MetLife Foundation Creative Aging Libraries Project

The MetLife Foundation Creative Aging Libraries Project, was designed to pilot Lifetime Arts’ innovative work with public libraries in urban centers outside of New York. Employing the successful model tested in NY, this project included onsite training and extensive technical assistance for library system administrators, branch librarians and local artists. Incentive grants will cover the cost of artists fees, materials and supplies as well as project documentation. Starting in December 2012 and running through Spring 2013, hundreds of older adults in 18 public libraries in Boston, Dallas and Miami will be dancing, singing, writing and painting their way to a better quality of life.

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Boston Public Library
Dallas Public Library
Miami-Dade Public Library System


Boston Public Library

South End Branch

Writing in the World: A Creative Writing Workshop for Adults

Writing in the World: A Creative Writing Workshop for Adults is aimed at developing and improving writing skills. Through lectures and reading examples aloud, participants will learn to write poetry and fiction. During this ten week workshop, taught by writer, poet, and teacher Debka Colson, students will develop and improve their writings skills through weekly exercises, peer reviews, and a public reading.

February – April 2013

Teaching Artist:
Debka Colson


Jamaica Plain Branch

Singing for Seniors

In this ten week workshop, participants will come together as a chorus. They will learn to sing comfortably with a group of singers, learn breathing exercises, learn harmonization, and improve vocal tone, range, and stamina. By engaging in a rich community involvement, Singing for Seniors provides the opportunity to enhance the participant’s personal well-being through song and social stimulation.

March – April 2013

Teaching Artist:
Liz Anker


Brighton Branch

Abstract Painting

In this beginning-level painting course, participants will explore the exciting and enriching artistic genre of abstract painting. Through working from imagination and still life, students will create vivid and innovative imagery. Students will learn about color, line, form, space, light, composition, and works by well-known abstract artists to understand the various techniques they employed.

March – April 2013

Teaching Artist:
Marlena Bocian Hewitt


Grove Hall Branch

Dancing on the Balcony: Education in Dance at the Grove Hall Library

This workshop presents the opportunity to study dance and create a dance performance. Professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher, Joan Green, will teach the participants a variety of dance skills, including warm-ups, activities to do at home to maintain mobility and balance, loco-motor phrases, creating choreography as a group, and performance skills. Sessions will include training in the basic elements of dance: space, time, force, and body, followed by a public performance.

March – May 2013

Teaching Artist:
Joan Green


Central Library

Drawing for Life: A Realistic Drawing Course Designed for Older Adults

Drawing for Life is a nine week interactive drawing class focused on drawing from observation. In addition to weekly featured artist discussions, students will be given the skills to master drawing realistically from observation. Projects include: drawing still lives, self-portraits, a fully clothed model, and the architecture and scenes within the library.

April – May 2013

Teaching Artist:
Kate Ledogar


Adams Street Branch

Introduction to Watercolor, Drawing, and Creative Problem Solving

Through this workshop participants will learn to see the world in a different way, to express their creativity through the medium of water color, and to develop their technical understanding of the artistic process. Participants in the workshop will learn about watercolor materials, techniques, the principles of art and design, and how to utilize them to compose works of art. Simultaneously, the workshop participants will engage with each other through constructive criticism and learn to respect both the process of expressing oneself through art and to see their community members in a new light.

April- June 2013

Teaching Artist:
Susan Krause


Lower Mills Branch

Mosaic Quilt Project

In this mosaic workshop, participants will create individual and collaborative mosaic artworks. After developing the basic skills to create a mosaic, participants will work together on a collaborative mosaic work of art. Through discussion of the history of mosaics and current trends in the art form, students will learn perspective and knowledge to develop their artistic practice.

April – June 2013

Teaching Artist:
Betsy Rodman


Dallas Public Library

Highland Hills Branch

The Family Folktale Project

Passed along by parents and others, folktales are parables that teach heritage, culture, and codes of behavior. Over this eight week workshop, participants will create a folktale that represents the most compelling familial aspect, individual family member, triumph, service, or community dynamic from their family’s story

December 2012 – February 2013

Teaching Artist:
Jas. Mardis


Pleasant Grove Branch

A Dancing Autobiography

In this ten week workshop, participants will explore the elements of dance in relation to its formal elements of body shape, action, time, space, and energy. Students will learn to combine various dance elements and will discover that movement can be shaped to share feelings, ideas, and thoughts. Throughout the workshop, participants will examine choreographers like Martha Graham and Jose Limon, and they will create choreography and dances that will lead to a final culminating event titled “A Dancing Autobiography.”

Februay – May 2013

Teaching Artist:
Koreyci Cristal Barreto


Renner Frankford Branch

Telling Our Stories – Art as Autobiography

The program will engage students in painting and mixed media art projects with themes depicting key moments from their lives, from childhood to adulthood. Over the course of the eight sessions, the students will develop their skills by learning and incorporating progressively complex art techniques into their works, and utilizing a variety of materials.

April-May 2013

Teaching Artist:
Kay Dalton


Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch

Voices from the Soul

Voices from the Soul will engage community members in the study and performance of the Negro spiritual as it relates to its place in the history of African Americans. Participants will learn historical milestones in the evolution of the Negro spiritual from the “cotton fields” to the “concert hall.” In addition, participants will learn tone levels and build skills such as breathe control, diaphragmatic strengthening, vocal projection, and posture.

March 2013

Teaching Artist:
Jowanda Jordan


Skillman Southwestern Branch

Exploring Shakespeare

Exploring Shakespeare is a nine session long exploration of and engagement in Shakespeare’s timeless literary works. Participants will build vocal skills, explore Shakespeare’s language, and build towards a performance of their own. Skills learned in this workshop include: vocal projection, analysis of text, clear communication, empathy, and team building.

January- February 2013

Teaching Artist:
Hassan El-Amin


Hampton/Illinois Branch

Cultural Dance Project

Through the Cultural Dance Project, participants will learn the history of and perform Afro-Caribbean and African dance forms. Through this workshop, a deeper appreciation of these cultural dance styles will be instilled. Participants will gain an understanding of each genre’s background and create new dance pieces, synthesized through the principles discussed in the sessions.

March- May 2013

Teaching Artist:
Consuela Buckley


Miami-Dade Public Library System

South Miami Branch

Wisdom: Pass It On! A Quilting Workshop

Quilting offers a unique format that lends itself to incorporating personal history into the art work. The participants will learn the skills of hand-quilting: sewing, piecing cutting, applique and tying. Each student will work on their own quilt piece, sew completely by hand, and have the opportunity to create and present the pearls of wisdom they have discovered throughout their years.

January- March 2013

Teaching Artist:
Anita Jones


Arcola Lakes Branch

Learn Creative Photography Skills at Your Library

This creative photography workshop series will teach participants about the history of photography and camera operation, composition, style and perspective. They will learn different techniques and aesthetic aspects of photography, including: creating a photo narrative, photo critiquing and portfolio creation. Basic photo editing and computer applications will be addressed.

February – April 2013

Teaching Artist:
Mikelle Moore


Kendall Branch

Life/Art Studio

Life/Art Studio will be a series of workshops using the visual medium of drawing and painting as tools to explore personal journeys. Participants in the workshop series will gain sharpened observational skills that they can then put into expressive interpretations of still life, figure drawing, and drawing from photographs. Throughout the 8 week workshop, participants will use color media ranging from pencils, pastels, acrylic paints, and collage. Works by the participants will be displayed in a culminating exhibition open to the public.

January- March 2013

Teaching Artist:
Michelle Weinberg


North Dade Regional Library

Gems in the Garden

Participants will learn varied techniques to create two and three dimensional pieces of jewelry and adornment of objects, such as: stringing with multiple strands, wrapping, coiling, fringing, netting, stitching, weaving off-loom, and attaching and creating newly found objects. The participants will learn the art form of making handmade jewelry by incorporating design elements such as form, shape, space, balance, proportion, and rhythm. The resulting jewelry and adorned objects will be presented as an exhibition at the North Dade Regional Library in a culminating event.

March- April 2013

Teaching Artist:
Betsey Bystock


West Dade Regional Library

Elements and Style of Drawing

The participants will engage in an array of drawing exercises using a variety of mediums, mastering an assortment of drawing skills. The workshop series will start with basic still life and figure drawing, then move on to graphed-drawing, and end with collage and color pencils. Throughout the workshop series, participants will do exercises relating to contour drawing and “blind” drawing.

March – May 2013

Teaching Artist:
Vanessa Garcia