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The Memory Arts Café is a series of free cultural events for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, their caregivers, family members and friends. 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 State Department of
Health, and the Poetry Foundation, with further support from Acadia Pharmaceuticals.


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A special Memory Arts Cafe was held on March 22, 2024, to celebrate the life of Josephine Brown, longtime staff person and former Executive Director of the Center. The evening was recorded, and you can watch it on YouTube. Thank you to Josephine's daughter Sara and Joanna for creating a beautiful program in tribute to their mother.

Presenters included:
Susan Ramos, Chief Operating Officer, NYMC
Sara Brown, Josephine's daughter
Mattia poem by W H Auden
Sydnie Zera (niece) - Prelude to the Sound of Music
Judith Grimaldi, NYMC Board member
Henry Torani, former staff member and friend
Joseph Giambio, NYMC Board President
Deborah Karpel, Center Artist in Residence reads tribute from Ismail Butera, longtime Artist in Resident at NYMC
Michael Brown plays a little guitar in interlude
John Reardon. (nephew) plays guitar and sings Redemption Song, Wild Horses, Heart of Gold, and sing along to Piano Man with Sydnie (who is cut off from video)
Susan reads tribute from caregiver George Schumacher
Sara's friend and "adopted daughter" Nitza “Spritza” Jones adds a tribute
Words from Josephine's husband Michael Brown

Past Programs at the Memory Arts Cafe
Letting the Sun Shine In

An evening of dance, movement, music and storytelling with Stories in the Moment featuring dance artist Magda Kaczmarska and musician Ismail Butera was enjoyed by a grateful group at the Center June 14, 2022.

To learn more about Magda visit

To learn more about Ismail visit

ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY • Wednesday, December 15, 2021

THANKS SO MUCH to our talented teaching artists and friends Magda Kaczmarska, Deborah Karpel, host and poet Gary Glazner, and Ismail Butera for making our Dec. 15 (socially distanced) HOLIDAY PARTY so much fun. Congratulations to our raffles winners too!



Thanks so much to Chris Bravo and Magda Kaczmarska for a great story-telling program on November 20. Magda kept us moving with a Thanksgiving themed program, and Josephine provided another beautiful table of holiday decorations and delicious snacks. Along with the photos, there are a few short videos of the group in action. Thanks to everyone who attended and participated so enthusiastically!


Cleaning and setting the table for Thanksgiving dinner


"Signature Moves" - everyone created a move for their name

A great time was had by all at our
Welcome Back to the New York Memory Center
“New York Classics” Memory Arts Café

The program on Saturday, September 11 attracted more than 35 members, caregivers, and their families. Some new friends from the neighborhood and beyond came to see what a memory cafe is all about. Thanks so much to Rodney Chapman and Vijay Anderson for performing and keeping up a lively beat that got some of our audience members on their feet (see the videos below ...). Due to our vaccination rules, we listened to the saxophone from the garden but we still felt lucky to have this special performance from an amazing musician. Oh, and the food was great too. Cheesecake over Zoom is just not as good as eating it among friends!


We look forward to seeing YOU at our next in person Memory Arts Cafe on Saturday, October 16.

Rodney Chapman is a Brooklyn-based free jazz/Avant Garde Saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, Rapper, Hip Hop Producer, and artist/painter, known internationally as "Godfather Don." He is a legendary underground MC/beatmaker who has produced and performed on records featuring NAS, Kool Keith, and Sun Ra Trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah’s "Diaspora" band. Together with Vijay Anderson as “Open Mind,” they investigate standard jazz tunes, attempting to take them as “far out” as possible while retaining the structural elements of the “song”...specifically: the melodic component!

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