It’s easy to get caught up in the myriad of projects we’re juggling. It’s also easy when we do take a breath to ask “what’s next?” We don’t often take the time to ask ”What have we been doing for the last twelve months, and did it make any difference?”
I’m tempted to use this space to give you a laundry list of everything we did this year. It would be quite long. But I’d break my arm patting us on the back! Instead, I thought you should hear from some of the people for whom the work we did seemed to make a great deal of difference.
From our Seeding Vitality Arts program at The Grafton County Senior Citizen Council in Rhode Island, we got this news:
A member of our “Opening Windows–Exploring and Writing Poetry” course has just let us know that three of her poems have been accepted for publication! Poet Marjorie Moorhead will have two poems published in The Blueline Press’s Birchsong, Poetry Centered in Vermont, Volume II, and another poem published in an upcoming book, A Change of Climate, a volume compiled by a professor in science communication at Manchester Metropolitan University in England.
We also heard from administrators and teaching artists who are critically important to the delivery of quality Creative Aging programs. Our training has helped them understand and bring forth the creative capacity of older adults.
Thank you for the opportunity to attend the two training sessions. I can honestly say it was one of the most motivating training experiences I’ve had and, rather than wishing it would soon be over, I found myself wishing it could go on all day! –Rosemarie Riola, Director, Council Center for Senior Citizens.
Thank you for teaching us everything you did during the last two trainings. I was so inspired that I just signed up for a drawing class myself to do after work. -Alana Pudalov, Director, LaGuardia Senior Center
On behalf of Robin Hart, myself, and all of our EngAGE team, thank you for inspiring us. The ideas and energy in that room for those days was inspiring… and still is. The organized fashion in which you presented Lifetime Arts, from macro to micro, combined with a sense of passion and enthusiasm – totally worked – for both of us. I am hopeful our paths cross again, very soon. –Nancy Goodhart, Vice-President, EngAGE
Most recently, we heard from Richard, who took part in a Seeding Vitality Arts sculpture program at the Johnson City Public Library. Richard wrote (in part):
It’s clear to me that the people who proposed and taught [the program] had a firm grasp of the kinds of needs facing “aging” people, and of how various pursuits of Art could help fill those needs. We don’t need condescending “thumb-twiddling” pastimes. We need community, respect, rigor, and real interaction on sophisticated levels with imaginative, involved people who expect us to be the same. This program gave us all of that. I have a new set of interests, a new community of people, a new interest in BEING a part of my community. Since our class ended, I have made three fairly major pieces based on what I have learned, and I expect to keep doing this stuff. . . it is, in fact, FUN, in the finest sense of the word.
This is only a small sample of the feedback we get about the work we’re doing around the country. It’s part of the fuel that keeps us going and committed to creating a world full of opportunities for creative aging and lifelong learning.
Give the Gift of Creativity
We are aiming for nothing less than a new vision of aging – one that is inclusive, affirming and transformative.