Apr 20

Thx to @StLJewishLight 4 neat words about #CASEfest

My thanks to Ellen Futterman, Editor St. Louis Jewish Light for this wonderful send off about our soon to be a reality festival, Celebrating Art for Senior Engagement. 4/28-5/7/16.

YAY! Ellen.
You’re never too old…
In making good on her promise to create the first area-wide arts festival dedicated to the St. Louis region’s older adult population, Lynn Friedman Hamilton has gone above and beyond. The result is Celebrating Art for Senior Engagement, which will take place at more than 60 area venues and feature 80-plus events, April 28 to May 7.
“There is just so much out there for seniors in our community,” says Hamilton. Her nonprofit organization, Maturity and its Muse, which is dedicated to improving the life of seniors through the arts, is spearheading the festival.
“It was really wonderful the number of organizations that wanted to be a part of this festival,” Hamilton says. “They would say to me, ‘We want people you know to come to our places and enjoy what we do.’ I was really thrilled by the resounding support.”
While the events are far too numerous to mention all, highlights include:
• A lecture at Washington University to explore the benefits of participation in the arts for improving health and well-being among older adults with keynote speaker Linda Noelker. She will be joined by a panel of professionals who connect older adults with various visual and performing arts in the St. Louis Metro Region.
• A performance at the City Museum by Elizabeth ‘Bunny’ Herring, octogenarian aerialist, to showcase her aerial and magic acts.
• Fifteen banjo players strummin’ away playing the old, familiar Tin Pan Alley songs from the early 1900s while the audience sings along.
• Creating accessible gardens using repurposed materials, including the best plants to grow and how to keep them thriving, at Laumeier Sculpture Park.
• Watching Music Director David Robertson rehearse the St. Louis Symphony at Powell Hall as it prepares for weekend performances.
• “Exploring Dance through Poetry” with live and recorded music, and live poetry readings at Crown Center.
• The St. Louis Storytelling Festival at the Jewish Community Center.
• A dessert reception at Temple Israel, followed by a concert from TI’s choir, Chavurat Shira, featuring a wide selection of music, including musical theater, opera, liturgy and more.
More than 95 percent of the festival events are free; some have a nominal charge while others may require pre-registration. And the events aren’t just for seniors – Hamilton points out that many were designed to appeal to people of all ages, including children.
She explains the goal of the festival is two-fold: to harness the power of the arts to energize and transform the quality of life for the region’s older adults and to attract and help build audiences for the venues involved. Her biggest concern at this point is making sure seniors can secure transportation to the events.
“Hopefully, enough of the events are multigenerational so that families can go together,” she says. St. Louis NORC, which provides support services to senior adults living in their own homes, is hosting the storytelling event at the JCC, and Rabbi Amy Feder is offering free transportation for those in need to the event at Temple Israel.
Hamilton has been working on this festival since July 2014, talking with organizations and encouraging them to participate. Given the number that are, apparently her encouragement was successful.
“I love people and I love having people have a great time,” says Hamilton, explaining why creating this festival was so important. “I like people to share things and get inspired. You’re never too old to try something new.
“Just because something may keep someone from singing or dancing on the outside, it’s still possible to have a song in one’s heart and dance on the inside. It’s really all about that feeling of a good, happy quality of life and having fun.”
For a full list of Celebrating Art for Senior Engagement events, with dates, times and details, go to http://maturityanditsmuse.org/calendarLynn F Hamilton/.

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