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Opening Minds Through Art
Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational art-making program for people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of neurocognitive disorders. It's failure-free program provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with dementia. OMA also provides volunteers with opportunities to improve their attitudes toward aging through the weekly interaction with OMA program participants.  Click here to learn more about the OMA program.

Richmond-based Art for the Journey implemented its first OMA program at St. Mary's Woods, an assisted living community also in Richmond, VA.  In addition, the talented and committed staff at Art for the Journey have already begun training and certifying new OMA facilitators, many of whom are LeadingAge Virginia members, with the goal of expanding the OMA program throughout Virginia.

In addition to being a vehicle for wellness and healing for the artists, a critical component of this innovative program from Scripps Gerontology Center/Miami University, OH, is participation from an enthusiastic and energetic group of Virginia Commonweatlh University students, making OMA a unique intergenerational collaboration.

Several LeadingAge Virginia members were recently certified by Art for the Journey in 2017, and several more have already committed participate in the online course and certification program. To learn more about the program, visit Opening Minds through Art and look for the "Hybrid Training" link.  Continuing education credits are available. For questions, contact Cindy Paullin, Assistant Executive Director, Art for the Journey.


NEW: OMA Certification On-Line Course and Richmond Practicum


  • Online training: June 25-July 20, 2018.
  • In-person Practicum: August 2-3, 2018 in Richmond, VA
  • Contact: Cindy Paullin at or Tel. 804-543-4516
  • Practicum Location: At Saint Mary’s Woods Retirement Community, 1257 Marywood Lane, Richmond,VA 23229. Tel. 804-741-8624.



  • Online training: October 8-November 2, 2018
  • In-person Practicum: November 15-16, 2018 in Richmond, VA
  • Contact: Cindy Paullin at or Tel. 804-543-4516
  • Practicum Location: At Saint Mary’s Woods Retirement Community, 1257 Marywood Lane, Richmond,VA 23229. Tel. 804-741-8624


Mark Hierholzer, CEO, and Cindy Paullin, Assistant Executive Director, Art for the Journey were interviewed by Daphne Maxwell Reid on a recent episode of "Virginia Currents" on WCVE Richmond.


April 2018
The OMA program will be highlighted with Art for the Journey receiving a Community Partner Award from the VCU ASPire Program.
March 2018
The OMA program is growing in Virginia! Congratulations to the 16 people who are now certified to implement the Scripps Gerontology Center/Miami University, OH "Opening Minds Through Art" program throughout the Commonwealth.

January 2018

Richmond, VA non-profit "Art for the Journey" has successfully partnered with the Scripps Gerontology Center/Miami University to host the first Facilitator Practicum in conjunction with the Opening Minds Through Art (OMA) online certification course. In October 2017, the initial group of 17 trainees were certified to facilitate "Opening Minds Through Art" in Assisted Living communities around Virginia and beyond. These new OMA Facilitators will implement the innovative, impactful program with AL residents with dementia/Alzheimers. Dr. Elizabeth Lokon, Founder of OMA, attended the first practicum and is pictured in the group photo above.

The second online course began on January 15th through the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University and the Richmond practicum will be held March 1st-2nd at Saint Mary's Woods Retirement Community in Richmond, VA. Dates for the next online course and practicum are being planned. For more information about "Opening Minds Through Art," visit or contact
Cindy Paullin, OMA Facilitator Practicum Trainer at