Arts 4 Dementia

Arts 4 Dementia

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Mental health
  • Older people / later life

Other details

Geographical remit: 


Arts 4 Dementia (A4D), founded in 2011, is a charitable company no. 7511427, registered charity no. 1140842.  A4D has desk space for the chief executive and administrator at The Music Base, an arts hub at Kings Place, London N1.



A4D works in partnership with arts organisations to develop workshops to re-energise and inspire people living with dementia in the community, to bring fulfilment to their lives and provide opportunities for enrichment and quality time with their carers and loved ones through engagement with their chosen art form. 

The premise

A4D believes that individuals and families affected by dementia can and should be able to continue to enjoy life to the full.  A4D knows that creative skills can remain vibrant for years after the onset of dementia; and A4D has demonstrated that engaging in artistic activity is a highly effective way to reawaken and stimulate cognitive ability.



What A4D does

A4D provides and promotes self-help opportunities for families affected by dementia, through:

  • developing award winning programmes of stimulating, challenging and genuinely transformational arts workshops for people with early stage dementia, across art forms from dance, music and drama to photography and poetry; currently mainly in London, A4D aims to expand regionally and to advise arts organisations putting on their own arts workshops,
  • working with memory services and clinicians to direct families affected by dementia towards arts experiences; and on a national basis to encourage this “prescription for arts”,
  • signposting arts workshops nationwide to enable families and memory services to locate arts workshops in their area,
  • promoting best practice through  conferences and toolkits for arts organisations,
  • training hundreds of dementia arts workshop facilitators across the country, to widen its reach outside of its own workshops.

Workshop participants are thrilled to discover that they can not only revive skills, but also learn new ones. Each session offsets stressful symptoms for as long as a week, restoring confidence, self-esteem and contributing to a fulfilling, active life.  A4D focuses on arts activities for people living in the community rather than in hospitals or care homes, at which most front-line services are aimed and where most charitable and statutory funds are exhausted. As the charity hears frequently from participants, they have gone from “confused” to “exhilarated”, from “locked-in” to “getting out”, and to “feeling normal again”.

A4D is evaluation-driven. A4D’s 2013 publication of Reawakening the Mind is an evaluation of the effects of its Inspire Mark-winning 2012 London Arts Challenge and includes a toolkit for arts organisations putting on their own workshops.  The report shows conclusively that artistic stimulation prolongs the ability of people with dementia to play an active part in society.

Key to A4D’s ability to deliver so much with such limited staffing is its collaborative approach. Alongside A4D’s own workshops, A4D aims to be a catalyst, trainer, inspirer, resource provider, and adviser to other dementia charities and to health care professionals, arts groups and individual practitioners, community associations, carer support agencies, music and arts therapists; to contribute to the focus on the benefits to health from arts activities; and more.

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