Teaching Artist, Susan Willerman, has been teaching “Writing From Life” at Morningside Retirement and Health Services in the Washington Heights neighborhood of NYC for 26 consecutive years. The class started as a program of Elders Share the Arts in 1994, and now continues as part of the Teachers & Writers Collaborative. When COVID-19 forced members to shelter at home, Susan and Tiana, one of the members, worked together to develop the most effective ways to continue the program online.
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.
From the Toolkit: “This resource is designed for leaders and program staff in public, nonprofit, and for-profit arts and humanities organizations and institutions and in healthcare and aging services organizations, corporations,and institutions. It is intended to increase the expertise of those who direct existing community arts and aging programs and to give others in the community the tools to take the first step and keep going.”