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2023 Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders (GBHI)

Arts workshops for older Latino adults with MCI at museums

Can an art program improve the quality of life and brain health in Latinos living with dementia?

Veronica Birgit Rojas Carstensen, MFA
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA - United States


Individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementia may experience mood and behavioral changes, including depression, stress, anxiety, and loneliness. Community programs are a new approach to improving the quality of life and brain health for those living with dementia and their caregivers. Studies have shown that art-based activities are also a cost-effective way to reduce the mental health challenges experienced by individuals with dementia. Veronica Rojas Carstensen and colleagues aim to create a new arts program tailored to older Latino adults with dementia.

Research Plan

Veronica Rojas Carstensen and colleagues will partner with the San Francisco de Young Museum to provide guided tours of the museum’s collections and guided painting and drawing activities. The artwork created by the participants will then be displayed in a gallery exhibition at the museum. Next, the team will lead discussions in Spanish on the role of the arts in promoting brain health. Lastly, the researchers will conduct surveys to examine how the program has impacted the participants’ views and perceptions of aging and brain health.


If successful, this study will develop a new art program to improve the quality of life and brain health of Spanish-speaking individuals with dementia.

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