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University of Iowa News

April 13, 2005

UI Exhibit Shows How Storytelling Helps People with Memory Loss

A University of Iowa art exhibit based on storytelling by people with memory loss will be open to the public from April 15 to 30 at the Iowa City Senior Center, 28 S. Linn St. in Iowa City. The free exhibit showcases visual interpretations of the stories of long-term care residents who have Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

In addition, a community program and closing reception will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 29 at the center.

The project is supported by the University of Iowa Year of the Arts and Humanities and is co-directed by the UI Center on Aging and the Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence in the UI College of Nursing.

The exhibit and April 29 program are the culmination of a project that the organizers started last fall with Timeslips creative storytelling training and visits by UI nursing students to area care facilities to collect stories. In addition, a visiting artist, Beth Thielen, presented in February her work on Timeslips and created visual art from the stories.

The April 29 event will include the closing reception for the exhibit and features a lecture on TimeSlips creative story telling project by its founder, Anne Basting. The program also will include a reading and interpretive performance of selected stories by members of Iowa City-based Arts a la Carte.

TimeSlips,, is a national project developed in 1998 by Basting that uses an effective storytelling method to enable people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia to express themselves and connect with professional caregivers, family and friends. The creative outlet eliminates some of the frustration or embarrassment that can come with memory loss and helps others recognize the potential of people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The April 15-30 exhibit is one of many programs and events that are part of the UI Year of Arts and Humanities, which ends June 30.

UI President David Skorton's determination to increase public awareness and support of the rich tradition of arts and humanities on campus and throughout Iowa led him to declare academic year 2004-2005 the Year of Arts and Humanities, a time to celebrate that rich tradition and forge cultural linkages between the academic community and communities around the state.

The Year of the Arts and Humanities is supported by the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice-president for Research and the Graduate College.

The UI Center on Aging helps educate health professions students and practicing physicians and other care providers in aging. The center's primary role is to lead in translating aging-related research, education and training efforts at the UI into practical service applications that benefit older Iowans. Visit the center online at

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACTS: Program: Julie Bobitt, education coordinator, UI Center on Aging, 319 384-4222 or; Media: Becky Soglin, 319 335-6660