Olakunle Adewale’s area of interest has been in the use of creative engagements for persons with cognitive disabilities in Nigeria, where there is low awareness of dementia due to stigmatization. He believes art can be used to connect the missing dots between key stakeholders, including government agencies, NGOs, civic societies and persons affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Adewale believes there is a need for healthcare-based institutions to develop a multi-disciplinary approach to dementia through education, research, and creative practice. As an Atlantic Fellow at GBHI, he is resolved to creating a safe space that allows non-pharmacological approach for persons with cognitive impairment that will aid their cognitive health and overall well-being. He is interested in utilizing creative engagements, such as visual and performing arts (e.g., painting, music and dance) as interventions for persons with cognitive disorder. At GBHI, he is eager to develop competence in brain health for persons living with dementia in Nigeria. In his spare time, he loves visiting new places, building new relationships, spending time in nature, and sometimes watching movies.
Bio: Kunle Adewale is an artist by profession and a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria with specialization in painting and art history. He studied Civic Leadership from Tulane University, New Orleans, Arts in Health for Helping Professionals, Charlotte, United States and Arts in Medicine, from University of Florida. With over a decade experience as an artist and educationist, Adewale founded Tender Arts Nigeria in 2013, a social enterprise and non-profit making organization with focus on therapeutic arts, art education, and arts in medicine programs. Adewale facilitates therapeutic art programs for NGOs and government institutions and agencies that work with persons affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s’ disease in Nigeria. He is passionate about using arts to improve community well-being including brain health. He has impacted over 15,000 beneficiaries through his art programs in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and United States. Adewale is an International Advocate for persons living with cancer and sickle cell anemia. He is a recipient of 2016 Commonwealth Youth Award in United Kingdom and a member of Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc. Adewale was nominated for JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria 2018, Cultural Achievement Category and he currently runs an Arts in Medicine project in Nigeria and coordinates Arts in Medicine projects in African Countries. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Arts in Medicine Fellowship for Students and Professionals in Arts and Health in Nigeria. Adewale has been featured as a panelist and keynote speaker at Arts and Health related Conferences in Nigeria and abroad.