Intergenerational Learning with a Twist

We usually think of intergenerational learning as the passing down of history, tradition, and skills from elders to younger people. We sometimes think of younger people sharing their tech skills with older people to help them with computers, cell phones, and other gadgets. But here’s a twist: a young man who has mastered a traditional art and is sharing it with elders.

In a brief clip from “Pueblo Weaving: A Story of Cultural Identity and Continuity,” we see young Pueblo/Hopi master weaver Louie Garcia and his elder apprentice, Antonio Jojola, from the Piro Manso Tiwa Tribe.

And here’s more: in this video excerpt, master weaver Louie Garcia shares both his own story and some of the stories behind centuries-old weaving traditions in New Mexico.

The full video, “Pueblo Weaving: A Story of Cultural Identity and Continuity,” was just screened on Sunday, December 4th, at the Museum of International Folk Art and will be featured very soon in their exhibition, “Negotiate, Navigate, Innovate: Strategies Folk Artists Use in Today’s Global Marketplace,” along with five other Master Apprenticeship videos. You can visit the Gallery of Conscience on Museum Hill in Santa Fe, NM, in the New Year to see them all.


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EngAGE Welcomes Keren Brown Wilson to Board of Directors

EngAGE is pleased to announce the addition of Keren Brown Wilson to our esteemed Board of Directors. You can see the entire list of dedicated members here.

Keren Brown Wilson, President, Jessie F. Richardson Foundation – Dr. Wilson has over 30 years experience in long-term care and supportive housing. She was the principal architect of the Oregon model of assisted living and worked with policymakers in other states looking to replicate it.

She founded three assisted living companies, providing development and management services to over 200 projects in numerous states with a focus on the poor and very poor. She has a broad range of academic and professional expertise, including regulatory analysis, day-to-day operations, and policy development. She has knowledge of both for profit and nonprofit assisted living and has worked with numerous funding sources that include Medicaid, tax credit, state revenue bonds, HUD, and community re-development programs. Keren is a recognized expert on risk and liability management.

Her doctorate degree in Urban Studies is from Portland State University. Keren holds an Adjunct Professor position with Portland State University’s Institute on Aging. She has served as an advisor to numerous states, the Pan American Health Organization, Canada, and China on housing, assisted living, and long term-care.

Currently, Keren is President of the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation, a charitable organization working on housing and service issues for very low income and hard-to-serve elders in both the United States and Central America. She also serves on several local and national boards.

You can learn more about Dr. Wilson in Atul Gawande’s important book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, in which an entire chapter is devoted to her. In a review of the book entitled, “7 Things I Learned from Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal,” writer Ellen Wehle notes: “The next time you hear someone moaning that one person can’t change the world, tell them about Keren Brown Wilson. When Wilson was a teenager, her mother suffered a debilitating stroke and had to enter a nursing home. She hated it, begging ‘Take me home’ at the end of every visit. What her mother wanted, Wilson says, was a place where she could ‘lock her door, control her heat…where she would be a person living in an apartment instead of a patient in a bed.’ Years later, after earning her degree in social policy, Wilson began drawing up blueprints for just such a place, and the first assisted living facility opened in 1983. Now they’re all over the world—including Philadelphia, where my own father happily controls his heat, keeping his room subtropical.”


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News from NoHoSAC & Vermont: Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

An annual tradition is underway for this holiday season! EngAGE, The Road Theatre, and NoHoSAC residents make it happen.


Approximately 70 gifts for children will be wrapped and delivered to the Vermont Senior Apartments, along with gift cards for the teens. The manager of Vermont, Jaime, is providing EngAGE with an updated list of children, their ages and genders for Santa to consider when handing out the gifts. Yes, Santa himself will be there! EngAGE C.A.O. Nancy Goodhart will be there, too, to take photos.

We can’t wait to show you pictures from this year’s event, which is coming up in just a couple of weeks, but meanwhile, here are some photos of EngAGE Regional Programs Director and Road Theatre actor Elizabeth Sampson as she was preparing for last year’s celebration. Elizabeth was instrumental in making the connection with The Road Theatre and getting their generous support for this project.

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And why do we have this celebration? This is why:

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Thanks, everyone!


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News from Tavarua: Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Last month, residents of Tavarua Senior Apartments in Carlsbad, CA, gathered to plan their Thanksgiving meal and create their centerpieces.  On November 22nd, they enjoyed the Resident Potluck. EngAGE Program Assistant Tracy Freeburg brought a delicious turkey to add their wonderful trimmings. Sharing a holiday meal with friends is a wonderful way to celebrate, especially when there’s a decorated table!


~ Jennifer Fallon, Program Coordinator


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News from Cotton’s Point: Mosaics and Holiday Arts

Three wonderful organizations collaborated to bring joy to the Cotton’s Point Senior Apartments in San Clemente, CA: EngAGE, The Passionate HeArts mosaic artists, and the San Clemente High School Visits of Love Club. (Read more about these projects and see more photos in this week’s issue of the San Clemente Times newspaper!)

EngAGE organized several months of mosaic art classes with two San Clemente mosaic artists, Julie Dickey and Sandy Stevens. Julie and Sandy donated their time and creativity to help the residents make a beautiful mosaic mural which was entered in the EngAGE Senior Olympics art competition. The team won the gold medal! The mural is now mounted in the Cotton’s Point apartment building entryway.






Our project didn’t stop at the mural. Julie and Sandy came back to Cotton’s Point on November 28th to share their holiday cheer by helping residents make their own mosaic Christmas trees to take home. The San Clemente High School Visits of Love Club interacted with the residents and facilitated the project. The evening was filled with wonderful smiles and holiday happiness. Thank you to everyone who participated!






San Clemente High School Visits of Love Club member with Cotton's Point resident.

San Clemente High School Visits of Love Club member with Cotton’s Point resident.

More SCHS Visits of Love Club members.

Another SCHS Visits of Love Club member with resident.

Residents and artists.

Residents and artists.

Cotton’s Point artists.

Mosaic artists and program director.

Mosaic artists and program director.

~Jennifer Fallon, Program Coordinator


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Worth Repeating: Drummer Viola Smith Celebrates 100th Birthday

“Worth Repeating” is a weekly feature on the EngAGE Blog that will bring you previous posts that we think are still timely, interesting, or just plain fun! From 12/3/12:

WORTH-REPEATINGWhat 100-year-old women drummer got acknowledged by Zildjian Drums on her birthday? The fabulous Viola Smith, billed as “the world’s fastest girl drummer!” November 29, 2012:

“We celebrate the 100th birthday of Zildjian’s longest running endorser, Viola Smith.  Anyone who watched entertainment reels in the 1930s and ’40s might know Viola. A musical pioneer, she was one of the first female professional drummers, gaining popularity during World War II. . . From 1938 to 1941 Viola flourished in a highly acclaimed all female band that she and her sister Mildred organized, called The Coquettes.”

Read more about her fascinating career here and read a story about her birthday celebration here. And check out Viola at her peak in this video of The Coquettes in 1939.


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News from Long Beach Senior Arts Colony: Art Makers Class Goes on the Record

The ART MAKERS class at LBSAC explores painting art on old record albums!

Ethel (left) was delighted when she flipped over the record and discovered that the recording was of a favorite old song that she sang with “The Sweet Adelines”- a vocal group she still performs with.

Martha (right) was proud as a peacock of her record-breaking work of art.


~ Helene Weinberg, Creative Programs Director


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Experience Talks 12/4: John Altman


01 - KPFK ListenLiveButtonTune 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.


PODCASTMiss 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.


This show is Part Two of a two-part interview. Part One is available on the Listen Page of our website:

John AltmanJOHN ALTMAN is a BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning British composer, arranger, orchestrator, and conductor. Born in London, Altman was introduced to the music of the 1930s and 1940s at an early age by an uncle who arranged and composed music for big bands and conducted for Judy Garland, the Marx Brothers, and Laurel and Hardy, among others. His only formal musical training was piano lessons as a child, but he found he had inherited the “music gene” which allowed him to understand music and play multiple instruments easily. While enrolled at the University of Sussex he was involved in session work and gigs with Fleetwood Mac and Nico. He also played saxophone in rock bands and with blues and jazz groups with such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Little Richard, and Van Morrison.

In the mid-1970s, Altman began arranging and conducting, and worked with Rod Stewart, George Michael, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Graham Parker, and Monty Python. For the latter, he arranged the music for their “Rutles” television special and later contributed to The Life of Brian, most notably as producer and arranger of the song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” He also produced and conducted the period music for James Cameron’s Titanic.

Altman also frequently has been a guest conductor for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and is a prolific writer of music for commercials, having scored more than 4,000 international ads.


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NoHoSAC and BSAC Poets Shared Their Work at a Reading

Poets-WritersThanks to two generous grants from Poets & Writers,  poet Oshea Perry taught a series of nine workshops and held a reading at both the Burbank Senior Artists Colony and the North Hollywood Senior Arts Colony, with the BSAC class joining the NoHoSAC group for an extra session each week.

The theme for the most recent EngAGE Poetry workshops was “Legacies of Stories.” Senior writers created poems that reflect history, both individually and collectively, and all who attended the class found poetry to be a very cathartic medium as they draw from their personal experiences. The workshops were so encouraging that some of the attendees have started venturing out to open mic events to share their work.

Nine students participated in the workshop’s culminating event, held on Thursday, Nov. 17th, in the beautiful theater at NoHo SAC. After being congratulated for the spirit of collaboration between these two communities, each student read two original pieces created and developed in class. Poems read were triggered by memories of childhood, deaths, and past political campaigns. An enthusiastic audience included residents, family members and other guests. A wine and cheese reception, held afterward in the art studio, went on for another two hours after the reading. Congratulations to all!

Click here to learn more about Oshea Perry, the students, and the workshops that Poets & Writers sponsor for EngAGE.

~ Nancy Goodhart, EngAGE C.A.O. and Robin Hart, EngAGE Development Manager

Posted in Burbank Senior Artists Colony, Community News, NoHo Senior Arts Colony, Writing/Storytelling | Tagged , | Leave a comment Launches “Generation to Generation”


Congratulations to Marc Freedman and our friends at on the launch of their new campaign that brings older and younger people together to make life better for all generations. From the Generation to Generation website:

Building on innovative nationwide partnerships, Generation to Generation will mobilize adults 50+ to show up for young people — and advance the national conversation on what can be accomplished when generations come together.

The campaign will regularly feature organizations and opportunities to connect with young people. Mentoring is our focus in Fall 2016.

We encourage you to learn more about this exciting new intergenerational effort and get involved. Sign up here to join the Generation to Generation email list and stay informed of future opportunities to participate. Find opportunities to work/volunteer here. Follow on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – and be sure to use the hashtag #Gen2Gen to join in the campaign conversation. You can make a difference!


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