Memories in the Making®

What is Memories in the Making®?

Memories in the Making®, the signature art program of Alzheimer’s Orange County (ALZOC®), was created to provide a meaningful activity for persons with dementia, while focusing on creative expression as a form of communication. When the disease affects language, art becomes a more suitable form of expression. With the stroke of a paintbrush participants are able to express themselves, often painting memories from long ago or images that represent their hobbies and passions. Currently, classes are offered at adult day centers and memory care communities. However, it can also be a one-on-one activity through an in-home care agency or with loved ones in the comfort of their own home.

The benefits of Memories in the Making can include:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • A productive outlet for emotions
  • Increased attention span and focus
  • Activation of brain neurons
  • An opportunity to socialize, thus reducing isolation
  • Recollection and expression of past memories
  • A way to reconnect with loved ones
We would like to thank the Art-A-Fair Foundation ( for their continuous support of Memories in the Making. This year they donated art supplies which will be given to all of our 20+ host sites where painting classes take place.

Note cards available for purchase online order: set of 4 note cards and blank envelopes for $5, plus $1 domestic shipping.

Memories in the Making® Art Facilitator Training

Become a trained art facilitator and learn how to engage and communicate with someone with Alzheimer’s disease through painting. Attend the Memories in the Making Art® Facilitator Training to find out more about the program. No artistic background is necessary to benefit from Memories in the Making®.

  • Recognize the symptoms of dementia
  • Understand the principles and techniques of compassionate communication
  • Describe how artistic expression can benefit people with dementia
  • Practice techniques that improve communication with Memories in the Making® artists

Instructor: Ben Allen, Memories in the Making Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Orange County

Can’t attend the training in person? Purchase the Training Manual here.

For the most comprehensive understanding and usage of the manual, it is highly recommended to attend training first. The manual is included in the training, as it will continue to offer guidance and act as a reference for questions that may arise.

The success of the program is based on specific guidelines and techniques that benefit those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The manual explains the basic philosophy of Memories in the Making, providing tools for a successful program, paired with insightful examples of art created by artists in varying stages of the disease.

The following are just a few of the topics addressed:

  • History of the program
  • Validation Therapy
  • Research supporting Memories in the Making
  • Starting a program and conducting classes
  • Hints for engaging Alzheimer’s artists
  • Alzheimer’s disease – description and stages

Upcoming Events

Public Display of Memories in the Making® Art

Each year the paintings are submitted to Alzheimer’s Orange County (ALZOC®) for entry into the Memories in the Making Art Exhibition. Select paintings are framed and displayed to validate the participant’s abilities, provide awareness for the disease and raise funds.

Memories in the Making paintings are available, on loan, as a way of educating and engaging the public in our quest for a world without Alzheimer’s. Help us raise awareness of the disease and become a community supporter by displaying original paintings. Art is available for purchase, allowing interested parties to further support our cause by raising funds.

For art availability contact Ben AllenMemories in the Making Program Coordinator at 949-757-3719

Get Involved

Family education classes are available if you are caring for a loved one with dementia or a related disorder. Learn how to encourage your loved one to communicate thoughts, feelings and memories through visual arts from the comfort of your own home. Neither you nor the person you are caring for need to be an artist to benefit from the program. See the calendar for upcoming training sessions.

Memories in the Making is always seeking new locations for classes, as well as program volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a host site, volunteering or learning how to use art as a communication tool for individuals with dementia learn more about the Art Facilitator Training.

Become a trained art facilitator and learn how to engage and communicate with someone with Alzheimer’s disease through painting. Attend the Memories in the Making Art Facilitator Training to find out more about the program: Art Facilitator Training

For other Memories in the Making volunteer opportunities please view descriptions here.

Community Partners that offer Memories in the Making®