Western Horizons Care Center hosted a Valentine’s Art Festival this Wednesday and Thursday where community members of all generations participated in art projects.A grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts provided the care center with art and music supplies necessary for the event.
Over the course of two days, the residents and visitors participated in three separate art projects.The festival began with a visual arts project where residents and the community created a “Heart of Kindness.” Festival participants were encouraged to make small sections of artwork that eventually contributed to a larger picture of a heart.
Residents and community member participated in a sing-along for the second part of the festival.Western Horizons volunteer Beth Klingenstein provided recognizable piano music for the event.
“Everyone understands the value of having music and arts for people who are in a care center,” she said.
Klingenstein also highlighted the importance of using music as a way to connect to people with memory loss, “[Music] really helps with memory issues.People tend to remember the music from their youth.”
With the special projects grant, Western Horizons was able to purchase music books for the sing-along.Community members of all ages sang old classics like Home on the Range, Grand Old Flag, and God Bless America.The music was recognizable for all generations, allowing everyone to participate.
The festival ended with local storyteller Ceilanne Clement narrating stories involving the experience-rich lives of the residents.Western Horizons encouraged family members and friends to submit written stories that provided fun memorable moments from the resident’s lives.
One story depicted resident Emily Stadheim’s life when she was only ten years old. Back in the early 1930’s, Stadheim, as a child, ordered her own piano. Even during those historically tough times, her family allowed her to keep the piano and Stadheim learned how to play the piano. This was just one of the amazing stories orated at the festival.
The art supplies and music books used during the festival were purchased using a special projects grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts. Before retirement, Klingenstein worked as the executive director of the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which inspired her to write and apply for the available grant.
“I was at the [Western Horizons Care Center] volunteering and we talked about wanting more supplies to do events similar to the Valentine’s Art Festival,” said Klingenstein, “Because I had that background in the council of the arts, I suggested that grant.”
Klingenstein’s grant proposal resulted in the council awarding $900 to go towards the Valentine’s Art Festival. According to Klingenstein, the intention of hosting an arts event was always there but due to budget constraints and a lack of supplies, it was never possible.
“The hope is to always have as much arts as you can, but with tight budgets, it’s not always possible to do everything you like,” she said.
Klingenstein was expressed her gratitude for the grant. The festival provided a multi-generational event for the whole community to participate in.
“The arts are a really wonderful way to bring people together,” said Klingenstein.