Latest News

A New Book of Reflections Highlights Bringing Art to Life

A new book by Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN highlights Bringing Art to Life to celebrate the program’s 10th anniversary.

Bringing Art to Life (BATL) is a service-learning program developed in memory of Lester E. Potts, Jr. Its primary purpose is to honor and validate persons living with dementia and other cognitive disorders through art therapy, other expressive arts, and storytelling. Additional goals include facilitating the development of intergenerational, multicultural relationships; growing empathy, compassion, knowledge, and self-awareness in students via transformational educational paradigms; lessening stigma; providing respite for care partners; and laying a foundation for the ongoing engagement and enrichment of students, persons living with dementia, and their care partners in the broader community.

The book, Bringing Art to Life: Reflections on Dementia and the Transforming Power of Art and Relationships, published by Resource Publications (an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers) highlights the story of Alzheimer’s artist, Lester Potts, as the inspiration for developing BATL. It describes the program, including original research showing the program’s effects on growing empathy and reducing dementia-related stigma. The book also discusses the spiritual side of care partnership, including the development of mindfulness, relationships, and self-awareness in creating a culture of compassion. Reflections and poetry about participants in the program are shared, as well. Finally, the author describes his own spiritual transformation and growth as a result of the relationships formed in the program.

Praising the book, Terrence Cascino, MD, past president of the American Academy of Neurology, “applauds Dr. Potts’s extraordinary commitment and dedication to caregivers, students, family, and patients afflicted with dementia. Even as a senior neurologist, I found this book changed my perception of the capabilities of people with dementia. This is a great read for anyone caring for individuals with these disorders.”

Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, executive director of the Validation Training Institute and daughter of Naomi Feil, adds that “Bringing Art to Life is a book of passion; a description not only of magnificent dementia care but also of a man’s journey to finding greater compassion, spirituality, and a deep understanding of what Naomi Feil calls ‘the wisdom of the disoriented old-old.’ … There is much to learn, appreciate, and be inspired by in this book.”

Author, Daniel Potts, adds: “It was a pleasure to get this book together. There has been so much rich content in the program, and I feel honored to share some reflections about the wonderful people with whom we’ve become friends and experiences we’ve had together. I felt an obligation to write, as I am the only one who has been present at every art therapy session offered in our Tuscaloosa iteration of the program for the past decade. I hope these stories will be inspiring to others.”

The book is available in paperback, hard cover, and kindle at the following link:

New Project of Music and Poetry Honors the Love of Care Partners

“Love Is Stronger Than Loss” is a new playlist of 7 songs written by Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN honoring the love of care partners and persons living with dementia.

Daniel was introduced by Cheryl Blanchard of Alzheimer’s Tennessee to her son, Brandon Blanchard, a musician and recording professional in Nashville, TN, who provided the recording, mixing, and orchestral arrangements for the project, with Daniel Potts on piano and vocals.

We hope that these songs and the stories behind them will be inspiring to any who are walking the road of care partnership through dementia.

Here is a blog which contains the poetry, the stories behind the songs, and Youtube links for the music:

Love Is Stronger Than Loss

Here is a Youtube playlist of the songs:

Bringing Art to Life Research to be Presented at AAN Meeting

We are thankful for the opportunity to present the poster, “Bringing Art to Life (BATL): Growing Empathy Through Art Therapy, Life Story and Relationships,” at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Seattle 4/7/22.
BATL, our program utilizing art therapy, narrative and intergenerational relationships, grows empathy and lessens the stigma of aging in pre-health care students. 
Here is a link for the abstract:…/PDFfiles/AAN2022-003917.html

Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN Advocates Via Podcasts and Interviews

Cognitive Dynamics Founder and President, neurologist Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN advocates for persons living with dementia and care partners via a number of podcasts and online interviews, which may be accessed at the following links. These presentations cover topics such as the expressive arts in dementia care, the role of spirituality and faith in dementia care, reminiscence and life story, care partner wellness, the building of empathy in healthcare providers, virtual reality, helping persons with dementia to live well, etc.

Being Patient: The Transformative Power of Art in Dementia Care

Dementia Alliance International: Learnings from Patients

N2 Creative Aging with Angel Duncan

Kentuck Museum: Memory, Forgetting, and Art

The Caregivers, with Lon Kieffer

Dementia Action Alliance: This Dementia Life

Alz Authors: Untangling the Expressive Arts for Dementia Care

Life on Repeat: Pillars of Personhood

Professional Insights

Together in This: The Importance of Dementia-Compassionate Culture

Blog Talk Radion: Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Long Live The Brains: Who Knew He Was An Artist?

Loving Through Dementia: Dementia Conversations






Cognitive Dynamics Board Members Appear on Podcasts and Interviews

Members of the Cognitive Dynamics Board of Directors have appeared as featured guests on podcasts and online interviews related to Alzheimer’s, dementia, aging, care giving, expressive arts, person-centered care, eldercare, advocacy, research, spirituality in dementia care, and other topics.

Executive Arts Director Angel C. Duncan, MA, MFT-ATR has appeared on podcasts that may be accessed at this link:


Board Members Lynda Everman and Don Wendorf, PsyD have appeared on podcasts that may be accessed at these links:

Living Fully and Meaningfully

Person-centered Care form UC Irvine

Bringing Spirituality into a Dementia Friendly World

The Power of the Expressive Arts for Persons Living With Dementia

From Advocating for Your Loved One to Advocating for All

Dementia Advocacy and the Stole Ministry : Lynda Everman

Bringing Art to Life-Chicago Opens with New Innovations

Bringing Art to Life-Chicago (BATL-C), Cognitive Dynamics Foundation’s intergenerational expressive arts program for persons living with dementia and student partners, re-opened in July for the first time since the pandemic began. Again partnering with Chicago Methodist Senior Services, the program pairs residents who are living with dementia with student volunteers; this semester, we are working with students from Loyola University.

During the didactic portion of the class, students learn the neuroscience of Alzheimer’s and other dementias from Dr. Neelum Aggarwal, BATL-C lead faculty and Rush University neurologist, and BATL-C founder, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN lectures about person-centered care, memory and the use of the expressive arts in dementia care.  Students experience virtual reality modules from Embodied Labs, which help to create empathic understanding for the lived experience of dementia and caregiving.

A new innovation this semester is a virtual museum experience in partnership with the Yale University Art Gallery, facilitated by their museum staff, with art directives to follow facilitated by art therapist, Angel C. Duncan, MA, MFT-ATR, Executive Arts Director of Cognitive Dynamics Foundation, who also lectures to the students about art therapy.

Students and their dementia partners will spend time in a sensory garden at CMSS, created in our last iteration of BATL-C, and some of the herbs will find their way into a meal for the program’s final celebratory dinner at the end of the semester.

BATL-C is made possible in part by a grant from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Research shows the program increases empathy in student participants and improves attitudes toward older adults and persons living with dementia. 


Living with Dementia: Help and Hope

On August 22, 2020, First Presbyterian Church, along with 10 other interdenominational, interracial congregations in the Tuscaloosa, AL area, offered a virtual dementia conference called Living with Dementia: Help and Hope.  The conference featured pre-recorded presentations by well-known experts, including Deborah Jackson, founder of Healed3D Ministries, and Brian LeBlanc, who is living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  There were two panels, one of caregivers and one of dementia support organizations.

All the content of the conference, including a resource page, is featured for public access at the following link:

New Podcast Features the Story of Lester Potts

Cognitive Dynamics is pleased to be a partner organization for TightKnit, a content series about care giving and care partnerships sponsored and created by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

TightKnit features 2 short documentaries and 8 podcasts.  One of the podcasts, The Unseen Hand, features the story of Lester Potts as told by his son, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN, founder and President of Cognitive Dynamics Foundation.

The podcast may be found at the following link:

New Video Features the Story and Art of Lester Potts

This Is Alabama, in collaboration with Bryant Bank has released a video featuring the art and story of Lester E. Potts, Jr. as part of the Power of Caring video series, which highlights “people and organizations throughout the state of Alabama that epitomize the Power of Caring (from the Bryant Bank website).

The video may be accessed and shared via the following link:


New Inspirational Video Resources from Cognitive Dynamics

Cognitive Dynamics would like to share links to 4 newly edited and released videos that we feel will be sources of education, comfort and inspiration for you and those in your circles, especially care givers/care partners, and those who work in dementia care. These videos highlight the powerful stories and advocacy of three individuals you know well, Lynda EvermanDr. Don Wendorf, and Dr. Richard Morgan

Below are public, shareable links to the videos, which appear on our foundation’s YouTube channel, CognitiveDynamics1, along with brief descriptions of the content of the videos. 

1) Dr. Richard Morgan: Still Ministering to Elders, Persons Living with Dementia, and Care Givers

In October of 2016, Cognitive Dynamics Foundation President, neurologist Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN traveled to North Huntingdon, PA with fellow dementia advocates Lynda Everman and Dr. Don Wendorf to interview retired Presbyterian pastor, author and Clergy and Faith United Against Alzheimer’s Coalitions co-convener, Dr. Richard Morgan about his lifelong ministry to elders, persons living with dementia and caregivers. In this interview, rich in faith, as well as stories and wisdom gained over the decades, Dr. Morgan discusses his lifetime of caring for, and taking up the cause of the marginalized, and speaks of his many books, including No Act of Love is Ever Wasted: The Spirituality of Caring for Persons with Dementia. In his late eighties in this interview, Dr. Morgan displays the passion and fiery love that still lights his ministry, which his friends and loved ones know so well.

2) Dr. Richard Morgan: Treasure for Alzheimer’s

In this shorter clip taken from the full interview above, Dr. Morgan speaks about his experiences using the art of Lester E. Potts, Jr., a rural Alabama saw miller who discovered hidden artistic talent in the throes of Alzheimer’s, to engage persons living with late-stage dementia whom he visited in long-term care facilities. Dr. Morgan shares how connections and relationships were forged which formerly did not exist, and gives hope to caregivers and others who seek to know the identities still deeply present inside each of us despite the loss of cognition. The book, Treasure for Alzheimer’s is available amazon. 

3) Reflections on Care Giving: An Interview with Dr. Don Wendorf

On March 27, 2015, Cognitive Dynamics Foundation President, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN interviewed Don Wendorf, Psy. D, retired psychologist, author and Alzheimer’s/dementia advocate about his care giving experience for his late wife, Susan. Don discusses how to remain focused on the personhood of the loved one living with dementia, and see their behavior from their perspective. He emphasizes the importance of empathy in caregiving to nurture the relationship and help with the care partner’s own emotional struggles. The interview, vulnerable, honest and authentic, is rich in insights which can aid other care givers on their journeys.

4) Reflections on Care Giving and Advocacy: An Interview with Lynda Everman

On March 27, 2015, Cognitive Dynamics Foundation President, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN interviewed Lynda Everman, advocate, author and co-convener of several national dementia advocacy networks (ActivistsAgainstAlzheimer’s, WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, Clergy and Faith United Against Alzheimer’s) because, in her words, “Love requires action.”  In this interview, Lynda talks about care giving for her late father and late husband, and how she channeled these experiences into effective advocacy. Lynda’s personal stories and reflections speak to the importance of the ministry of presence and convey her central message: “These are still  the people you love. They are valuable. Continue to love them and be present with them.”

We are grateful to videographer and editor, Brian Covert, of Covert Productions, for producing these videos.