ST. CLOUD - A new art program is being created to help people in the St. Cloud metro area suffering from memory loss. It's called "Art Sparks!" and it is being organized by the Paramount Center for the Arts.

Spokeswoman Jane Oxton says they tested it out with a pilot program earlier this year.

So we developed a four part pilot.  We conducted it in January and February. It was one of the most heart rendering things I have ever been a part of.

Trained teaching artists and volunteers will provide four five-week classes starting in September. It is for anyone in the area living with memory loss, along with their caregivers.

Oxton says the goal of the program is to keep the people using their minds, as well as creating new memories together.

Sign-up for the classes will start in August.

Funding for Art Sparks! is made possible through a nearly $7,000 grant from the CentraCare Health Foundation.

It is based on an established model called "Opening Doors to Memory", which is used in 15 art galleries in the Upper Midwest.