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Art Express

Smith Alzheimer's Center program Art Express receives donation

Published Date:

Helping those with memory loss and their caregivers showcase their artistic creativity will continue to thrive thanks to a recent donation.

Art Express received a $2,000 donation from the Fat Ass 5K, an event that raises funds for a wide variety of charitable causes in the Springfield, Illinois area. Art Express is one of the Beyond the Medical Center programs hosted by the Dale and Deborah Smith Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment, helping those with Alzheimer’s and related dementia through the therapeutic effects of art expression.

Art Express also received a donation in 2019.

Founded by SIU Medicine in 2012, Art Express works in partnership with Karen Lee and the University of Illinois at Springfield, Human Development Counseling Program, as well as Hope Presbyterian Church, which hosts the program onsite.

The weekly program is designed to give people an outlet to creatively express themselves without needing memory or verbal communication skills. Beautiful artwork is often a byproduct, but is not the primary focus. Art Express also gives those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers a chance to connect with those in similar situations.

The Fat Ass 5K & Street Party for Charity was invented on a napkin at Celtic Mist Pub on St. Patrick’s Day in 2008. Since its inception, more than $1.5 million has been donated to a wide range of local charities. The “race” weaves through downtown Springfield and includes stops for beer, corn dogs, donuts, ice cream as well as live music and entertainment.

To learn more about Art Express, please call 217.545.7204 or email

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