Alecia and father

Many friends know that I've recently come in to a new role, as the more frequently needed caregiver for my parents who live in Southern California. My father has Parkinson's, which is a very challenging and progressive disease.

As I've watched my dad lose independence and mobility, I've become newly grateful for the programs that ArtsWave has been able to fund over the years that improve health and wellness, including Dancing with Parkinson's.

My dad has never really liked to dance, except probably the day he married my mom and the day he danced with me at high school graduation. But if this Dancing for Parkinson's program was available to him today, I think he would be willing to dance all the time. Physical activity makes a big difference in the preservation of physical and mental acuity with this disease, as with so many others.

I'm also immensely appreciative of Memories in the Museum, a collaboration that has existed for several years among Cincinnati's leading art institutions: The Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati Art Museum and Contemporary Arts Center. Memories in the Museum is a program that rotates each month among these venues. It offers people struggling with memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer's, plus their caregivers, the chance to spend time in a guided experience of the art. What happens during these sessions is profound and moving.

With the help of CET, ArtsWave has created a new video showing the tremendous impact of Memories in the Museum on families just like mine and yours. Watch it and be newly inspired by how engaging with the arts makes an unexpected difference.