Core Programs

Kairos Alive! uses the power of participatory dance, music and story to make connections, stir the imagination, and create resilience in intergenerational and intercultural communities. We seek to promote the joy of interactive arts programs, and liberate its power to nurture and heal.

Kairos Alive! Choreography of Care™

Kairos Alive! Choreography of Care™ programs transform lives and raises awareness of the importance of creative involvement across the lifespan for verifiable health benefits. We use the power of participatory dance, music and story to make connections, stir the imagination, and create resilience in intergenerational and intercultural communities.

Our Choreography of Care™ programs promote personal and community wellbeing through our Intergenerational Dance Hall™ public participation events, our Dancing Heart™ weekly programming, our Community Arts and Wellbeing™ Residencies, and other programs.

Inter-generational Dance Hall™

Intergenerational Dance Hall™ – a revival of the dance hall as the community intersection of artistic, physical and social involvement – designed for all ages and abilities (ages 1-101), with elders at the center. These intergenerational, intercultural events feature live music performed by professional musicians and are intended to promote arts participation, health education and community well-being.

Intergenerational Dance Halls™ build upon the Kairos Alive! Dancing Heart™ program, providing opportunities for people ages 1-101 to share their creativity – no matter their abilities – with their peers, families and friends in an inclusive and lively event with live music, dancing and storytelling. They are designed as a creative collaboration between participants and professional artists where the boundaries between performer and audience are dissolved.

What an eclectic group; from older adults to people with disabilities, families with young children and 20-something younger men – we danced the night away together.

Detroit Lakes, MN Intergenerational Dance Hall™ Participant

The Kairos leaders made the environment feel safe for everyone present, and provided adaptations as needed for differing physical abilities. The genuine happiness was contagious.”

St. Catherine University Student Intergenerational Dance Hall™ Participants

This event will remain upon our hearts always. There was laughter and joy shared, music and friendship in enormous and happy measure, and hospitality overflowing into the dance hall and our lives that evening… [Our thank you to] all of the community members who made this event BEYOND AMAZING! Thank you for dancing with us and laughing with us…. Please know that we were so touched by the signing (ASL) and words at the closing of the dance, that many were moved to grateful tears of gratitude… We hope this is the beginning of a beautiful journey that embraces the healing power of the arts within our Bemidji community.

Beth Lane

Activity Director, Havenwood Care Center, Bemidji, MN

I loved everything! The intergenerational dancing, smiling, all the people. I loved the musicians, the high energy and the fun. Everyone was included, even the little ones. “It was ‘grace’ to get all ages involved!”

Sabathani Community Center participants, Minneapolis

Dancing Heart™

Dancing Heart™ – a nationally-recognized, evidence-based program which vitally engages older adults of all abilities – including those who are physically frail, with Parkinson’s, early-mid-to-late stage Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia – in weekly arts participation and health education through interactive dance, music and storytelling. We bring Kairos Alive! Dancing Heart™ to long term care and assisted living facilities, adult day care and senior community centers in the form of 90-minute sessions. Our work puts elders at the center of community life, and has shown to positively improve the health of participants.

Facilitated by the Kairos core artist team, designed by Master teaching artist Maria Genné, the sessions are designed as a creative collaboration between participants, caregivers and professional artists where the boundaries between performer and audience are dissolved. The program offers in-depth arts interaction in which participants are taught the languages of dance, story and theater, and arts & health education. Stimulated by movement and music, participants share experiences and memories that become the basis of dance and storytelling.

The Dancing Heart™ program has opened the door for self-expression, for self-esteem and community building…it has completely changed what we want to offer. What I have seen is that people [with cognitive impairments] have maintained at a higher level, based on whatever level [they were at] when they came into the program, and they haven’t declined as fast as they would have without this kind of stimulation.”

Susan Ryan

Coordinator, Wilder Adult Day Health Memory Program

The arts are a cost-effective, efficient, inspiring way to save money. And the Dancing Heart™ is a perfect example of one of these programs

Susan Perlstein

Founder, National Center for Creative Aging

The evidence says that participation in dance programs reduces the rate of developing dementia, by maybe 75%.

Dr. Peter Davies, PhD

Scientific Director, Litwin-Zucker Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders, Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

Community Arts and Wellbeing™ Residencies

Community Arts and Wellbeing™ Residencies – are custom implementations of Kairos Choreography of Care™ programs, designed to promote intergenerational community coherence and leadership development. Residencies are developed in collaboration with participating arts, healthcare, Tribal, education and social service organizations. The result is an integrated, interactive arts, health and creative aging program designed for specific community needs.

Kairos Alive! Community Arts and Wellbeing™ Residencies are modeled after our national award winning Arts and Health and Creative Aging programs featured in the 2012 PBS documentary Arts and the Mind. They build individual and community wellbeing for older adults and the intergenerational communities in which they live. These programs create verifiable health benefits and promote self-reliance, aging with independence, and relationships between youth, elders and families.

Our Kairos events…were amazing! Staff loved learning this approach, and it has opened up whole new ways of thinking. We have great stories about impacts on residents

Rachelle Schultz

CEO, Winona Health

[Kairos Alive! has] a powerful collaborative art-making model that fosters stronger, healthier and vital communities. Kathryn Gonzalez

Founder/Director, Bemidji Participatory Arts Collective

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