Participants of the Adult Day Center on the campus of the Veterans Home in Minneapolis were winners of two awards.  The first in 2016 was “The State Government Innovation Award” and most recently, a “Stars Among Us Innovation Award” from Leading Age Minnesota.  Both awards for its Operation Sight and Sound project that brings together Veterans on a mission of artistic discovery.

“The Innovation Award recognizes programs that transform and enhance the experience of aging,” said Gayle Kvenvold, President and CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota. “Through Operation Sight and Sound, the Minnesota Veterans Home Adult Day Center gave our most honored citizens – our Veterans – the opportunity to continue to serve others, remain connected to their community and be validated for the contributions they continue to make today.”

Operation Sight and Sound, conducted in collaboration with Minnesota artist and musician Charlie Maguire, is an interactive program that brings together Veterans ranging from World War II to the Vietnam area on an artistic mission. The program encourages self-expression, recognition and service by each Veteran on topics that personally interest them.

Over the course of a few months, Veterans participated in group songwriting and photography sessions to help them communicate their stories. The photos were made into a flag as a movable art gallery. The songs and flag were then taken on the road to various locations, including a live performance at the Minnesota State Fair. In the end, more than 500 people over the course of three months viewed the movable art gallery of Veterans’ stories.

“Operation Sight and Sound gave participants a sense of purpose and increased self-confidence. The families of our Veterans continue to comment on the positive impact the program has had on their loved ones,” Jodi Kritzeck, Recreation Therapist, Minnesota Veterans Home Adult Day Center.

The Adult Day Center hours of operation are Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and provides much needed respite and full array of supportive services for Veterans’ caregivers.

If interested and want to learn more, please contact Ann Rostratter at 612-548-5900.