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San Francisco Symposium Provides Training for Communities Looking to Develop Arts Programs That Unite Generations

WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Studies show that older adults are healthier and happier when engaged with others -- especially the youth. The arts in particular can be a wonderful vehicle for uniting generations. Toward that end, the "NCCA MetLife Foundation Creativity Matters: Civic Engagement Symposium," will be held at San Francisco's Tenants and Owners Development Corporation (TODCO)-Coleman House on June 15, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is aimed at helping community-based organizations develop intergenerational programs for older people in their areas.

A number of National Endowment for the Arts Best Practice programs will be presented. Tim Carpenter, the Executive Director and Founder of EngAGE and Host/Producer at Experience Talks Radio Show, will be the keynote presenter explaining how his non-profit organization provides programs in lifelong learning, the arts, creativity, community-building and the designing of innovative arts based senior apartment communities in California, such as Burbank Senior Artists Colony.

An afternoon workshop will be led by Susan Perlstein, Founder and Director of Education and Training for the National Center for Creative Aging and the Founder of Elders Share the Arts. The session will focus on the developmental needs of aging individuals and the best ways to design arts programs that bring together the young and old in productive ways.

According to Perlstein, "Intergenerational arts programs bring older and younger people together to learn, create, and promote awareness, acceptance and understanding. In a world where people are continually in a process of defining themselves and their communities, these programs can be an integral part of learning among the young and building a community."

Other presenters include the following:

  • The Center for Elders and Youth in the Arts (CEYA) of the Institute on Aging, which provides arts programs for seniors in assisted living, residential communities, adult day programs in private homes in an effort to keep them connected to their communities.
  • The Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation will focus on its Artist Outreach Project, which provides support to senior artists who give back to their communities through educational and therapeutic services in community nonprofit agencies serving children, youth and the elderly.
  • Stagebridge, the nation's oldest senior theater, is based in Oakland, California, and uses the performing arts as an opportunity to bridge generations. Stagebridge runs a Performing Arts Training Institute for elders, a Storybridge Program that brings older storytellers into inner city schools. It also has the "See Me" program to train healthcare workers to be more empathetic towards elders and a broad senior outreach program that brings workshops and performances to seniors in community settings.

The symposium will also feature two performances and an exhibition highlighting senior artists. Stagebridge will present a selection from "Never Too Late," a musical variety show that brings old age up-to-date with short scenes, monologues, songs and jokes. The end of the day will feature "Beauty and Sadness," a moving performance by the CEYA Dance Ensemble of TODCO under the direction of CEYA artist Marika Brussel. Participants will also be invited to visit the "Advanced Beginnings" exhibit featuring visual art celebrating a year of CEYA class activity by members of the TODCO community.

For more information on registration, programming or membership, please contact the NCCA office at or (202) 895-9456. The cost of the seminar is $85 for the entire day and $35 for the afternoon only. Scholarships and CEUs are available. Registration closes Friday at 5 PM EST.

The National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging and to developing programs that build on this understanding. Based in Washington, DC, NCCA is a nonprofit with 2,500 members and is affiliated with The George Washington University.

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its long-standing tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. The Foundation has been involved in a variety of aging-related initiatives addressing issues of caregiving, intergenerational activities, mental fitness, health and wellness programs and civic involvement. More information about the Foundation is available at.

SOURCE National Center for Creative Aging
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