The Memory Arts Café is a series of free cultural events for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, their caregivers, family members, friends, and the general public.

The Café is co-produced by New York Memory Center and the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. Each program features local professional guest artists including musicians, magicians, poets and dancers. Partially funded by Axe-Houghton Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, New York Community Trust, New York State Department of Health, and the Poetry Foundation.

Every Cafe is free — and fun! Please join us — you’ll be glad you did.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 • 6 pm
New York Memory Center

Poetry, pumpkins, fun, and great food!

Please join us as we celebrate fall with special guest musician Trip Henderson and a Pumpkin Party at the NYMC! Henderson is a virtuoso harmonica player, who has played with everyone from B.B. King to Bruce Springsteen. Tastes delicious pumpkin based treats! Poet Gary Glazner will host the event as we recite poems and sing songs! We will collaborate with Henderson on a pumpkin inspired performance!

Space is limited • Please contact New York Memory Center to make reservations:
(718) 499-7701 or email Megan Christ, Caregiver Social Worker

New York Memory Center is located at 199 14th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues

We had a great time at the

APPLE BRUNCH PARTY! September 9, 2018 at New York Memory Center

New York Memory Center Apple Brunch

Here we are in our tree poses. Host Gary Glazner (center) and special guest Honey Crisp (center in Granny-Smith-green) tested us on all kinds of apple facts and told stories about Honey’s great-great-great-great grandfather Johnny Appleseed. We sang a round of “Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me!” and filled ourselves up on apple treats.

Here’s some of the original apple poem we wrote and recited:

Created by the New York Memory Center Precision Poetry Drill Team

When I
Hear the word
I think
Garden of Eden
Adam and Eve

I think
Apple — perfect health
An apple a day
Keeps the doctor away
An apple
Especially apple cider
Keeps your stomach clean
Apple cider, warm water, tickle of lemon juice,
Drink it down and you’ll feel better

Apple cider
Apple cider vinegar!
McIntosh. Granny Smith. Gala. Pink Lady.
Red Delicious
Are they delicious?
Golden apples of the sun
Silver apples of the moon

Japanese apple. White apple. Sweet apple.
Crab apple
I was a farmer’s daughter
An apple tree needs a strong seed

Hey, did you inherit any of Johnny Appleseed’s farms?
But you are trying to create your own apple farm?
In Brooklyn!

 July 21 was a beautiful day for our Field Trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden…

Memory Arts Cafe with Gary Glazner

We stopped to smell the roses, recite some poems about flowers and snakes, and enjoy some time together in the Cranford Rose Garden.

The Memory Arts Cafe took a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a tour led by poet Gary Glazner. Our ongoing celebration of summer included poems about red roses and a chilling poem about running into a snake in the woods.

More photos by Megan and Ruth are on in our online photo album.

A couple videos of our poetry recitations are on YouTube:
Red Red Rose snippet

Memory Arts Cafe Original Rose Poem

Celebration of Summer with Coney Island Memories

New York Memory Center celebrates summer May 2018The May 30 Memory Arts Cafe gave us a chance to share our
stories of swimming, fishing, lying on the beach, eating Nathan’s
hot dogs and riding the Cyclone roller coaster at Brooklyn’s famous
Coney Island.

Gary Glazner led us in poems and songs about Coney Island, and Josephine (left) laid out an amazing spread of summer foods.

It was almost like being out at Coney Island — and saved us the long subway or bus ride to get there!

Thanks to Gary Glazner for the photo! (click on it for a larger version)

Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum Field Trip

On Saturday, April 21, our Memory Arts Memory Arts Cafe at Wyckoff Farmhouse MuseumCafe included a trip back in time to the oldest structure in all five boroughs, the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum. Our museum guide Katie led us through the old farmhouse and showed us fascinating artifacts. While we talked about what life might have been like on a farm in the 1650s, our host and poet Gary Glazner led our group in a poetry creation. After taking in all the history inside the house, we enjoyed a garden walk with beautiful sights and smells.

Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum

This doorway leads into the oldest section of the farmhouse, which was built and owned by Pieter Wyckoff and his family starting in 1652.

Gary (left) and some members of the group enjoy a fragrant hyacinth in the garden.

It was a great trip back in time. Photos by Megan Christ







New York Memory Center celebrates St. Patrick's DaySt. Patrick’s Day Memory Arts Cafe
Saturday, March 17

We listened to great Irish fiddle music by our guest artist Samantha Gillogly. Poet Gary Glazner hosted and share some St. Patrick’s Day stories and poems. It was an excellent program — and the Irish soda bread was terrific! Thanks so much to Samantha for performing for us!

Memory Arts Cafe at New York Memory Center St. Patrick's Day

Gary Glazner and Samantha Gillogly.

Memory Arts Cafe at New York Memory Center St. Patrick's Day

Dressed to celebrate St. Pat’s Day.

Memory Arts Cafe at New York Memory Center St. Patrick's Day 2018

Come to a Cafe and hang out with friends!






You can see a short video of Samantha answering a question about “fiddle vs. violin” on YouTube. Samantha began her violin training at age six and holds a Bachelor’s in Performance from Berklee College of Music in Boston. She has recorded two albums, Meditations on Bach and Celtic Chamber Music, and is an avid fan and performer of traditional Irish, Scottish and other Celtic roots genres.

Sharing Love and Laughs on Valentine’s Day
February 14, 2018

Poet Gary Glazner hosted the party, and Ismail Butera provided musical accompaniment. Cheryl did a great rendition of “Kansas City,” and Gary helped us create and recite our very own poem about love.
The desserts were the best yet!



Another fun Holiday Party!

Music, dance, poetry, and good food all added up to a great time for about 50 people at the annual New York Memory Center holiday party. Thanks to our host, poet Gary Glazner and accordionist Ismail Butera and drummer David Azarch for the great music and entertainment — and to everyone who attended for getting the holidays off to a perfect start! There was one lucky winner of the raffle who took home a  beautiful gift basket. Join us next time — you will have a good time and might win a prize too!







Painting Party at Pinot’s Palette
Wednesday, November 15 • 6 pm
Hosted by poet Gary Glazner

Under the guidance of an expert painter at Pinot’s Palette on 5th Avenue in Park Slope we each created a snow scene masterpiece to take home. And of course we had great food and drinks while we painted. Gary kept us entertained coming up with poems and stories about art and artists and leading us in the creation of our very own artsy poem.

Photo by Megan Christ. (more photos on our Facebook page)

Tons of fun was had at the October 12 Pumpkin Party!

HOSTED BY POET Gary Glazner, with great food by Josephine, and participation by all who attended.

As always the group created an original poem with live recitation that started off — When I pumpkin / I think fall / I think orange / I think Halloween / Double double toil and trouble / Fire burn and cauldron bubble / When I hear pumpkin / I think eating / I think spicy /Tastes good / Nutty / Sweet / Pumpkin Pie

Great Food and Lots of Laughs at the Apple Brunch Party!





Another great Memory Arts Cafe at the Brooklyn Museum!

On Saturday, July 15, Gary Glazner led our group tour of some museum highlights.

We went to the portrait gallery and talked about the George Washington painting. We learned he had a dog named “Sweet Lips,” and that mashed sweet potatoes with coconut was one of his favorite foods. We imagined that if Washington ate ice cream with his wooden dentures, it would be called “Cherry, Berry and Gum It.” (We hope that Ben and Jerry’s will consider this for a new flavor!) Listen to our original poem about George on YouTube!

We enjoyed the cool spray of the fountain on the plaza and recited a poems together, “April Rain Song,” by Langston Hughes and “Water, Wind, Stone,” by Octavio Paz. See the video of us reciting a water poem on YouTube.

We especially enjoyed the sculpture by Sanford Biggers of the tree growing through a piano. We mixed it with one of our favorite poems and chanted, “I think that I shall never see/ A piano that grows a tree.”

Thanks to the Brooklyn Museum for helping to make this such an interesting and fun event.


Memory Arts Café visited the Red Hook Waterfront Museum on Saturday, May 20

It was like a trip back in time to the Brooklyn waterfront circa 1929. Museum founder David Sharps gave us a tour of the old barge that serves as a museum. We learned all about the life of the Brooklyn waterfront and looked at the great displays and memorabilia decorating the barge.

David also entertained us with his juggling skills. Poet Gary Glazner led our tour and helped us create create and perform an original poem on a nautical theme.

You can hear our poem, “Time Machine Barge,” and listen to our recitation with the Statue of Liberty in the background on our YouTube channel. Thanks to David and Gary for the great day, and to Carl Bialik for the photos and videos!


We had a great time in April at Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory

Poet Gary Glazner hosted the event as we toured the factory, learned about chocolate making and tasted chocolate samples.

Mast Brothers is a New York chocolate maker with a flagship location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Founded by pioneering brothers Rick and Michael Mast in 2007, they are introducing chocolate to the world with an obsessive attention to detail, meticulous craftsmanship, groundbreaking innovation, and inspirational simplicity. Mast Brothers makes their signature chocolate bars, beverages, and confections with an emphasis on clarity of flavor.Mast Brothers takes pride in their pairings and most importantly, the process. 

Annual Valentine’s Day Dance and Love Poem Celebration

Once again, another great party with entertainment by poet Gary Glazner and Ismail Butera on the accordion on February 15. The good was excellent too.

What love means to members at New York Memory Center.

A fine time was had by all at the Valentine’s party and love poem celebration.

The fruit bowl was impressive. What to choose?








The Holiday Party was held at at Sunset Park Senior Center on December 7, 2016
It featured Spanish Songs and Holiday Classics with Ismail Butera and Deborah Karpel and dance entertainment with dancers from Rhythm Break Cares.

There was a scrumptious collection of desserts too. Thanks so much to Sunset Park Senior Center for hosting the event!

Thank you to all who attended our Memory Arts Café on November 2, hosted by poet Gary Glazner and featuring Bessie award winner tap dancer Kazu Kumagai.

What better way to celebrate National Caregivers Appreciation Month than to gather with caregivers, New York Memory Center participants and friends? We tapped our feet along with Kazu and we followed the Yellow Brick Road as Gary and Kazu led the whole group on a collaborative and imaginative Oz-inspired piece of dance and poetry leading us Over the Rainbow.




You can see in the how much everyone loved the performance. Then we continued the celebration as we gathered for a special reception after the performance.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Saturday, August 27, 2016

We headed to the Shakespeare Garden with tour leader and poet Gary Glazner. It was a perfect day. We stood in the shade under a tall oak tree, recited lines from Shakespeare, and looked at all the plants in the garden that made appearances in his plays too. Megan did a great job playing the role of Juliet but she could not find Romeo

We created our own poem, and you can hear part of in this video online by Carl Bialik. 

Carl took photos that are on his Flikr page. Thanks Carl!

More photos are posted on our Google Photos page.

It was another Memory Arts Cafe full of fun and laughter. Please join us for the next one. Watch this space for time and place.

And you can see more videos from our visit to the garden by clicking these links:

The Big Oak Tree from The Tempest

“Trees” by Joyce Kilmer

A fun Mother’s Day celebration with pianist and Sing for Hope artist Jae Kyo Han

On Wednesday, May 11, Jae Kyo Han performed for an enchanted audience at our Mother’s Day Memory Arts Cafe. Jae is an active pianist, chamber musician and teacher in New York City.  He began his piano studies at the age of 4. Early on he began to compete, receiving top prizes in several competitions such as NEPTA, MMTA and was also a finalist in the 14th Chiang Wen-Yeh International Young Artist Piano Competition. During his undergraduate studies at Brandeis University, Jae won the school’s concerto competition and graduated Magna Cum Laude with Highest Honors in Music.  He moved to New York City in 2010 to pursue further musical studies. He received his Master’s for piano performance at Mannes College for Music in 2013, studying under Inessa Zaretsky.  Since completing his degree, Jae now teaches piano in Brooklyn and continues to perform in New York City.

Photo by Mei Yu. See more of Mei’s photos on our Picassa page.

The 2016 Valentine’s Dance Party

on February 17th was hosted by poet Gary Glazner and featured the teaching artists of the New York Memory Center, including Ismail Butera on accordian, Tara Abyssinia Klang leading yoga and movement, David Azarach drumming, and the Improv team from Elders Share the Arts. As usual, the food was excellent, and the everyone had a great time.

Thanks to everyone who helped make it an entertaining evening. You can see some more photos on our Picassa Page.

Previous Cafe Programs:

Sing for Hope and pianist Alice Tsui….…performed for the Cafe on Wednesday, October 15. Sing for Hope transforms lives throughout New York City by bringing the power of the arts to those who need it most. Their dynamic arts outreach programming, provided through the volunteer service of dedicated artists, includes everything from collaborative concerts for hospital patients to after-school classes for under-served youth to New York’s most beloved public art project, The Sing for Hope Pianos.

Alice Tsui started playing piano when she was four years old. She gave her first performance when she was seven years old, and she has competed in various competitions including the Young Artists Competition in Queens College, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Competition, the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Piano Concerto Competition, the NYU Steinhardt Piano Concerto Competition and the Kosciuszko Piano Competition. She is in her fourth year at NYU Steinhardt pursuing piano performance and music education. Alice has also been on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music Summer Camp as a teacher and an accompanist; she currently teaches private piano lessons at 88 Keys of New York and to students throughout the city.

Scott Steelman, “Songs of Your Life”

Our September 24 program with Scott Steelman, on tour from Columbus, Ohio, was wonderful. We apologize for the conflict with Rosh Hashanah and are committed to having Scott come for a return engagement, because we had such a great

time! Scott has spent his life as an artist, teacher, writer, producer, musician and composer. After performing many years for elders, he has developed a multifaceted program called “InnerActive Arts,” and we experienced just that! Scott played jazz piano, told us about how he learned music from his family, challenged us with memory games, led us in song, and improvised with Manuela on the drum. It was a great evening, so watch our announcements for his next visit. Click here for photos from the evening.

Celebration of Creativity
June 28, 2014
Brooklyn Public Library

Photos are posted on our Picassa page.

Please join us in the fall for more great Memory Arts Cafe programs!


2014 Valentine’s Dance with music of accordionist Ismail Butera and singer Deborah Karpel
Hosted by poet Gary Glazner

Accordionist Ismail Butera, a founding member of Metropolitan Klezmer, and Deborah Karpel, pop singing classically trained opera diva, gave us great entertainment and music to dance to!


See photos from our October Memory Arts Café at the Brooklyn Public Library

We met in the Trustees Room with a beautiful view of Grand Army Plaza. Gary Glazner read poetry by William Blake (rhymes cake and snake and bake and…) and himself. We looked at beautiful oversized art books, including familiar works by Michelangelo and Norman Rockwell.

And we wrote our own poem:  “When I hear book” — here are some lines from our poem:


When I hear book
I think reading, Escaping what you’re living
I’m an avid reader, I can read a book a night

When I hear book
I think quiet
I worked in the library
I knew all about the Dewey Decibel system

When I hear book
Quite a few things come to mind
For instance, Michealangelo
I can look at his book and suddenly I’m in Rome

When I hear book
I think education
I think of the magic
Inside the covers….

Thanks to the Brooklyn Museum, performers, and everyone who attended our

First Anniversary Celebration of the Memory Arts Café on Saturday, May 25, 2013 

Pictured here left to right are museum host Adelia Gregory, jazz trumpeter Jesse Neuman, poet and master-of-ceremonies Gary Glazner, and Stine Moen and Hooba from the Rhythm Break Cares Dance Company.

A highlight of the whole event was the touchable art. The entertainment was followed by a reception with great food.

Photos by Carole Debee.