Contexts of the aging individual

Re-Generation : stories of a process.

When I founded  Artworks at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco CA, in 1980 there was little understanding that everyone is creative in different ways, and that we continue to be creative as we age.

We now know that expressing our creativity benefits all of us at any age and continues to do so as we get older.

In 1980- an arts organization board member asked “Why would you want to send an artist to work with an 80-year old?”

Thankfully in this decade, we have many answers to that question. I am gratified that the National Endowment for the Arts now has an area of funding for Aging.

This blog offers the reader an account of Arts and Aging over 3+ decades from the perspective of both a professional and, fortunately, a participant. I hope to inspire and inform all those who are interested in Creative, Purposeful Aging either as a career choice or as a road-map for a satisfying life. I want to hear your stories.

I searched for the right word to describe my decades of work, and that of people like me.

Re-GENERATE: (def.) – to restore to a better, higher or more worthy state and this means changing how we as a society see aging.

I have witnessed people in our programs, dismissed as an obsolete group by our society, re-generated into writers, painters, actors, volunteers, mentors to youth, etc and as a result, restored to full confidence that they still have something meaningful to offer others. Their contribution to society is vastly under-rated.

ReGENERATE (def) – to revive, to renew, restore.

How meaningful it has been for me to observe people become revived, renewed and restored as they re-discover talents and dreams after many years and experience the transformation that comes with the re-discoveries.

So WELCOME to the conversation!


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