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Art Express
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Art Express receives donation to help those with dementia

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Helping those with dementia express themselves through artistic creativity will flourish thanks to a recent donation.

Art Express received a $3,000 donation from the 2023 Fat Ass 5K & Street Party for Charity, an event that raises funds for charitable causes in the Springfield area. Art Express is one of the Beyond the Medical Center programs hosted by the Dale and Deborah Smith Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment, helping those with Alzheimer’s and related dementia through art expression.

The weekly program is designed to give people an outlet to creatively express themselves without needing memory or verbal communication skills. Beautiful artwork is often a byproduct, but is not the primary focus. Art Express also gives those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers a chance to connect with those in similar situations.

Founded by SIU Medicine in 2012, Art Express works in partnership with Karen Lee and the University of Illinois at Springfield, Human Development Counseling Program, as well as Hope Presbyterian Church, which hosts the program onsite.

Since the Fat Ass 5K & Street Party for Charity inception in 2008, more than $2 million has been donated to a wide range of local charities. The “race” weaves through downtown Springfield and includes stops for beer, corn dogs, donuts, ice cream as well as live music and entertainment.

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