Latest News

Potts and Duncan to speak at Re-Imagine Dementia Conference

Cognitive Dynamics Founder and President, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN, and Executive Arts Director, Angel C. Duncan, MA, MFT-ATR will co-present at the Re-Imagine Life With Dementia Conference in Atlanta, GA on July 27, 2017. 

The conference is sponsored by the Dementia Action Alliance, and brings together the diverse dementia community for inspiring discussions, learning experiences, and engaging interactions.

Potts and Duncan will highlight Bringing Art to Life, an innovative program developed in collaboration with the University of Alabama Honors College which brings art therapy and life story preservation to persons with Alzheimer’s disease and others causes of dementia  and their caregivers.

Musical Concert to benefit Cognitive Dynamics

Well-known Birmingham, Alabama acoustic music venue, Moonlight on the Mountain, will host a night of Bluegrass, Gospel, Folk, and Barbershop music on March 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm, benefiting Cognitive Dynamics Foundation and its programs.

The event features musical groups Shades Mountain Air, Drexel Rayford and Friends and Southern Harmony.

Proceeds and donations from the event will go to support Cognitive Dynamics Foundation’s programs that improve quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers through the arts and storytelling, such as Bringing Art to Life.

The cost of admission is $20, CASH ONLY. Food and drink may be brought in, and doors open at 7 pm.

The address of the venue is 585 Shades Crest Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35226.

For more information, please visit the event’s Facebook page, here:

http://www.facebook.com/events/408041572873450/

Cognitive Dynamics Launches Bringing Art to Life Chicago

Cognitive Dynamics Foundation has launched Bringing Art to Life Chicago, an innovative art therapy program for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.  The program will be based on the past 5 years’ success of Bringing Art to Life in partnership with the University of Alabama Honors College in the service learning course, UH Art to Life.

The program will bring art therapy and the opportunity for empathic, intergenerational relationships to persons with dementia and students in the Chicago area, as well as education and support for their caregivers.

Our team includes Project Directors and former UA Art to Life students, Angela Ray and Cyrus Alavi, Lead Physician and Rush University Neurologist, Neelum Aggarwal, MD, and VA Lead, Kevin Hull, JD.

The program is supported in part by the High Socks for Hope Foundation, a nonprofit started by Chicago White Sox pitcher, David Robertson and his wife, Erin.  The photographs below were made at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago at a recent fundraiser hosted by High Socks for Hope.

For more information about the program, please contact BringingArtToLifeChicago@gmail.com.

BATL Chicago team Angela Ray, Neelum Aggarwal, MD, and Kevin Hull, JD

BATL Chicago Project Directors, Angela Ray and Cyrus Alavi

Chicago White Sox pitcher, David Robertson, wife, Erin, Angela Ray and Neelum Aggarwal, MD

Cognitive Dynamics and UA to Host Art Gala

To all former students & participants in the Art to Life program at the University of Alabama Honors College:

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: APRIL 19, 2016 – 6 to 8 pm
Ferguson Center Gallery on the UA campus
751 Campus Drive West, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

Cognitive Dynamics requests the honor of your presence at a gala celebrating 5 years of our Art to Life program. We want to honor our former participants, their families and all former students, as well as other organizations and individuals who have made this program possible. There will be a brief program in the Ferguson Center Theater at just after 6 pm, and then a gallery viewing of art created by our former participants.

We thank all of you for making this program what it is, and we want to honor you. We hope you can join us on the 19th.

The art and information about the program will be on display in the Ferguson Center Gallery from April 12th through the 22nd, and the Gallery will be open from 8 am until 10 pm for viewing.

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Art to Life: A Celebration – A Short Film

This video by Lauren Musgrove documents a celebratory dinner held on 12/8/2015 for the University of Alabama Honors College service learning course “Art to Life,” developed by Cognitive Dynamics Foundation in collaboration with the University. The course pairs undergraduate students of diverse majors with persons who have Alzheimer’s disease or other causes of dementia in an empathy and relationship-building art therapy, reminiscence and storytelling experience. To honor their participants, students host an end-of-semester gala at which leather-bound legacy books from LifeBio.com are presented to the participants and their families. These books contain student letters, poetry, participant art and life story material. Students also give the participants the art they have created over the semester, and share stories and words of thanks to honor and validate the personhood of their new friends.

Click on the link below to watch the 6 minute video.


Art to Life: A Celebration

Bringing Art to Life Program Featured in Mosaic Magazine

University of Alabama Honors College Mosaic Magazine has published an article by Rachel Wilburn titled “A New Beginning.” The article highlights Cognitive Dynamics Foundation’s Bringing Art to Life program, offered as an undergraduate service learning course (UH 300: Art to Life).

You may read the article beginning on page 2 at this link:
A New Beginning

Marley and Potts Publish “Finding Joy in Alzheimer’s: New Hope for Caregivers”

Here is an excerpt from  the back cover of the book: “Here’s a hope-filled book about Alzheimer’s caregiving. It was written by Marie Marley, PhD – a well-known author on dementia issues – and neurologist Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN, both experts on caregiving. With a Foreword by Maria Shriver, this groundbreaking volume will give you hope in the midst of the darkness of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. You can come to terms with your loved one’s condition and free yourself to experience joyous interactions. Part I covers a variety of issues, such as the authors’ belief that people with Alzheimer’s can still enjoy life, how to overcome denial, five especially difficult situations, the role of grief on the journey to acceptance, and letting go of resentment through making peace with God. In Part II the authors provide 55 helpful tips for visiting people with Alzheimer’s. Part III consists of numerous short stories illustrating the authors’ joyous interactions with their loved ones. The stories will warm your heart and light your way along the path to achieving true joy.”

Morgan and Potts Publish “Treasure for Alzheimer’s”

Cognitive Dynamics is honored to announce the release of Treasure for Alzheimer’s – Reflecting on experiences with the art of Lester E. Potts, Jr., by Richard L. Morgan, PhD & Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN. The book contains a series of reflections on Dr. Morgan’s experiences using the artwork of Lester E. Potts, Jr. to connect with people who have Alzheimer’s disease or Dementias of other causes.

We are grateful to our editors – Lynda Everman, Don Wendorf, PsyD, proofreader – Ellen W. Potts, MBA, and to our reviewers – Mara Botonis, Cathie Borrie, Rev. Dr. William B. Randolph and Kevin Jameson. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book will go to support the documentary film, “Do You Know Me Now?”

The book will soon be available on Amazon.com, but may be ordered now at the link below. https://www.createspace.com/5708351

 

“Bringing Art to Life” to Open in Chicago

Bringing Art to Life, an exhibit opening at the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago June 5, 2015, from 6 to 9 pm, will feature art by Lester E. Potts, Jr., a saw miller-turned-watercolor artist after the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and poetry by his son, Alabama neurologist Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN. The exhibit will highlight art and design as quality of life-promoting therapies for people with neurodegenerative disease, as well as techniques to enhance the effectiveness of caregiving. Elizabeth Barber, PhD will discuss her research on art and interior design as tools to create therapeutic environments especially for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and which lessen caregiver burden. A panel discussion will include distinguished AD and PD physicians experienced in the expressive arts, and an art therapist. Panelists will include Neelum Aggarwal, MD, Elizabeth Barber, PhD, Theresa Dewey, ATR, LCPC, Christopher Goetz, MD, and Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN. The Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is a partner for the event. The exhibit will run from June 5 – 26.

 

Do You Know Me Now” Crowd Funding Goes Live on Indiegogo

DO YOU KNOW ME NOW ?

Life is about relationships, and relationships are built through our unique human traits – the things that make us who we are.  All of us have a story!  And our stories need to be heard.

People who have Alzheimer’s disease or other causes of dementia share our humanity– no one loses their personhood just because they have memory loss or confusion.  And they still need to be in relationship with others who love and care for them.  To truly know someone we must appreciate their life stories, as well as the particular gifts and passions that they contribute to the world.

Do You Know Me Now? is a feature documentary exploring relationship and personhood in people who have Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia.  Our film will take a novel look at what it means to be a person with dementia who is still very much alive and possessing those traits upon which relationships may be built, even late into the disease.  We will highlight the stories of some very special people  and their loved ones who have found ways to connect — who have discovered joy, beauty and self-expression despite the losses.

Relationship that is deep and meaningful is still very much a possibility despite advancing cognitive loss, and should be the standard if we are to create what one of the film’s featured caregivers calls a “culture of compassion.”  Such care calls us to take an empathic journey into the very core of the person with dementia in search of the beauty and relational energy contained within.  We believe that our society cannot afford to lose this human treasure.

We have completed approximately half of the work needed to produce our documentary and are seeking the remainder through this Indiegogo crowd funding drive.  We need to raise $75,000 to finish the film, and get it out to the world. 

Will you help us tell the stories of people with Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia, to show the world that they are still vibrant souls capable of meaningful relationships?  Will you help us share the hope, end the stigma, and create a culture of compassion?

Thank you for your support!