Monthly Archives: September 2014

Lola Fraknoi & Ruth’s Table

Lola Fraknoi & Ruth’s Table

If there’s one reason to move to San Francisco, it would be to meet Lola Fraknoi. And the wonderful work she is doing. Monday is about visiting Ruth’s Table. Located in the heart of the Mission District, Ruth’s Table is a centre for creative learning, housed in the Bethany Centre Senior Housing, and serves the senior resident population in the Mission District. Mostly Latino, Chinese and recently, Russian communities.  To read more of this post click here.



Wake up with the blues hugging me tight to their clammy bosom, not helped by skyping with family – although it is so lovely to see them and talk to them – I feel the weight of not being with them for so long. I repeat the words of Mary Oliver’s poem, Wild Geese, and remind myself that we all find our place in this earth.  To read more of this post click here.


San Francisco

San Francisco

I arrive in San Francisco late Friday night. Its a short enough trip to my apartment hotel in the Tenderloin district, just around a few corners from Union Square.

First impressions, especially after a long day of travel, and in the nighttime, are always raw and coloured by a sense of the unreal, of the surreal. Arriving into a new city with all your belongings attached to you and moving along with you, you are a small bubble wandering into an established world, whose ways and etiquette are beyond you.  To read more of this post click here.

I Still Do

I Still Do – by Judith Fox

Enough words from me….At one point in the day I am sitting and waiting for the next appointment – and I pick up a book from the library.  “I Still Do – Loving and Living with Alzheimer’s” by Judith Fox. Its very simple and very beautiful.  A photographer writing about her experience of living with and loving her husband as he experiences Alzheimer’s.  Intimate photographs. To read more of this post click here.

The artists

The Artists

I meet Sandra Murphy-Pak, artist in residence. Sandra introduces herself as a generalist – she has a degree in arts education. She’s there to provide patients with arts activities, arts materials, supervise the volunteers (the A-team!) who work on arts projects with her, and liaise with Starlight – an independent organisation that supports paediatrics with materials and fund raising activities. To read more of this post click here.

Arts in medicine

Arts in Medicine

So much to say about the last two days.  I have met wonderful arts practitioners, wonderful leaders, and wonderful patients.  Not wanting to only reach for superlatives, but it truly has felt a special experience to witness an arts program that has been working for over 20 years, and that continues to develop an authentic and honest relationship with the hospital that houses it, that maintains and develops an international, national and local network, that supports and trusts its staff, and of course that welcomes visitors like myself so warmly and openly. To read more of this post click here.

Arts in medicine programs – Florida

Arts in Medicine programs at the University of Florida

Last night, as we neared Gainesville, Florida, the plane hit storm & lightening and our small aircraft was buckled about in the air.  Hard to any distance out of the window – lots of dark mass, lights, houses….By the time I’ve made it out of the airport, found my lost luggage and been collected and brought “home” to my hostel, it is dark and late evening.  To read more of this post click here.

Last weekend in New York

Saturday in New York

Words to follow…some visuals from a full day in New York.  Gathering my thoughts about the visit to the Montefiore Hospital.  In some ways, am looking forward to leaving this busy city, and all its riches, and enjoying some more peaceful and reflection time.  To read more of this post click here.

Dancing, and then more

More and more dancing

It feels like the first week in New York has  been about orientation and meeting people and spaces in an ongoing sense of newness and difference, and now, second week in, I am easing more familiarly and more deeply into the New York dance scene – dance scene as it relates to the world of ageing and health care and community. To read more of this post click here.

We dance together, we are a group

5 Rhythms and Alzheimers

From the street the Stein Senior Centre looks like an office block – but arriving at the second floor, the feeling changes hugely. It’s still an office space but there’s a busy hum of conversation and action. I ask for the dance group, and am showed into a smallish, carpeted, low ceilinged room – tables one end, and a circle of chairs the other end. To read more of this post click here.


Picture of the day

A woodcut by Emil Nolde, ‘Candle Dancers’ 1917

“…depicts two ecstatic dancers, their writhing bodies wrought with unfettered emotion, erotic energy, and spiritual freedom. The dramatic contrast between the exposed paper and the black ink suggests flickering candlelight, which accentuates the dancers’ movements. Expressionist artists like Nolde sought to make art that was intuitive and passionate.”  To read more of this post click here.

General thoughts…

General thoughts…

General thoughts about the projects I am visiting…Criteria – how do people sign up for these projects – are they self referrals? How do people find out about the programs?  One of the issues in Cambridge is getting people to join in, sign up, have a go.  To read more of this post click here.

Meet Me at MoMA

Meet Me at MoMA

A large and busy crowd of people are being greeted warmly and noisily  at the film desk at MoMA.  Laurel Humble, Assistant Educator at MoMA, is busy taking names and directing people into their groups.  To read more click here.

Churchill Fellow 2014

Churchill Fellow 2014

Last February I found out that I had been successful in my lengthy and extensive application process, and very firmly and gently found myself a 2014 Churchill Fellow. To read more of this post click here.