London Arts Challenge, 2012

Awarded the London 2012 Inspire mark, A4D’s London Arts Challenge in 2012 thirteen projects at arts venues around the capital have been bridging the gap in arts provision to bring life-enhancing stimulation to people in the early stages of dementia and their carers – from diagnosis.

Artistic stimulation elevates patients above symptoms of dementia and if practised each day, recent evidence suggests, can delay cognitive decline. Arts 4 Dementia’s weekly courses encourage daily arts activity between sessions.

Our London Arts Challenge in 2012 programme – covering art, dance, drama and scriptwriting, music, photography and poetry – is now being evaluated in association with Canterbury Christ Church University to produce the first multiple art form resource for activities for people in the early stages of dementia and their carers.

 ‘One of the Greatest Challenges of our Time’ 

The Prime Minister David Cameron, appalled by the low level of understanding about dementia, demands action.

  • Dementia is a degenerative brain disorder of which the most common form is Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • 820,000 people in England and Wales have been diagnosed with dementia (Alzheimer’s Research UK). 64,000 Londoners are living with dementia (NHS, Healthcare for London’s Dementia Services Guide)
  • Two-thirds live at home.
  • Memory loss leads to anxiety, confusion, increasing stress and isolation
  • Yet people’s artistic and imaginative responses can remain strong for years after the onset of dementia.

London Arts Challenge in 2012

Arts 4 Dementia is pioneering a dynamic new programme to re-energise and inspire people in the early stages of dementia and carers – family partners, friends and professionals.

Our London Arts Challenge in 2012 answers the National Dementia Strategy call for action to enable people with dementia to live longer and better in their own home, through improved learning networks and personal support services for people living in the community with dementia. The Dementia Services Guiderecommends creative arts activity as a means of living better with dementia.

Engaging in Arts Activities for Dementia

  • brings enjoyable relief from anxiety and confusion
  • encourages social interaction
  • restores confidence, sense of identity
  • maximises aspects of cognitive function
  • enables a more fulfilled life in the community
  • if practised regularly, can slow cognitive decline[1]

The National Dementia Strategy calls for the stigma associated with dementia to be eradicated. Photographs of participants engaging in arts activity provide evidence that disproves the misconception that dementia sufferers do not have a thinking, feeling brain.

Arts 4 Dementia’s Chief Executive Veronica Franklin Gould, who is leading the evaluation of the London Arts Challenge in 2012 projects, with Professor Paul Camic of Canterbury Christchurch University, and assisted by our London Arts Challenge in 2012 Co-ordinator Hannah Chetwynd, is liaising with community mental health teams for referrals to each course, which is signposted by art form on the Arts 4 Dementia website, through the London Arts in Health Forum and publicised with flyers for distribution in surgeries, memory clinics, libraries and arts venues, and marketed through the press.

Art on The Angel Boat,  City Road Basin, Graham Street, City Road, Islington N1 8JX. TUESDAYS 1,8, 22, 29 May, 2 – 4 pm.*

Four painting trips down the Regent’s Canal, led by the Angel Boat skipper John Checkley and artists Alex Coxall and Hannah Turner-Duffin.

* The first trip included a visit to the London Canal Museum visit.
Contact: Arts 4 Dementia


Dulwich Picture Gallery,  Gallery Road, Southwark SE21 7AD. TUESDAYS 12 – 26 June, 3 – 17 July, 2 – 4 pm.

Six creative art workshops with artists Ben Senior and Sally Cutler. Display of work in the Linbury Room  on 17 July.

Contact: Emily Christou, Good Times Co-ordinator. Tel: 020 8299 buy accutane new zealand 8753. Email: .


Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, Highgate NW3 7JR., TUESDAYS 14, 21, 28 February, 6 March, 2 – 4 pm.

Interactive discussions and art workshops:

14 FEB:  Robert Adam Library.

21 FEB:  Music Room.

28 FEB:  Rembrandt, Self-Portrait and

Vermeer, The Guitar Player

6 MAR:  Landseer and Repton’s

Landscape. Display of work.       Contact: Arts 4 Dementia.


The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square W1U 3BN  MONDAYS Interactive discussion 10.15 – 12.30.    *Art workshops 1.30 – 2.30 pm.

26 MAR: The Collectors; 16 APR*:  Madame de Pompadour. Talk and art workshop.

14 MAY: Rococo Ceramics and Furniture:

11 JUN*: Arms and Armour. Talk and art workshop. Display of work.

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia


National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. THURSDAYS 16, 23, 30 August, 6 September, 2 – 4 pm.

‘What’s in a Portrait?’

A series of four practical drawing workshops with gallery educators.

Contact: Lucy Ribeiro. Tel: 020 7312 2461. Email:

Museum of Brands, 2 Colville Mews, Lonsdale Road W11 2AR
MONDAYS Volunteer training 30 October. Media workshops 5 November – 17 December, 2-4pm

Gemma Holland leads creative workshops inspired by the museum’s print and broadcasting collection.

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia


The Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road NW6 7JR. FRIDAYS 17 February – 30 March, Rehearsal 12 April, 10.30am – 12.30      Performance 13 April, midday.

A course of eight scriptwriting and drama workshops, with rehearsal and final performance of scripts.

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia.


Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road W14  8LZ.  WEDNESDAYS 4, 11, 18, 25 July, 1 August, 10 am – 12 pm.

Rehearsal, 7 August, 3 pm.    Performance, 7 August, 5pm.

Drama and music workshops led by actor and educator Seta White and actor musician Chris Douglas

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia.



Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, W1D 6AS.  WEDNESDAYS 11, 18, 25 July, 3 – 4 pm.  Drama and choral workshops

11 JULY, Phantom of the Opera, drama workshop

18 JULY, Les Misérables, drama workshop

25 JULY, Les Misérables, choral workshop.

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia.


 Comedy at The Pineapple, 51 Leverton Street NW5 2NX. WEDNESDAYS 7 – 28 March, 12 – 1 pm.

Joe Bor leads comedy sessions, with Luke Toulson and musician Robert White.

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia.


Poetry at Putney Library, 5 – 7 Disraeli Road SW15 2DR.

WEDNESDAYS 2 May (volunteer training), poetry workshops 9, 16, 23, 26*, 30 May, 6 and 13 June, 2 – 4 pm.

* SATURDAY 26 May, 10 am – 12 pm, Wandsworth Arts Festival.

Poetry workshops with award-winning poet  Cheryl Moskowitz, co-founder of LAPIDUS, the Association for Literary Arts and Personal Development.

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia.


Green Candle Dance, Oxford House, Derbyshire St. E2 6HG.  FRIDAYS 4 – 25 May, 1, 8, 15, 22,

29 June, 6 July, 10.45 am – 12 pm.

Dance workshops led by artistic director Fergus Early.

Contact: Sonia Illescas..  Tel: 020 7739 7722.


Akademi South Asian Dance UK at The Bull Theatre, 68 Barnet High Street EN5 5SJ.

THURSDAYS  Volunteer dance training 26 April. Dance workshops 3 May – 14 June, 2 – 4 pm.

Dance workshops will be led Bisakha Sarker, Artistic Director of Chaturangan. One session will be screened at the High Barnet Summer Festival.

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia (See below).

Rambert Dance Company, 94 Chiswick High Road W4 1SH
THURSDAYS 8, 15, 22, 29 November, 2-4pm 

Dance workshops led by Laura Harvey, continuing in February 2013


Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace, Chelsea SW1X 9DQ. MONDAYS , 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 July, 6, 13, 20  August, 2 – 4 pm.

Kokila Gillett and Live Music Now colleagues – give interactive performances.

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia (See below).



Photographers Gallery, 16 – 18 Ramillies Street W1F 7LW. THURSDAYS Volunteer training 21 June

Photography workshops 28 June, 5, 12, 19, 26 July, 2, 9 August, 10 am – 12 pm.

Photography exhibition guide: curator Janice Maclaren. Photography workshops led by Hester Jones.

Contact: Arts 4 Dementia (See below).


[1] Professor Elmar Graessel, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nurnberg, German study, 2011; Cochrane Review (2012).