The SPARK! program at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center has provided creative, stimulating activities for seniors with memory loss while remaining free of charge.

About SPARK!

SPARK! gives seniors with memory loss and their caregivers a chance to enhance their quality of life through social engagement, mental stimulation, and communication in a safe and comfortable atmosphere. Each program offers a mix of engagement-focused activities: Gallery tours, ballroom dancing, hands-on art-making workshops, attending world-class performances, and culinary therapy. SPARK! aims to focus on the rich and satisfying experiences that are possible through creative engagement, rather than negativities too often associated with dementia.

The Arts Center is a founding member of the SPARK! Alliance, a group of cultural organizations launched in 2010 to offer high-quality programming for people with memory loss. The main objectives of the program are to provide a creative outlet for those living with Alzheimer’s disease, and to help end the isolation so common for those living with memory loss.

To register for a session or for more information about SPARK!, contact JMKAC at 920-458-6144. Participation is free for individual caregivers and participants.

Upcoming SPARK! Events

The SPARK! program offers monthly experiences for adults with
memory loss to share with a friend, family member, or caregiver at no cost.

To register for a session or for more information about SPARK!, contact us at 920-458-6144.

2020 SPARK! Schedule

SPARK! Fiber arts
Wednesday, January 15, 10:00–11:30 a.m.

See how fiber and weaving-related pieces interact with each other and the museum itself in the Even thread [has] a speech exhibition. Afterward, get tangled up in a hands-on art project using string and Sheboygan-themed designs.

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SPARK! Collage time
Wednesday, February 19, 10:00–11:30 a.m.

Examine artifacts from Ephemeral and Eternal: the Archive of Lenore Tawney, including handmade garments, personal correspondence, and artist journals. Then create a mixed-media collage that tells your story, inspired by the whimsically crafted postcards of Tawney.

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SPARK! Preschool get-together
Wednesday, March 18, 10:00–11:30 a.m.

March is Youth Art Month! Make new friends with students from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Preschool by having a sing-along, dance-along, crafty collaboration, or maybe all of the above!

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SPARK! Storytelling
Wednesday, April 15, 10:00–11:30 a.m.

Springtime will inspire a session filled with for storytelling and acting. All you need is an imagination to contribute to a creative brainstorm, which will lead to poems, songs, stories…or whatever else comes to mind!

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SPARK! Carnival time
Wednesday, May 20, 10:00–11:30 a.m.

Celebrate May on the beautiful grounds of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Relive your carnival-going days with games, popcorn, music, and more.

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SPARK! Group Visits

SPARK! programs at the Arts Center offer positive social and creative experiences for people living with memory loss that are not dependent on memory skills that are fading or impaired. Whether building a story, making art together, discussing a work of art in the galleries, singing, or dancing, the atmosphere is warm, welcoming, and stimulating. Conversation-based discussion of works of art encourages interaction and a positive exchange of ideas and observations and do not rely on recall. Art-making sessions encourage experimentation and playfulness and are often collaborative.

The Arts Center’s specially trained education staff and volunteers lead programs that emphasize the joy and creativity that can be found in the present moment, drawing on the strengths of the individuals, irrespective of their diagnosis. Programs are designed for individuals with early- to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and can be adapted to the needs of other types of senior groups.

Visits are available Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and can be customized to meet the needs of the group. Prices vary depending on the options selected.

SPARK! is supported by Mersberger Financial Group, Inc.