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Thursday, August 8 • 9:00am - 2:00pm
Learning Journey: Changing How We Perform Healthcare: The Joy of Dementia and Improvising With Autism

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 There is a growing movement of practitioners who are finding creative and joyful ways to create inclusive and developmental environments and activities for two growing populations — people living with dementia and individuals on the autism spectrum, and the people in their lives.
Part one of this Learning Journey is an opportunity to challenge the stigma-inducing “tragedy narrative” of dementia. The day will begin with an experiential workshop — which will be held with residents of Harlem, NYC. Participants will engage in improvisational games, creative exercises and philosophical conversation to explore what it means to create an environment and culture which supports everyone involved in the “dementia ensemble” to enjoy the “non-knowing growing” that is possible when improvisational play is how we are doing everything in our lives.
Part two is a workshop in the use of improvisation to create inclusive environments that support the individual differences and communication needs of individuals on the autism spectrum and with related conditions and disabilities. This will be an informational and play-based workshop in which we will learn about the unique differences of individuals with autism, and explore modalities of engagement with neurodiverse individuals using the playbook of improvisation.

Note: Participants will plan to travel together to the conference site in Stony Brook by Long Island Railroad following this Learning Journey.


Aaron Feinstein

Aaron Feinstein is the Executive Director and Founder of the inclusive performing arts program Actionplay, and a film/theater director and entrepreneur based in NYC. Aaron has over 15 years of experience working in the arts with individuals on the autism spectrum, and is the creator of the AIMS inclusive improvisational musical comedy workshop program, and the Actionplay Chorus that... Read More →


Mary Fridley

Mary Fridley is pro-bono Director of Special Projects at the East Side Institute (ESI), a workshop leader and designer, a playwright, theater director and non-profit fundraising consultant. She is trained as a social therapeutic practitioner, a post-modern humanistic and group-oriented therapeutic and education approach. Mary co-leads two popular workshop series, The... Read More →

Susan Massad

Susan Massad is a retired physician with 51 years of practice and teaching in internal medicine. Susan was one of the early pioneers to bring the teaching of improvisation into her training of medical residents in the late 1990s. As a practitioner, working in both the poorest communities... Read More →

Thursday August 8, 2019 9:00am - 2:00pm EDT
Manhattan, NY

Attendees (7)