Nicole Wallace has written an article for The Chronicle of Philanthropy entitled, “Seismic Changes Are Ahead for Charities as Americans Age,” which addresses a significant demographic change and how it affects nonprofits: “One in five Americans will be 65 or older by 2030, but too few nonprofits are taking their own pulse to see how fit they are for what’s ahead. . . .
“Charities that provide the basics, things like food, shelter, and health care, will definitely see the impact of the aging population. But all nonprofits will feel the reverberations. America’s graying demographics will upend both the services that organizations provide and how they seek support. . . .
“For baby-boomer nonprofit leaders who have long focused on aging issues, this is an especially interesting moment when personal and professional lives intersect.
“Tim Carpenter founded EngAGE, a charity that brings the arts to low-income seniors, with a single writing class in 1998. His goal was to prove to older adults — and the people around them — that aging is an opportunity, not a disease.”
“Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and acclaimed author who explored some of the brain’s strangest pathways in best-selling case histories like The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, using his patients’ disorders as starting points for eloquent meditations on consciousness and the human condition, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 82.” [obituary]
On the eve of 2011, Dr. Sacks wrote an op-ed piece entitled, “This Year, Change Your Mind,” in which he discusses the marvelous ability of the brain to adapt and grow, under challenging circumstances and at any age:
“While some areas of the brain are hard-wired from birth or early childhood, other areas — especially in the cerebral cortex, which is central to higher cognitive powers like language and thought, as well as sensory and motor functions — can be, to a remarkable extent, rewired as we grow older.”
Is there something you’d like to learn — another language, a musical instrument, maybe even how to cook? Leap right in and change your brain!
“Beverly Watkins, 76, is a longtime fixture on the Atlanta roots music scene [50+ years!]. She is a guitarist and singer, still capable of commanding a rock club stage at an age when most people would have resigned themselves to singing in church (though she does that, too).” Check out her CNN interview and then see her 2013 performance at Rhythm Riot! in Camber Sands, East Sussex, in the UK. Guitar, vocals, and harmonica!
Earlier this month, AARP California featured a story written by Anita Creamer called, “United in Community: Bridging the Gap Across Generations,” in which EngAGE is cited for our life-enhancing intergenerational programming. From the article:
A livable community nurtures people of all ages: It finds creative ways to connect people across demographic lines and keep older adults engaged in the world around them. Without those connections, people who are isolated can experience a cascade of potentially devastating symptoms as they grow older, including depression and dementia. And studies consistently show that almost 20 percent of older adults will experience problems with isolation as they age.
EngAGE Founder and Executive Director Tim Carpenter had this to say:
“I find it weird about senior living that it’s senior living,” said Carpenter. “I don’t think that’s natural. I don’t know anyone who thinks, ‘Well, I’m 70, so I want to hang out only with other 70-year-olds.’ We try to break down the walls and windows of senior living. We try to make those places part of the fabric of the community.”
“It’s not just a fear of failure, [author Tom] Kelley said. It’s a fear of being judged. . . . Everyone is innately creative, [his book] posits; creators are just people who act. And, of course, they don’t always succeed.”
And here’s a related article:“The Benefits of Failing at French” which addresses the difficulties so many older people have when trying to learn a new language. Guess what? We’ll do better if we think like a kindergartner!
“If you’ve ever visited the Fells Point neighborhood on the Baltimore waterfront, you may have noticed an older man standing on the street corner, telescope in hand. Herman Heyn , self-proclaimed ‘star hustler,’ has been setting up in the same place almost every night, offering passersby glimpses of the galaxy for close to three decades.” Get the delightful full story here.
Tune in to Experience Talks, our weekly “Radio Magazine for the Experienced Listener,” on Sundays at 5:00 PM PT on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles, 98.7 FM Santa Barbara, 99.5 China Lake, 93.7 N. San Diego, streaming live online, and now syndicated on up to 100 Pacifica Network stations! Experience Talks is produced by EngAGE, Inc.
Miss the show? You can always hear it as a podcast on the Listen Page of our website! You’ll also find an archive-in-progress of all of our previous shows there for you to enjoy. New shows are usually posted within 48 hours after broadcast.
SUNDAY 8/23 @ 5 PM PT
ROBERT STONE (Part Two)
with Host Tim Carpenter
The late novelist Robert Stone fully lived the Sixties. He spent time with the writer Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, and was briefly a Vietnam War correspondent. Throughout his career, his literary work was often acknowledged with awards, including the National Book Award in 1975 for “Dog Soldiers,” about a heroin smuggling deal gone wrong. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1981 for “A Flag for Sunrise,” about an American professor caught in the pre-revolution politics of a Central American country, and in 1997 for a collection of stories entitled “Bear and His Daughter.” In 2007 he wrote a memoir about his counter-culture years entitled, “Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties.” The work shares Stone’s personal story from his days in the Navy to his time in Viet Nam, along with his insights on Kesey, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Experience Talks is fortunate to be able to share host Tim Carpenter’s excellent two-part interview with Robert Stone. Part Two airs this week. If you missed Part One, you can hear it on our website’s Listen Page. Read Robert Stone’s detailed obituary here.
“Jean Phelps Veloz, the icon of the Hollywood-Style Lindy to new generations of swing dancers, provides a living bridge from the Los Angeles dance scene of the 1940’s to the present-day Lindy Hop revival that has swept the United States and the rest of the world since the late 1990’s.” She’s best known for the 1944 MGM film short, “Groovie Movie,” with Arthur Walsh. In 2014, at age 90, she celebrated her birthday at the Navy Club in Bangkok. Watch and enjoy, and learn more about her at her website. (We’d bet she danced on her 91st birthday this year, too!)
Michael Kearns spent ten years as the artist-in-residence at the Downtown Women’s Center in Skid Row and currently helms Writing Works at Housing Works in Los Angeles on a weekly basis. He is the creator and Artistic Director of QueerWise, a collective of GLBTQ writers who have gained a reputation as one of Los Angeles’s stalwarts in the world of spoken word performance. Read an interview with him about his workshops here on the Readings & Workshops blog at Poets & Writers. [Hat tip to EngAGE Founder and Executive Director Tim Carpenter for this link.]
We’ve posted in the past both here and on Facebook/Twitter about “Still Dreaming,” Hank Rogerson and Jilann Spitzmiller’s excellent documentary about a group of older Broadway actors, musicians, and dancers who live at the Lillian Booth Actors Home just outside NYC and who bravely dive into a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Watching their story unfold, with all of its challenges, disappointments, and triumphs, is riveting. Here’s the trailer for the film, and you can learn more at the website. Also, here’s an interesting and entertaining interview Jilann did for the NEA’s Art Works podcast. You can find or request a screening of the film here. If you have a chance to see it, please do! And, finally, to get a taste of what you’ll see, be sure to watch this video, a profoundly moving rendition of the Rodgers and Hammerstein song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” performed by Charlotte Fairchild and accompanied by Joan Stein.
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Tune in to our "Radio Magazine for the Experienced Listener" - Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles, 98.7 FM Santa Barbara, streaming live online and now syndicated on up to 100 Pacifica Network stations! Listen to our radio shows plus hear exclusive Experience Talks Online podcasts in our audio archive at www.experiencetalks.org.