What is the Alive Inside Foundation?
The Alive Inside Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to expanding human connection and cultivating empathy through education, music and film. We want to create a new kind of Eldercare, something we call CommUniversity! In service of this we inspire, educate and empower communities to create meaningful, shared experiences that bring the generations together, awaken memories, wisdom and aliveness. To aid in this we develop technologies like The Alive Inside App, the "Memory Player" Headset, and community created educational materials like the Alive Inside Service Learning Guides, to inspire others to expand and empower human connection.
What is the Alive Inside Empathy Revolution?
The Alive Inside Empathy Revolution is a community created, experiential education journey. It expands on the vision presented in "Alive Inside" the film. It seeks to inspire "grassroots" Intergenerational connection. The dream is to deepen the capabilities of our youth and to turn Eldercare on it's head! Anthropologists analyzing our culture claim we've lost much of our deep social skills and knowledge; knowledge central to human survival for millennia. Modern culture creates objectification and disconnection. We are creating a forum for progress in the opposite direction.
The Alive Inside Empathy Revolution is meant to be deeply challenging. Created by communities for communities, it is a way for communities and students to consciously embark on a transformational hero's journey. Can we recover deep human wisdom- together? Can we gain wisdom instead of lose it? Can we, as a community, recover the wisdom of our Elders, our history, story and our Music? We have seen it happen and it is beautiful.
As a teaching moment, our communities challenge children to transform the life of an adult. This is not an opportunity that most kids get and few do as a "right of passage." We want communities to go on the journey the filmmakers went on making "Alive Inside." Our culture and most of us individually run from our own mortality. The AIF community believes our mortality may be the greatest teacher human beings have.
Our community-created curriculum asks students to expand their concept of who and what they are, and expand their understanding of love and communication. This open-source educational journey involves investigations of aging, the brain, embodied being, human connection, self-reflection, empathy, dementia awareness, cultural breakdowns, and ways to meet the emerging future.
Our community-created curriculum is experiential and allows youth to "walk a mile in the shoes" of their elders. Youth are challenged to find an Elder, in their family or living at home in their community. They are asked to both give and receive. For the AIF community, a project is successful if the kids leave with the capacity to understand and value their experiences.
Our CommUniversity project is a re-imagining of Eldercare. This amazing vision is being realized in an open-source manner by visionaries across healthcare.
Who does the Alive Inside Empathy Revolution educate?
We provide films and community-created educational materials and tools to youth-based organizations, middle schools, high schools, universities, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, faith-based youth groups and many more! There are 5 million people living with Dementia in America and 46 million world wide. Music and Memory featured in "Alive Inside" now helps about 50,000 elders. While this is great progress, open-source education is the only way to spread the message of connection to the millions who need it.
Who are the elders?
AIF is focused on inspiring communities to make a difference for the 4 million elders living at home with Alzheimer's, many of whom are isolated. If you are a Healthcare provider looking to implement an institutional iPod program- please contact Music & Memory directly, as this is not our area of engagement.
Is there Training?
Yes! We share FREE community-created, educational materials and tools. We are assembling a knowledge base to help youth leaders, teachers, religious leaders and community volunteers who want to embark on the hero's journey called the Alive Inside Empathy Revolution. Through our forum we share best practices, created by community explores just like you. We believe Music, Art, Story and Human Connection are great teachers and profound learning happens when one gives to another with challenges.
What is provided to help me start this program with my youth?
We share our community-created Human Service Learning Guides and our Film Guide. These free resources include curriculum and experiential learning modules. We have the dream of giving away one million "Memory Players," but are still working on the finances that will allow this.
Why are you doing this?
Making the film, 'Alive Inside ' showed us the ancient powers of music, story and human connection. Today, too many elders and youth stagnating in isolation and disconnection. Many modern youth never interact with elders or truly give to anyone in a substantial way. We want to create a free, open-source resources to encourage growth and connection for young and old.
A tidal wave of aging is coming- AIF believes it is absolutely essential to create connections between the young and old now, while the young are still young. These changing population dynamics mean our young will soon shoulder a huge burden, new in the history of our species. Our work is to deepen their empathy and sense of purpose, something we believe necessary for our shared future.
What are the goals for 2017?
- Over the last year we have been doing research, and community outreach. We've documented community-created Empathy Revolutions in 17 US cities, as part of director, Michael Rossato-Bennett's new film, "Alive Inside Too." We've helped develop FREE educational materials to help others transform their communities.
- In 2017 we will continue our involvement with Dr. Bill Thomas' 60 city "Disrupt Dementia" Tour- with a sneak preview of MRB's new film, “Alive Inside Too!”
Is my school, class or religious group or community is a good fit?
- If your school has a science, history, music, or humanities teacher who is excited about introducing the film "Alive Inside" and challenge their students, then our Free Resources are a perfect fit!
- If you are inspired by "Alive Inside" and want to change life for the elders in your life- then you are a perfect fit!
- If your Community or church group cares about it's elders living at home with dementia, and the character of their youth then you are a perfect fit!
How much time will this Empathy Revolution require?
- For schools, our community-created curriculum requires a minimum of one day a month for three months to view films, visit your elders, learn technology, do in-class curriculum and exercises about the brain, empathy, Alzheimer’s and aging. Our free educational materials provide suggested activities and timelines for how and when to execute them. Some examples of in-class activities include participating in a dementia sensitivity training exercise, mindfulness and music training, viewing and discussing the film Alive Inside, using The Alive Inside APP to find music and create playlists for parents and grandparents. We provide all of this information in the free Human Service Learning Guide- coming soon!
What are the financial costs to be involved in this education?
- Our open-source, community-created resources are FREE. Some communities do a screening /fundraiser of "Alive Inside" to raise money for more ambitious community projects.
What should my school or Seniors expect from the Empathy Revolution?
- Your school and elders can expect to witness a transformational experience between the youth and the elders they work with. Everyone involved will gain a new insight into the power of music, story and human connection and a deeper reverence for life itself.
What are the next steps?
- Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to share with you the film, "Alive Inside," our free, community-created educational resources and help you join the Empathy Revolution!