The Peru Free Library (PFL), a member of the Clinton Essex Franklin Library System, is located in New York’s North Country, near the U.S.-Canadian Border. PFL found great success in offering their first creative aging program: “Radio Theater!” by building consensus on the art form among 55+ community members, and then identifying a qualified teaching artist.
In this interview with Lifetime Arts’ Director of Education, Annie Montgomery, she talks about how her passion for theatre inspired her to become a teaching artist, and how a colleague invited her to co-teach one of Lifetime Arts first pilot program at the New York Public Library. This work opened up opportunities for her to do more work in storytelling, memoir and performance in a more organized capacity. Annie shares her experiences working in this field and with older adult learners.
in this interview with visual and performing artist Paul Ferrara, he talks about how he began teaching art on a volunteer basis at a senior center in my neighborhood. He was inspired when he attended an art exhibit from a series of classes taught by teaching artists from Elders Share the Arts, where Dr. Gene Cohen was a featured speaker. At the event, he was encouraged to teach an art class at a branch library in Washington Heights. From there, he became involved with Lifetime Arts. Paul shares his experience along with the joys of teaching older adults.
In this interview, Lifetime Arts’ Education Associate and theater artist, Julie Kline, who began her creative work with younger children, talks about how her experience with working with an intergenerational theater company, Roots & Branches Theater, led her to working creatively with older adults. She also shares an experience from one of her classes that demonstrates the benefits of Creative Aging for older adults.
In this interview, performing artist, David Deblinger, talks about how he began his performing arts career after graduating from the New York’s High School of Performing Arts in the 1980’s. From there, he worked for a variety of organizations using theatre to educate and empower people. His career eventually led him to teaching Creative Aging programs in senior centers. David shares the biggest surprises he has experienced when working with older adults, along with how teaching informs his own artistic process.
In this interview, performing artist Frank Ingrasciotta, talks about how he discovered educational theatre and how one of his performances at a senior living center led him to teaching a memoir writing workshop to senior residents. As a Lifetime Arts Roster Teaching Artist, he has conducted numerous acting and writing programs with mature populations in libraries and senior living centers.
Teaching artist, David DeBlieck currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Dance in the Theater Department at the College of St Benedict & St John’s University. Since 2010, David has conducted numerous workshops and residencies in the community through the Paramount Center for the Arts, including participation as a lead artist in the Growing Artful program part of Aroha Philanthropies’ Seeding Vitality Arts Initiative.
In this blog post, Lifetime Arts Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ed Friedman, talks about Theatre 55, a company founded in 2018 by Richard Hitchler in St. Paul, Minnesota, whose mission is “to enrich the lives of elders, as artists, audiences, and lifelong learners through theatre performance and education.” Ed also talks about the Young at Heart Chorus, which provides its older participants the opportunity and instruction to perform modern music — a far cry from the usual “sing-along” fare.