3rdCreative Dementia Conference

8th April 2014

Oxford Town Hall

The role of arts in living well with dementia:

Come for inspiration: leave better informed and connected with others

Creative Dementia Arts Network (CDAN) invites artists, other creative practitioners, and staff working for arts organisations, cultural institutions, statutory authorities, voluntary organisations, commercial providers, and academia to its third national conference.

CDAN was set up in 2011 to promote the health and well-being of people living with dementia through the arts. Our on line hub offers knowledge and resources for providers and commissioners and we carry out research, evaluation, training, practice development and consultancy in arts and dementia.


CDAN’s conference is timely given the growing numbers of people with dementia and their needs to remain engaged, occupied and connected in their local communities. Cultural institutions are increasingly reaching out to an ageing population, and health and social care recognise the contribution of arts and culture to the quality of life for people with dementia and their families, particularly in care homes and hospitals. Evidence of positive outcomes for participatory arts for older people has fuelled interest in the use of creative therapies and psychosocial approaches to supporting people with dementia.

Why attend? The conference offers exceptional keynote speakers and workshop leaders. Besides learning about dementia and its impact on creativity, and about innovative and excellent practice, delegates also have the opportunity to discuss topics such as dementia practice development for creative practitioners, dementia awareness for museum and gallery educators, and how small arts organisations can become more business minded in the new landscape of health and social care.

Who should attend? Artists, musicians, actors, performers, film makers, singers, dancers crafts persons, poets and staff in arts organisations and cultural institutions, universities, the NHS, local councils, voluntary organisations and the commercial and independent sector involved or interested in arts and dementia. We welcome people with dementia and their carers as co presenters, chairs and delegates.

What is on the programme? We are pleased to welcome David Cutler, Director of the Baring Foundation, which has made an outstanding contribution to the field of participatory arts and older people through funding, publications and research. Dr Seb Crutch, will illustrate his presentation on neurobiology and creativity with reflections on a former patient -William Utermohlen, a painter with Alzheimer’s disease, whilst Dr Gill Windle will report on a large Arts and Humanities funded research project investigating how involvement in visual arts can connect people with dementia with their communities and change attitudes. Workshops include music, singing, drama, dance, film, craft, poetry, reminiscence and life story work. There will be hands on arts sessions over lunch, painting, film shows, technology, circle dancing and a tour of the Museum of Oxford. We are offering a limited number of exhibition places for organisations to promote their work and there will be a bookstall. All those attending are welcome to bring information to share.

Where and when? This one day conference will be held at the Oxford Town on Tuesday 8 April from 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. There are excellent transport links from Oxford’s Park and Ride car parks. The rail station is 12 minutes’ walk from the Town Hall, 7 minutes by bus or taxi. City centre car parks cost £22.00 a day.

Eminence Grise are managing conference bookings, payment and can provide further travel and accommodation advice during your booking.

Accommodation Oxford is a wonderful city for further exploration of arts and architecture. Why not extend your stay and visit the Ashmolean Musuem and the Oxford colleges? We can provide a list of overnight accommodation including university halls of residence.

Booking Conference booking may be made online after 8 January 2014, Please fill the form. Fill out form.

Conference Fees

£120 public sector organisations, commercial companies

£80 voluntary sector organisations

£50 artists and small arts organisations of 3 or fewer staff (limited numbers)

£10 People with dementia and their carers (limited numbers)

Discount for organisations sending 2+ delegates

Payment can be made by Paypal, BACS or cheque made to Creative Dementia Arts

Network and sent to

Elizabeth Mills OBE DSc (Hon)

Eminence Grise

11 Divinity Road

Oxford OX4 1LH

Mobile: 07970 742062

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please contact Elizabeth Mills, Conference Administrator with any further queries about the conference.



9.00 Refreshments and registration

10.00 David Cutler, Director of the Baring Foundation, London, Chair’s welcome and some thoughts for the day ahead

10.15 Jan and Ralph Burrage and Maria Parsons, Director of CDAN, What’s art got to do with dementia? The Time and Space Continuum Project at Modern Art Oxford

10.30 Dr Sebastian Crutch, Principal Research Associate, Institute of Neurology, UCL, London and Alzheimer's Research UK, Senior Research Fellow- William Utermohlen - Creativity and dementia

11.10 Refreshments

Workshops: 11.40 – 12.50

Workshop 1: John Killick, Poet, Dementia Positive, Poetry in Dementia

Workshop 2: Oxford Concert Party, Musical theatre work with Oxfordshire Age UK

Workshop 3: Rachel Mortimer, Director, Engage and Create, West Sussex, Caring artfully: skilling up artists in working with people with dementia

Workshop 4: Helen Jacobs, Oxfordshire, Artist, Lights Up, an arts and memory club in West Oxfordshire


13.00-14.00 Collect your brown bag lunch and continue networking whilst participating in workshops including 

Helen Ganly, Oxford artist, Painting with older adults 

Claire Ford iPad enAGE Older people with dementia using technology to access and enjoy art Circle Dancing with Cynthia Heymanson

More to be confirmed

Exhibitions and Book Stall

Tour of Oxford Town Hall Museum and Introduction to Memory Lane reminiscencework with Helen Fountain, Oxford City Reminiscence Officer


14.05 -14.35 Dr Gill Windle, Research Fellow, Bangor University, Wales, Evidencing art and dementia

Workshops 14.40 - 15.45

Workshop 5: David Slater, Artistic Director, Entelechy Arts, London, Little Boxes: multi-sensory ways of listening to and sharing life stories

Workshop 6: Bisakha Sarker, MBE, Creative Director, Chaturangan, Liverpool, The ever increasing circle: dance and dementia

Workshop 7: Chris Gage, Director, Ladder to the Moon, London, Developing leadership, staff and community through creativity

Workshop 8: Adam Kishtany, Music Therapy Services Manager, Guideposts Trust, Oxfordshire, Music: the key to health and wellbeing

15.50 – 16.00 Refreshments

16.00 John Killick reflects on the day in poetry

16.10 Maria Parsons reflects on the day from CDAN going forward

16.20 David Cutler reflects on the day in prose and closes the conference.

Read about this event (PDF). CDAN - 2014