Opening Minds through Art

Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an intergenerational art program for people oma-the-cedarswith dementia, founded on the basis that people with dementia are capable of expressing themselves creatively. There is a growing body of evidence that creative expression actually improves the physical and psychological well-being of people with dementia.

The Cedars’ Nick Viti, Director of Life Enrichment and a certified OMA Facilitator, brings this program to our community in partnership with various Portland organizations. Through our affiliations with both the University of Southern Maine’s Occupational Therapy Department and the University of New England, our staff teach college level classes that incorporate this rich and rewarding program. The students work directly, 1:1 with participating residents, as our artists create some amazing pieces of art. For more information, contact Nick Viti at

_sah9305Everyone who visited the UMVA Gallery at CTN5 during Portland’s Frist Friday Art Walk in June saw first-hand the beauty and insight our artists express and felt how much it meant to them to share it. With help from the Union of Maine Visual Artists, The Cedars mounted a breathtaking gallery show filled with our artists’ work, their words, and photographs of their process, and opened it to the public.

Our artists mingled with a joyous multigenerational crowd of local art enthusiasts, friends, family and community. They received enthusiastic praise and thoughtful questions from the First Friday crowds, an affirmation that they can still communicate with and contribute to their world.