Vivian's Story... and how you can help!

Vivian never thought she’d have the chance to be an artist.

She’d already spent her whole life creating things -- building a happy home life for her children, and creating many special memories for her grandchildren.

But now, experiencing memory loss and living full-time in a residence for older adults, it seemed like her creative days were over. That is, until COMPAS Teaching Artist Zoë Bird arrived.


Zoë sees her role as helping older adults “fall in love with themselves again”.

Vivian arrived at Zoë’s class a little anxious. She wasn’t sure what to expect, and she was worried her memory problems would trip her up, as they had so many times in the past.

Each day she met with Zoë, Vivian grew more and more confident.

Her anxiety about her memory loss faded away as she realized there were no barriers, bad grades, or embarrassment here. Zoë asked open-ended questions, and students responded spontaneously, creating a new piece of work in each class.

Aging is often perceived as a series of losses, but every day I discover that through engagement with the arts, exactly the opposite is true.
— COMPAS Teaching Artist Zoë Bird

Vivian shared bits and pieces from her own life as things came to her, and learned new things about her fellow residents. Soon, the class became her favorite part of the week.

At the end of the residency, each student got a copy of the poem they had created together.

Who knew that at this point in her life, Vivian could be creating something entirely new?

In this season of giving, will you join us and help people like Vivian experience the power of creativity?

This is what your gift can do:

  • $25 helps reach one student with the power of creativity

  • $50 could help a COMPAS Teaching Artist travel to greater Minnesota -- reaching people who would otherwise lack the opportunity to learn from a professional artist

  • $100 helps provide creative education for six Minnesota students

  • $200 could help purchase the supplies needed for 10 older adults like Vivian to participate in an artist residency

With your gift, you are giving deserving people from all walks of life the opportunity to realize their full potential.

Thank you in advance for your generous support!