Thoughts from EngAGE CEO/Founder Tim Carpenter on His Visit to Italy

Man reading in his window: photo taken by Tim in Venice, Italy.

EngAGE CEO/Founder Tim Carpenter has just returned from a three-week visit to Italy. While there, he shared his musings on place and people, and intentional design.

7/5 in Rome:

Feeling grateful. Claire Peeps and Carrie Avery of the Durfee Foundation, my work, my life has been altered, because of you. I am on a Stanton Fellowship adventure in Italy with my research intern, Zoë Carpenter. We met today with an amazing architect and urban planning strategist around public space. We see elders everywhere here, walking, riding, sipping espresso in outdoor cafes, dressed to the nines, respected, adored. Deborah thinks they can do better, wants to be the Amanda Burden (NYC Planning czar under Bloomberg) of Roma. I think we can do better. We can normalize aging, we can create engagement and connection between public and private space. We can help people smile and ride bicycles or scooters if they want, at any age. Deborah rode one across town to meet Zoe and me, braving the mean streets of Rome, excited to talk design and public space planning with two strangers from across the globe, to lend a hand, bettering my work. Because I said I was a Stanton Fellow. Feeling grateful.

7/8 in Florence:

The challenge of my inquiry for my Stanton Fellowship, funded by the Durfee Foundation, is how to create community, not just build buildings. During my travels, I see that an intentional linkage of public and private space, a place that offers people somewhere to go, and more importantly a reason to stay, succeeds. People. That’s the prize, right? People bring people. What do people want? Comfort, greenery, water, walkability, ARTS, culture, a respect for history and neighborhood, education, fun, food, parks, views, a sense of connection and community, a sensory connection to the human spirit. We want all ages, curiosity and diversity and open acceptance to who we are. We want outside the box use of space to create a sense of place, of purpose and belonging. We want gardens and, did I mention the arts? Music, dance, visual art, performance. We want to smile and look around and see others smiling. We want accidental spill-over between our circle of life to inhabit and infect the circles of others, to feel part of something larger than ourselves. Connection. We can design buildings and places but it’s only the hardware. We are the software.

7/22 in Venice:

Thinking about place and the part it plays in our lives. Walking after dinner last night to the public gardens here, we passed an older man reading in his window. Two buildings were connected by an interior courtyard and there was art everywhere. All the people we saw were older. The man’s window looked out onto the Grand Canal and he had a glimpse of the Adriatic if he leaned out a bit. The place beautifully balanced connection and solitude. Walking back after exploring the gardens by the sea, I caught a glimpse through the man’s window again. His wife had returned and she was tossing a salad while he opened a bottle of wine. Three other residents, all older and dressed eclectically, all colorful scarves and berets and beards and wildly large hair, arrived for what was surely a Friday night dinner party. When I was a child, sneaking a peak from the adjacent racetrack, I caught glimpses of artists convening at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY, a colony of like-minded seekers, and thought, hmm, wouldn’t that be a cool place to have a conversation over dinner. This little enclave made me feel that same sense of connection and purpose, excitement, joy. Place… and how it brings together people – designing this in advance, with intention, I think we’d have something.

 

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News from Cantabria/Asturias: Yoga

The ladies of Cantabria Senior Apartments and Asturias Senior Apartments in Panorama City, CA, have been taking their yoga seriously. When last I visited them about six months ago, they were coming along, still on their mats, still finding their balance, focused to be sure, but definitely fledglings.


Well.

Fledglings no more.

The yoga class I walked in on this week was full of limber, long-limbed, lithe ladies, wrapped around themselves, flexed toes reaching for the skies, arms embracing a larger sense of self. I could not believe the transformation wrought by their incredible instructor, Pamela Roylance.

 

There was light music playing in the background — it was about as muffled as the pool balls cracking against each other in the adjacent pool room. What I could hear, was the deep breathing, the pants and grunts of humans reaching their fullest physical potential. Their faces were glowing with perspiration, their brows knotted with concentration as they inhaled and exhaled through the grueling postures.

I was in awe of them. I wished I could join them, but their practice has far surpassed mine.

 

 

 

This is Martha. She had never done yoga before a few months ago. She still uses a chair for some of the poses, but she is making progress fast. She thanks me over and over again for bringing this class into her life.

~ Elizabeth Sampson, Regional Program Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News from La Coruña: Summer Culminating Event for Knitting Class

Craig has been teaching Needlecraft at La Coruña Senior Apartments in Van Nuys, CA, since the fall.

He keeps bits of his students’ yarn on his key chain so that when he goes to the yarn store, he can match their projects to more skeins.

Craig is taking the next month off to teach at an Arts community in Idyllwild, so we decided to have a “showing” of their work to the building and anyone else who wanted to come.

Here are two of his students, Maria and Iziz, filling the table with the hats, blankets, doilies, and scarves that they have made since studying with Craig.

 

 

 

Iziz was a science teacher in Egypt for most of her life, but now she lives at La Coruña and loves it. Here she is modeling one of the hats she made. The matching cape is on the display table.

The students all clearly like each other tremendously, and you can see the bonding that has happened between them as they sit and stitch. Craig is very good about bringing in new designs for them to try and the ladies are very good about finishing their projects.

The knitters have formed a lovely, loving, and prodigiously productive group. We will start up classes again later in the summer.

~ Elizabeth Sampson, Regional Program Director

 

 

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News from Portofino: Gardening

The residents of Portofino Villas in Pomona, CA, are embracing the warm weather, summer motivation, and community enrichment activities. Look at this lovely garden!

~ Alma Wright, Regional Program Director

 

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News from Pac Arts: Art Show Reception – August 3rd

Please join us at the Pac Arts Gallery on Thursday, August 3rd, from 6-8 p.m. for the Opening Reception of our new show, “Young at Art,” featuring the work of young emerging artist Alexis Velasco and the young art students from Pacific Avenue Arts Colony. Pac Arts is located at 303 S. Pacific Ave. in San Pedro, CA. This is a free event, open to the public. The exhibit will run through September.

About the artist:
Alexis Velasco is an up-and-coming artist born and raised in East Los Angeles, and currently living in San Pedro, CA. Alexis developed a love for art early on in her life. She studied at Ramon Cortines School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles where she learned to use many different mediums and excelled in her art. Among artists who submitted more than 330,000 works to Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Alexis received honorable mentions for Drawing and Illustration as well as Mixed Media for her pieces “Don’t Think” and “Why Can’t I See Anything.” In July 2017, Alexis’ piece, “Adora Is the Yearbook,” was on display at Wuho Gallery in Hollywood. Alexis recently graduated high school and will be attending California State University East Bay in Hayward, CA, this September.

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

~ Helene Weinberg, Program Director

 

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News from Good Samaritan Society – Waconia & Westview Acres: Art Class Goes Bananas

 

At the Good Samaritan Society – Waconia and Westview Acres in Waconia, MN, on day one of the drawing class, 2 teaching artists worked with 14 students on an unusual project: sketching bananas!

The students also completed a survey before class (all those clipboards). EngAGE likes to check in with our residents to find out what they expect from classes and then follow up to find out if we met their expectations.

 

~ Chuck Leer, Consultant

 

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Experience Talks 7/23: Anthony Montgomery

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 the non-profit 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.

 

 


JULY 23, 2017 @ 5 PM PDT
ANTHONY MONTGOMERY
with host JOHN SEMPER, JR.


When ANTHONY MONTGOMERY landed a series regular role as “Ensign Travis Mayweather” on Star Trek: Enterprise – the fifth live-action series in the Star Trek franchise – it changed his life.  From 2001 through 2005, he enthusiastically piloted Enterprise’s NXO1 into many adventures and into the hearts of innumerable loyal Star Trek fans around the world.

Subsequent to his Star Trek fame, Anthony has made numerous guest star appearances in shows such as NCIS, House, and the TNT original series, Trust Me, and had a recurring role on the Lifetime network hit show, The Client List, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. He also starred as “Jay Brooks” in the critically acclaimed independent feature film, I’m Through with White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks). The romantic comedy received 10 awards on the festival circuit, including seven Audience Awards for Best Narrative Feature Film, before being acquired by Image Entertainment for national distribution.

For the last year and a half, Anthony has enjoyed playing the role of “Dr. Andre Maddox” on the popular, long-running ABC daytime soap opera, General Hospital.

In addition to acting, he has released his debut music album, A.T. The album makes him the first actor in the Star Trek franchise to release music in the Hip Hop genre. The album was distributed internationally through Universal Music Group, via his German based record label, AGR Television Records. He continues to record and do live performances when his schedule permits.

Anthony is also currently launching his own sci-fi franchise called Miles Away, beginning with a graphic novel. Miles Away is about a teenage boy who develops a superhuman ability, allies with alien refugees, and falls into an interstellar war connected to his family’s dark past.

You can find out more about Anthony on his website, and you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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News from ACE/121: Arts Colony in Glendale Celebrates Grand Opening

Photo by Allan White

A large crowd gathered in the courtyard to enjoy the official grand opening of ACE/121 on a beautiful, sunny day. There was a tasty buffet and entertainment was provided by some of the talented residents of this new 70-unit Glendale, CA, affordable housing arts colony.

Although many of EngAGE’s communities are exclusively for seniors, Ace 121’s residents are working artists of all ages. The building provides many arts amenities including a gallery, studios, a kiln, classroom space, a computer lab, and music rooms.

The event was also marked by the opening of CIVITAS, the inaugural exhibit at the impressive ACE/121 gallery. CIVITAS is the Latin word for “community” and the exhibit explores a deeper definition of the word through art. This group show of 40 artworks represents the talents of over 20 residents, both professional and emerging artists, exploring multiple media, who have come together as community creators. The exhibit is on view through September 4th and is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. For more information, contact ACE/121 EngAGE Program Director Marshall Ayers at mayers.engage@gmail.com.

The entire event was an exciting celebration for EngAGE, Meta Housing Corporation, the YMCA of Glendale, Glendale Housing Authority, Western Community Housing, the California Arts Council, and everyone else involved in the community’s development, building, programming, and grand opening! You can learn more about ACE/121 in this California Economic Summit article. [Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.]

Photos by Miles Morse
Thanks also to Nancy Goodhart, CAO; and Marshall Nalle Ayers, Program Director

 

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News from The Grove: Greeting Cards and Bookmarks

The Volunteer Action Committee from SCAN Health Plan came to The Grove Senior Apartments in Garden Grove, CA, and worked with residents on a special creative project using photo paper to make beautiful greeting cards and bookmarks.

~ Meloney Morse, Regional Program Director

 

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News from Park Plaza: Timeslips Storytelling

EngAGE tried something completely different at Park Plaza Senior Apartments in North Hollywood, CA, a property known for its fiercely separatist cultural diversity between the residents from Armenia and Russia. The factions seemed to be the last holdover from the “old” countries, their differences as aggressively protected as elephants over a fallen member of the herd.

They also have maintained a gender divide here, the men never sitting with the women, removing themselves instead to the far reaches of the wall, where they hunch like anchored Sea Lions, squinting over the proceedings.

The women are just as stoic. Planted in their chairs, they silently sip their juice, the merest nod of their heads a token acknowledgment that the entertainment might be pleasing.

 

 

So, EngAGE bringing in an animated female story-teller with purple hair and invitations to “come, speak, and tell stories” was about as inviting, and comfortable, to the Park Plaza residents as jumping off a cliff. Or speaking in their broken English.

 

 

 

But at the first meeting, Sarah Jacobus – all rosy cheeked bon-homie – sat in the community room and amassed a small gathering. Four or five at first, and then four or five more, tentatively sidled over to the table while she handed around pictures and encouraged comment. The ladies peeked out from their silence, like Siberian daffodils sprouting through the snow.

 

Here are the ladies, engaging. Yes, Tanya enticed them with platters of cheese and crackers, but that was just something to nibble on while smiling Sarah spun her web of story enchantment.

Welcome, ladies! “Once Upon A Time”. . .

~ Elizabeth Sampson, Regional Program Director


Instructor Sarah Jacobus is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in creative writing. She is committed to the practice of creative engagement as a tool for meaningful self-expression and community building. She was trained and certified by TimeSlips founder Anne Basting, Ph.D., at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Timeslips, an organization that opens storytelling to everyone by replacing the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.

 

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