Hilgos Foundation

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The Hilgos Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the ongoing process of artistic creation for people who have different forms of memory impairment such as Alzheimer's.

Background[edit]

The Hilgos Foundation was founded by Berna Huebner in 1999.[1] Huebner enlisted art students to work with her mother Hilda (Hilgos) Gorenstein who had Alzheimer's. The use of art opened a dialogue of communication that had been closed for years. In memory of her mother, Berna founded the Hilgos Foundation which provides grants to art students who work with Alzheimer's patients.[2] Students in the Hilgos project, in which "Hilgos scholars" participate each academic year, have served hundreds of people with Alzheimer's.[3]

Documentary film and book[edit]

To further raise visibility of the arts and Alzheimer's, the Hilgos Foundation co-produced an international documentary film, I Remember Better When I Paint narrated by Olivia de Havilland. The film, co-directed by Huebner and filmmaker Eric Ellena, was inspired by the words of Hilgos who in the midst of Alzheimer's said "I remember better when I paint."[4] The documentary shows how the creative arts can help improve quality of life for Alzheimer's patients not only through creation and performance of art and music but also from exposure to the arts around the world, such as the Louvre museum. The documentary also shares findings by leading neurologists offering scientific support regarding the transforming power of the arts for people with Alzheimer's. The film includes a moving interview with Yasmin Aga Khan, actress Rita Hayworth's daughter; Hayworth developed early-onset Alzheimer's and also had painted.[5] In 2014 the film broadcast nationwide on public televisions stations in the United States.[6] '

The Foundation has also produced a book based on Hilgos I Remember Better When I Paint: Art and Alzheimer's: Opening Doors, Making Connections[7] describing how people affected with dementia can be reconnected to themselves and how communications channels can be reopened through the creative arts.[8]

Social Media[edit]

The Hilgos Foundation was as a 2015 Shorty Awards finalist in the charity category.[9] Also known as the Shorties, it is an annual awards event that honors the best in social media. From the seven finalists, the 2015 Shorty Award for the best in charity was awarded to the Gates Foundation.[10] In 2014, the Hilgos Foundation was named a "Best in Show Twitter" finalist in the annual Wego Health Activists Awards.[11] The Hilgos Foundation is the co-host and founder of the weekly Twitter driven dementia caregiver discussion #AlzChat.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Long, Mary C. (January 25, 2013). "Fight Alzheimers With Art". Media Bistro.
  2. ^ Senelick, Richard (January 4, 2013). "Creative Aging: The Emergence of Artistic Talents". The Atlantic.
  3. ^ "How the life and death of the Chicago painter known as Hilgos helped bring art—and a better quality of life—to Alzheimer's patients". Pacific Standard magazine. December 21, 2010. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011.
  4. ^ Reddinger, Paige E. (October 29, 2009). "Paint to Preserve Memory". Scallywag & Vagabond.
  5. ^ "How the life and death of the Chicago painter known as Hilgos helped bring art—and a better quality of life—to Alzheimer's patients". Pacific Standard magazine. December 21, 2010. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011.
  6. ^ "New Lou Ruvo Center art program gives creative outlet to those with memory loss". Las Vegas Review Journal. October 8, 2014.
  7. ^ Zuckerman, Laurel (February 6, 2013). "Berna Huebner, editor of I Remember Better When I Paint, on improving care for people with Alzheimer's". Paris Writers News.
  8. ^ Whitcomb, Robert (September 14, 2007). "Aging with the Arts". The Providence Journal.
  9. ^ "Shorty Awards 2015:Nominees". March 2, 2015.
  10. ^ "The Gates Foundation accepts the Best Charity Shorty Award". April 20, 2015.
  11. ^ "Best in Show: Twitter Finalists". Wego Health. March 30, 2014.
  12. ^ "Creative arts provide hope and help for people with Alzheimer's". Women's Guide. October 26, 2014.

External links[edit]