Music & Memory’s ‘Alive Inside’ Screening in Denver
Story and photos by Pam Cress
Screening of 'Alive Inside'
at Sie Film Center benefiting Music & Memory and Denver Film Society at 5:30 pm
With more than 5 million people in nursing homes in our country and over 10 million people caring for them, wouldn’t it be next to a miracle if those with dementia and Alzheimer’s were given a way to enjoy life again? Actually, there is. It’s a simple and proven concept: when listless, uncommunicative and depressed people are given digital music devices (similar to an Ipod) to listen to music that they have loved in their life, they literally come alive. They become animated. Their eyes sparkle. They smile, sing and dance. They are able to remember things.
This is what Music & Memory is all about. This incredible organization is single-handedly changing the world. What started with founder and executive director Dan Cohen working with residents in nursing homes has crescendoed into a movement worldwide.
Dan and his team brought the emotional and moving Sundance Film Festival hit movie Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory to a screening at Denver’s Sie Film Center on Monday. Guests got to watch the transformation of patients who could literally do nothing but stare at the floor into smiling, singing, happy people who remember even things from their childhood, and certainly the happy times in their lives. All by putting a pair of earphones on and playing a list of songs they have loved in their life.
Dan and his team have tirelessly pounded the pavement all over the country to convince nursing homes and home care administrators to give this gift of life to their residents. It’s not easy. Doctors in the film say that they can prescribe thousands of dollars for bandaid medications, but medical plans do not cover, nor do they recognize, music as a catalyst for happiness. Film clips of transformations of elderly people have gone viral and this has helped awareness and advocacy.
You can learn more about this miracle. Log on to www.musicandmemory.org for tons of information about the program and research about how music literally lights up the brain. Oh, and it’s a good idea to create your own playlist. You never know when you’ll need it.
Marta Burton (Balfour), left, Kelli Klein (development associate with M & M) and Michele Mosko (director of major gifts, M&M)
Music & Memory Executive Director and founder Dan Cohen and his wife Diane
Brenda Labier, left, Michele Mosko and Judy Bershof (Michele and Judy have been friends since they were 12)
Wendy Tripp, left, and Holly Tripp chatting with Dan Cohen
Lori McCain, left, Jon Stull and Letitia Rogers, M & M regional director
Holly Tripp, author of “Stories of Music.” She gave a portion of her proceeds to M & M.
Karen and Mike Ballard
Susan Hanson of Colorado Health Care Assn., left, chats with Letitia Rogers
Jan and Gary Friedland
Linda Ward, left, and Betsy Stephens
Judith Cassel-Mamet, left, Margot Levy and Cherie Karo Schwartz
People send heartfelt thanks to M & M on a consistent basis.
Laurie Seymour and Roy Cohen
Antony Bruno of reception sponsor Royalty Exchange talks with Michele Mosko
Dan Cohen, left, and Antony Bruno
Susan Alt Johnson, left, and Corinne Mosko Brown
Wendy Tripp chats with Sara Wellborn
Madeline Drohan, left, talks with Holly Tripp about Holly’s books
Medical and Scientific Advisory Council: Peter Davies PhD, G Allen Power MD, Jules Rosen MD, Susan Wehry MD,
Royalty Exchange sponsored the local event; M & M foundation sponsors: Abraham J & Phyllis Katz Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Artemus Rising Foundation/Phoebe Snow Foundation, the Kendeda Fund, Arthur N Rupe Foundation, Consumer Technology Association Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R Samuels Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Winter Park Health Foundation, Long Island Community Foundation/ NY Community Trust, The good people fund, Bose, The Healthcare Foundation of NJ
Board of Directors:
Dan Cohen, Peter Hirsch, Stephen Johnston, Tony Lewis, Alexandra Morehouse, Bruce Payne, Lisa Richardson, Joe Schick, Concetta Tomaino, Ann Wyatt, Claire Haaga