Port Macquarie gets artistic with a Dementia-Friendly Communities boost

Last financial year, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council received a $15,000 Community Engagement Program grant from Dementia Australia to create a year-long series of dementia-friendly activities, themed around the change of seasons and focused on building greater community awareness, acceptance and understanding of dementia.

Four Seasons in One Dementia Day officially concluded in July 2019 with the final ‘autumn’ event, the Port Macquarie ArtWalk

As part of the event, six workshops were held with people living with dementia. Participants were guided by creative ageing practitioner Lisa Hort and animator Katherine Appleby as they created a special four minute video projection.  

The workshops explored what the participants enjoyed doing on a Sunday afternoon, with activities including fishing, playing tennis, gardening and dancing. The participants painted a background artwork, before learning how to use an iPad app to incrementally move cartoon cut-outs as part of a stop-animation technique, with the footage used to create the film entitled Sunday Afternoon.

In July, the video was screened as part of the local ArtWalk event, which attracts around 14,000 people for the Winter Solstice and includes free pop-up performances, artistic interventions and creative installations.

The Murray Street car park site was fitted with dementia-friendly lounges, armchairs and lamps, and the workshop participants witnessed a screening of their film, which was displayed on a continuous loop for three hours during the ArtWalk event.

This is the final event of the ‘season’ and previous events included a pop-up soup café (winter), unforgettable book chat (spring), and hands-on history photo exhibition (summer). 

Funding for this grant was part of the Dementia-Friendly Communities program. Read more about the round of funding for 2019/2020 here.