EngAGE creates community and changes lives by transforming affordable senior and multigenerational housing projects into vibrant centers of learning, wellness, and creativity.
By delivering life-enhancing, tailored programming in well-being, the arts, lifelong learning and intergenerational opportunities, seniors and others are enabled to use their acquired skills in real-world ways to gain enrichment and mastery. Through our programs, participants experience the empowerment of intellectual and creative engagement, and improve their health at the same time. We have chosen housing as our platform to deliver programs that fully engage residents and provide them with dynamic intellectual and creative challenges as well as a healthy sense of self-fulfillment, value, and community, all at no cost to the participants.
The EngAGE mission is to empower people – intellectually, creatively, and emotionally – to do what they do best for the rest of their lives. Where others see a problem, we see potential. Where loss, decline, or deficit are perceived, we see opportunity and capacity.
- Accurately assess wellness on the basis of growth rather than deficits, dispelling ageism
- Create avenues of exploration and discovery through the arts and creativity
- Sustain independent living through sense of purpose, social connectivity and engagement
- Enhance a wellness model of cognitive and psycho-social health, which ultimately informs physical health
- Provide a variety of onsite instruction in arts, education and wellness
- Provide onsite focus groups to determine participant experience and interests
- Maintain a comprehensive and consistent curriculum with tailored options for skill-building, learning
- Cultivate the progression of skill building to advanced stages and to mastery
- Recognize and honor participant accomplishments with culminating social events
- Develop new and continuing partnerships with the larger community in the effort to provide additional resources for residents, including volunteering
EngAGE helps to change the mind, body, and spirit of residents in affordable housing by transforming communities into vibrant centers of teaching and learning, artistic exploration, and engagement.
EngAGE breaks down barriers between low-income people of all races and cultures, and the arts, with a college-level schedule of arts, wellness, and lifelong learning classes, programs, and events in affordable housing throughout southern California, and now Portland and Minneapolis. For nearly 20 years, we have served one of the most diverse populations by race, culture, and language in the country. (There are 70 languages spoken across our communities in southern California.) Our mission is to empower people to do what they do best – intellectually, creatively, and emotionally – by breaking down society’s systemic barriers to mastery. Where others see a problem, we see potential. Where loss, decline, or deficit are perceived, we see opportunity and capacity.
The word, “equity,” can also apply to ageism and a new way of thinking about and acting toward aging that’s different from business as usual. Older adults in our society often have feelings of inadequacy and invisibility, feel a lack of purpose and a sense of no longer being relevant in our society. EngAGE dispels ageism by changing the perception of aging as a period of inevitable decline and loss to one of potential for personal growth, enhanced well-being, civic engagement, and contribution. Experience should be honored and accomplishments respected. It’s better to assume capacity for everyone involved, rather than incapacity.
Additionally, American society has become more age-segregated, providing little opportunity for interaction between generations. Family members often live far from each other and are losing their natural intergenerational composition. EngAGE unites different generations in common activities, providing a venue for regular contact, while encouraging people of different generations to learn from and advocate for one another as viable community stakeholders.
EngAGE staff, board, and volunteers come from ethnically diverse backgrounds and ages, and embrace and promote the cause of equity and inclusion in the communities in which they serve.
EngAGE is an experienced catalyst for keeping diversity an important core issue for real estate developers and master planning stakeholders, and for the creation of successful, diverse, affordable housing communities. We articulate a compelling vision of a better world, then act to turn that vision into a reality. The multi-generational, arts-inspired communities we create are powerful tools for driving positive social change further and faster.