Monroe County History Center’s Dementia Friendly Program Receives Statewide Recognition

(BLOOMINGTON) – A local project promoting compassion and awareness for dementia is the recipient of the Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) 2019 Outstanding Collaborative Project Award.

IHS is proud to honor the Monroe County History Center (MCHC) and Alzheimer’s Resource Service (ARS) of IU Health for their collaborative efforts on the Living with History program initiative.

Living with History is a series of museum-based dementia support programs at the History Center, located at 202 E. 6th St. in Bloomington. History Center visitors can take part in workshops and Memory Cafés designed to increase communication between people living with dementia and their care partners.

To help spark conversations, guests can check out Memory Boxes, small collections of objects centered around a topic or theme. In addition, Memory Walks give guests the chance to share memories and stories of life in Monroe County.

A certified Dementia Friendly Business, the History Center offers the Living with History program at no cost to visitors. The program is supported by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC), which presented the History Center with a 2019 Community Impact grant.

Photo of Memory Box provided by the Monroe County History Center

“The proposal was innovative, collaborative and tremendously well-planned and presented,” wrote Marcus Whited of Community Foundation in a letter of support for the project’s award nomination. “But perhaps more critical than anything else, it addressed an issue that touches the heart of this community by supporting those dealing with dementia and those who care for them.”

For more information about the History Center’s Living with History programs, call (812) 332-2517 or visit

About the Founders Day Dinner

The 2019 Outstanding Collaborative Project Award is one of 13 awards that will be presented at IHS’s Founders Day dinner, Monday, Nov. 4, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. The annual event, presented by Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., celebrates the accomplishments of historians, teachers, writers and businesses from around the state, as well as the work of IHS. For more information on this event and other IHS programs, call (317) 232-1882 or visit

About the Monroe County History Center

The Monroe County History Center’s mission is to collect, preserve, research, interpret and present the genealogy, history, and artifacts of Monroe County, Indiana, and provide an accessible learning environment for all to enjoy. The History Center’s collection spans the physical record of history in Monroe County, from prehistoric fossils and geologic specimens to present-day human history. The items collected document the personal and cultural history of Monroe County, Indiana, including artifacts such as an original 1977 Godzilla doll and a wedding dress worn by four generations of women in one family. The value of this material culture cannot be understated. The Research Library, which is open to the public, serves as a rich resource for genealogists and local history researchers. Average annual attendance at the History Center is approximately 11,000, including families, seniors, and school children.

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the Indiana Experience.

IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.