Her outfit of a warm, light blue knitted sweater, khaki pants, and comfortable shoes is completed by a pair of virtual reality glasses, put on with great care to avoid messing up her white hair. Instantly, she’s transported from the nursing home in Palaia Fokaia, Attica, to an exhibition at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens.
The Museum of Cycladic Art’s “Wise Friends at the Museum” community program collaborates with a network of senior centers and nursing homes to give people over 65 a new way to visit its collection.
More than 2,000 people have participated—in person, online, and through tours using virtual reality glasses—in arts activities, specialized programs introducing them to Cycladic culture, and educational workshops through the program. Started in 2016, the program was supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for the last three years, from January 2019 to December 2021. During this time, workshops were held at nursing homes in Attica, senior center workshops took place at the Museum, and online activities reached nursing homes all over Greece during lockdown.
The workshops take place in partnership with seveneleven Theater Company, a nonprofit that—with support from SNF—implements the thāllo program in nursing homes to give older adults opportunities to stay social and active.
Find out more about the Museum of Cycladic Art’s Community Programs.