LMHC, NCC
Joanne is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC). She graduated with a B.A. in Arts Studies from North Carolina State University, and after working for many years in communications and marketing, she missed being in a field that helped others. Wanting to utilize the arts as a therapeutic tool, she returned to graduate school as an "older" student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and completed her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Joanne's lifelong love of the Northwest brought her to beautiful Seattle. She worked as a geriatric case manager/therapist providing outreach to vulnerable older adults in the South King County community. This was followed by a position at a local adult day center providing help to caregivers and their loved ones struggling with dementia and other chronic conditions. Most recently, she went into private practice with Catalyst Counseling in Bothell specializing in adults experiencing life transitions. Art2Remember is the culmination of her dream to combine her passion for the arts and helping others.
Art Group Facilitator
Karen has extensive experience working with older adults living with chronic conditions and permanent disabilities in a wide range of settings. After designing, implementing, and facilitating a weekly art group for adults with dementia in an adult day center, she recognized the positive impact art-making had on participants and their caregivers. Because of this background, Karen brings passion and enthusiasm to her art groups and strives to empower participants by introducing various art mediums and techniques in her sessions, while promoting an environment where each person is able to enjoy art in a non-threatening way.
In recent years, Karen took on the role of becoming her husband's care partner after he was diagnosed with kidney failure. Together, they have journeyed several years through the various stages of kidney failure, and he is currently living well with a transplanted kidney. This experience has allowed Karen to feel first-hand what it is like to walk in the shoes of a caregiver/partner. She has learned the importance of self-care but also knows the struggle of fitting it into everyday life. She also recognizes the importance of sharing time together while doing fun and creative activities. This is why she looks forward to facilitating Art2Remember groups and providing opportunities that can bring about cherished memories in the years to come.