The book begins with a realization that just providing performances can have a limiting impact on Long Term Care residents. It was felt there was a need to involve the residents more, to improve approaches and, undertake to involve smaller groupings of residents. These efforts it was felt will allow for greater audience connections with greater levels of participation and ultimately higher levels of enjoyment.

With this understanding, the Global Alliance for Arts & Health and the IDEAS Institute created a National Advisory Council to assist in the development of a resource with information on starting and sustaining arts engagement programs for residents of long-term care communities. The council convened in Washing¬ton, DC, in March 2010 to share ideas and resources and determine the content of the guidebook. Bring¬ing the Arts to Life is the result of this meeting and ongoing collaboration. The hope is that this guide will be a catalyst for increasing new creative and productive relationships between the arts and LTC communities.

The objectives of the guide are:
Identify current model programs in long-term care communities that demonstrate how the arts can play a role in person centred care.
Build awareness of how engagement in the arts can be incorporated into LTC.
Suggest community partnership and cross industry connections to increase the availability and effectiveness of arts participation in LTC.

Bringing the Arts to Life focuses on strategies and systems to support active engagement in the arts for individuals in long-term care communities from the perspectives of both long-term care communities and artists/arts organizations.

1. Section I provides information on how to get started;
2. Section II offers specific information on developing arts programming for long-term care;
3. Section III presents a range of arts programs that have been used successfully in long-term care.
4. Bringing the Arts to Life concludes with three appendices. Appendix A describes helpful resources and contact information for programs mentioned in the book, Appendix B includes examples of program forms, and Appendix C features samples of planning processes.

The guide would be an excellent addition to the library of anyone involved in the delivery of programming to residents in continuing care environments or seniors centres.

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