Empathy Through Art

An Artistic Approach to ReCONNECT NC


“What if ART could help solve Alzheimer’s?” “What if MUSIC could help solve Climate Change?” “What if DANCE could help solve inequality?” These are the questions that Empathy Through Art are asking as they utilize art in all forms to foster openness, understanding, and empathy in individuals. The goal of this local nonprofit is to building communities that are accepting, resilient, and collaborative.

IEI had a chance to work with them on their recent project “Art of Mind” which was an ambitious, national exhibit that featured over 50 artists from various disciplines. The project brought together artists, musicians, dancers, writers, sculptors, and many others to share their work related to Alzheimer’s and Dementia and to have conversations about the affects of Alzheimer’s and Dementia within their communities. The project serves as the foundation for a series of local, community-based events and projects on this specific topic.

We had a chance to speak with founder, Charles Adair and learn what inspired him to start the nonprofit. Charles shared it was seeing peoples lack of and in some cases inability to communicate and empathize with one another that sparked in him an interest to do something. Having been a musician, Charles feels music is very powerful along with other forms of art and in some ways can help bridge and bring people together. “All types of art have the ability to convey emotion in ways that nothing else really can,” said Charles. “The idea for Empathy Through Art stemmed from the question, can we use art in all its forms to help people understand and empathize as it relates to challenging topics that we face every day as a society?”

Artist Rachel Kosbab: Photo courtesy of Seyehts Photography.


Charles chose their first project topic Alzheimers and Dementia, because his grandfather was diagnosed with dementia. “It is a topic that is close to my heart, and is a topic that many people have had to deal with the affects of directly or they are one-step removed; knowing someone or having a friend that has a family member dealing with the affects of Alzheimers and Dementia.” shared Charles. Charles is excited to work with IEI to have “Conversations Through Art” based on our “Civic Conversations” project. He hopes to bring people from various backgrounds and perspectives together to participate in conversations around the topic of Alzheimers and Dementia. We too are excited to work with Charles and the many artists that Empathy Through Art will bring together throughout this conversation series. Together we will ReCONNECT NC through conversation and through art.

Live art creation during “Art of Mind” event. Photo courtesy of Seyehts Photography


Empathy Through Art is working with IEI, the Dementia Alliance of North Carolina, Imurj, A Place at the Table and the Creative Aging Network-NC.

Learn more about our Civic Conversations Project. To learn more about Empathy Through Art visit create-empathy.org.

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