With funding from the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels' Healthy Aging Program, six New York Public Libraries partnered with a wide range of teaching artists – bringing new creative aging programs – and transformative experiences to older adults in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.
A 10 session choral program will focus on a capella singing to encourage vocal improvement and build a sense of community for Co-op City's large older adult population. While enjoying music making, exploring folk music and spirituals, participants will work on vocal and performance techniques, music theory, improvisation and composition.
Delving into the unique qualities and mark-making capacities of pencil, charcoal, and oil pastels, participants will explore line, contour, perspective, value, and color mixing. They will look at and discuss artists and their work using books and digital images and apply their discoveries to their own work.
Focusing on line, texture, point of view and color, participants will examine a variety of maps and the work of map artists such as Romare Bearden. They will create their own collage life maps as they achieve an understanding of the principles of art and design and gain skills in the use of basic vocabularies, materials, tools, and techniques as they apply to collage.
Through journal writing and performance and participants will reflect on their lives, find and express their unique personal voices and learn skills for documenting and sharing their personal experiences with others. They will be introduced to the work of established writers working in the area of memoir including Edwidge Danticant and Spalding Gray. The series will culminate in a live performance of original written work by members of the workshop.
Each of the 8 sessions includes an introduction to the work of a variety of artists, styles and techniques, art-making and shared reflection. Participants will learn to use a variety of drawing and collage materials including graphite and white pencil, charcoal, ink and torn paper. They will experiment with positive/negative shapes, abstraction, and the use of lines, create volume and mass. Importantly, participants will be encouraged and inspired to take advantage of the neighborhoods great museums.
Up to 30 older adults will receive sequential, skill-based music instruction focused on vocal training, introduction to basic harmony and music theory, basic ear training, and chorus singing. The repertoire will focus on popular music o f the 1920s, 30s and 40s including work by Gershwin, Berlin and Porter.