“For me, storytelling is a really good entry-point into the arts. Everyone has a story. It’s harder to enter via the Fine Arts, or dance, for instance, but telling someone your life story is the core of human expression. It’s who we are. Figuring out our human story is more easily addressed through the arts.”
– Tim, EngAGE CEO/Founder and Teaching Artist
A landmark 2006 study by Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., “The Creativity and Aging Study,” demonstrated that professionally conducted, sequential arts-learning programs promoted better health and disease prevention among older adults who actively engaged in them. Cohen and other researchers have shown that structured arts education fosters mastery and promotes social engagement – key deterrents to feelings of isolation and loneliness at any age.
EngAGE in Creativity is our community-based multi-disciplinary arts program. It is taught by professional artists who provide college-level arts and creativity classes, programs, and events to low- and moderate-income seniors and others, delivered on-site at no cost to them at the affordable senior and multigenerational apartment communities where they live. EngAGE CEO/Founder Tim Carpenter was a friend and colleague of Dr. Gene Cohen (who passed away in 2010), and serves on the board of the National Center for Creative Aging, the organization that continues to support and promote the results of Cohen’s study.
At EngAGE, we believe that anyone of any age, with no previous exposure to the arts, can become a practicing artist in multidisciplinary, sequential, participatory arts programs, and can reap the health rewards of that participation, achieving a sense of mastery and deep, lasting social bonds in their community. Although there are many barriers to entry into the arts for seniors, minorities, and low-income individuals of all ages, we strive to perfect ways to battle the classic belief obstacles – “I am not an artist” or “I’m not creative” – through engagement in storytelling, dance, music, painting, creative writing, and other arts programs.
EngAGE in Creativity Classes and Programs
- Visual and Plastic arts
- Performance groups (comedy teams, dance groups)
- Creative writing (fiction, plays, films)
- Storytelling/Living History performance
- Radio storytelling (Our seniors’ written radio pieces and stories are also showcased on our radio show, Experience Talks, which reaches thousands of listeners each week.)
- Interviewing for media (radio & TV)
- Life Drawing (live models)
- Art exhibits
- Music appreciation
- Film appreciation
- Creativity 101
- Printmaking (computers, copiers)
- Cultural expeditions
- Website creation
- Peer Review Discussion Groups
- ‘Cooking Down Memory Lane’ – Collective Cookbook
- Intergenerational Art Programs (in partnership with children from local schools and in EngAGE multigenerational communities).