Inspired by the documentary film I Remember Better When I Paint (2009) which explores the positive impact of creative therapies on people with Alzheimer’s disease, the Council booth showcased the importance of the art as a therapeutic outlet for patients. A clip from the movie explained how parts of the brain that trigger creativity stay intact until the end-stages of the illness, and research shows that Alzheimer’s patients can creatively tap into the emotional capacities still active in their brain when provided art supplies. Thus art becomes a reaffirming way to communicate with loved ones losing their precious memories.
For Shriver, the event had deep emotional connections. Her father, Sargent Shriver, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003. Shriver has since become an advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness and research. “This is a disease that knows no age boundaries and knows no economic boundaries,” she told the crowd at the event. “It’s everyone’s disease.”