You are invited to hear the literary voices of older adults - 55 plus, this Saturday, November 17, 2PM at the John C. Hart Library, 1130 Main Street, Shrub Oak, where participants will share their stories, poems and personal essays created in a free class sponsored by the library and Lifetime Arts. On Sunday, December 2, at the Hendrick Hudson Library, 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, other 55 plus participants will raise their choral voices in the American Songbook, singing swing, Latin, and show tunes, also sponsored by the participating library and Lifetime Arts.
As a teaching artist with Lifetime Arts, the non-profit granting organization that has made these free classes and both culminating performance events possible, I am proud to work with participants to develop artistic skills, encourage socialization, and enhance quality of life through the arts. Both culminating events are free and open to the public and are followed by a reception.
“The mission of Lifetime Arts is to encourage creative aging by promoting the inclusion of professional arts programs in organizations that serve older adults; to prepare artists to develop the creative capacity of older adult learners; and to foster lifelong learning in and through the arts by increasing opportunities for participation in intergenerational and community based programming.” (www.lifetimearts.org.)
In our writing class at Hart, entitled, “The Family of Women: A Creative Writing Adventure into the Journey of Women’s Lives,” we have explored personal and global topics through various genre. In our vocal class, “Everything Old is New Again,” we have discovered the history of well known standard tunes from The American Songbook, practiced vocal techniques used for singing as well as for communication in life, and explored the concepts of team work when joining voices together.
It is my great pleasure to be a part of the Lifetime Arts program. Through art, friends are made, skills are honed, and communication and understanding among others is elevated. We breathe more easily, we smile more, we concentrate more deeply, and we even cry. These elements of living are, I believe, sought and valued by anyone of any age! In these programs, the commitment to art and self expression become the common denominators, something bigger than us, as we serve the task at hand and we discover more about who we are and our relationship to the world around us. We become family for a time, develop a trust and acceptance of each other in pursuit of joy and accomplishment through the arts.
I have watched these participants grow. They have taught me about life and my work. With the years, wisdom and life experience these participants carry, they have profound and invaluable things to say. These classes could be anywhere, and these people, these older adults, are everywhere waiting and wanting to be heard. Come join us as they raise their voices; come share in the joy of what participating in the arts can do!