June Update

Many thanks to Jen Tindall from Art Your Service and Niagara College Therapeutic Recreation Program students for their support and participation in Creative Aging Awareness Week, May 30th to June 3rd 2022. Over 20 FREE online activities and events were organized and over 160 social media awareness ads were scheduled and posted during the week using the hashtag #creativeaging2022.

A 2022-23 Creative Arts for Wellness Project will be launched with project co-sponsor and host, Museum London, in London Ontario. The project is generously funded by New Horizons for Seniors Canada. Kathy Smith, volunteers, instructors and facilitators will develop both onsite and online free creative arts programming for low income older adults in London and surrounding area.

By combining museum arts education with therapeutic arts, museums can make significant contributions to the health and wellbeing of older adults in their communities. These “creative aging” programs unite these fields, using artworks and art-making as catalysts to explore feelings, invite self-exploration, strengthen a sense of belonging while building communities of interest. The programs and activities foster an interest in creativity among older adults and provides them with an empowering sense of accomplishment. Programs like Museum London’s Creative Arts and Wellness are particularly important to museums today since the population of older adults in Canada is rising rapidly, and is expected to more than double by 2040.

We’ll be at the Age Friendly London Conference on June 22nd with more information about the project and opportunities for community participation.

Kathy continues to work with the Direct [Message] Research Project team to develop online course curriculum for arts education programming for older adults in Ontario. Online programs and activities are being tested with seniors in Hamilton, Guelph and London.

Direct[Message] is a collaborative community arts project based in Ontario and generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts (Digital Strategy Fund). It aims to make the arts more interactive and accessible for older adults through digital technology.

We are co-designing, developing and evaluating physical devices and digital applications that would make it easy for older adults to access and participate in artistic programs. We hope to make this technology accessible and engaging to people from various communities, especially those living with disabilities. We believe that providing virtual access to interactive artistic content and creative practices can help counter social isolation and contribute to healthy aging.

The Creative Age Art Studio in Dorchester was able to re-open in May with lots of new programs and events. The art group meets in the Creative Age Art Studio every Thursday in June and July from 1pm – 3pm. There is limited space for the drop-ins so registration is required through Penny Wearne – penny@pennywearne.com. The art group Facebook Page is Seniors Creating Art Together.

Outreach to Communities – new partnership opportunities have been identified in London and surrounding area and we have a few irons in the fire. Watch for July Update for announcements of new Fall and Winter projects. Kathy Smith continues to work with potential community partners to develop and organize new opportunities in 2023.

Kristan Smith continues to develop the creative tech coaching services for older adults. The service will be ready to launch in the fall 2022.

Ongoing updates, news and views will be available on this website blog.