News from Andalucia: Holiday Singalong

The residents of Andalucia in Panorama City, CA, have been coming to the Holiday Singalong Party for 6 years. Louahn Lowe on piano and Theo Stevens on sax provide the entertainment of mixed secular and non-secular songs. Elizabeth Sampson makes Holiday Singalong Books so that everyone can join in the lyrics and sing out with commitment. She makes a special hot cider (secret ingredients are Apple Juice, Honey, Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, sliced/crushed Oranges and a dash of Holiday Spirit), platters of cookies, festive napkins and decorations, and for the next hour, all are immersed in a musical interlude both joyous and tender. Even care-givers who say they are just there to support their resident, eventually ask for a songbook and join in the musicale. It has become tradition at all of Elizabeth Sampson’s properties, and an evening we look forward to all year.

At one point in the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” we all looked up to notice that Programs Assistant Brian Cole was putting the star on the tree just as we all sang “So hang a shining star upon the highest bough” – it was a perfect moment of timing and magic.

~ Elizabeth Sampson, Regional Program Director


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News from Cascadian Terrace: Art + Cooking

Cascadian Terrace in Portland, OR, closed out the year with an unusual and creative six-week Duct Tape Art Class led by Teaching Artist Mona Superhero. Great fun!

Residents were enthusiastic about the Cascadian Terrace Iron Chef Competition led by Friendly House! Three brave residents signed on to be contestants, while several others volunteered for the job of tasting the food, and two were selected to be our “celebrity” judges, along with staff.  Competitors were given baskets with somewhat obscure ingredients (quinoa, feta cheese, etc.), recipe suggestions, and basic rules for the game. Contestants took their baskets back to their apartments and began cooking. Residents brought their completed meals at the time of the competition and there was a discussion about the creativity of their recipes, the likelihood that they would make the recipes again, the health benefits of the foods used, and of course, how good their food was. The competition was too close to call, so everyone was declared a winner and left with prizes! Suggestions for next time included using even more challenging ingredients, and contestants preparing an appetizer, entrée, and dessert, much like on the show, “Chopped.”

~ Robin Hart, Director of Programming and Development


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Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Congressman John Lewis

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an exceptional holiday; it’s celebrated as a day of service. If you search Google, you’ll find a tremendous number of activities that are scheduled across the country to honor Dr. King’s memory. We thought we’d celebrate the holiday by calling attention to a public servant who marched with Dr. King and who carries on his legacy to this day: Congressman John Lewis.


Often called  “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced,” John Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress.

He has been called “the conscience of the U.S. Congress,” and Roll Call magazine has said, “John Lewis…is a genuine American hero and moral leader who commands widespread respect in the chamber.”

John Lewis has been a member of Congress since 1987, and is an elder statesman of the Democratic party and a figure of huge respect for his role in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. He was a Freedom Rider, spoke at the 1963 March on Washington, and took part in the march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, led by Dr. King in 1965. In the bloody conflict that followed when police broke up the peaceful marchers, Mr. Lewis suffered serious injuries.

Congressman Lewis is the recipient of numerous awards from eminent national and international institutions, including the highest civilian honor granted by President Barack Obama, the Medal of Freedom; the Lincoln Medal from the historic Ford’s Theatre; the Golden Plate Award given by the Academy of Excellence; the Preservation Hero award given by the National Trust for Historic Preservation; the Capital Award of the National Council of La Raza;  the Martin Luther King, Jr. Non-Violent Peace Prize; the President’s Medal of Georgetown University; the NAACP Spingarn Medal; the National Education Association Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award; and the only John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage Award” for Lifetime Achievement ever granted by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

Read his full biography here and watch a two-minute video from the History Channel.


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News from Tavarua: “EngAGE with Creativity” Art Class

The residents of Tavarua Senior Apartments in Carlsbad, CA, started the New Year attending their “EngAGE with Creativity” class. They were inspired by artist Linda Luisi. The outcome continues to motivate others to expand, explore, and learn through creativity and design.

~ Tracy Freeburg, Program Coordinator


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News from San Antonio Gardens: Memory Games and Fitness

Residents tone up mentally as they work on their critical thinking skills during Memory Game class, and they tone up physically with Wii Fit in Health Awareness class.

~ Sandra Vargas, Regional Program Director


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Experience Talks 1/15: Burt Young

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.


JANUARY 15, 2017 @ 5 PM PT
with host JOHN SEMPER JR.

BURT YOUNG is a burly, talented character actor who has remained consistently busy playing “rough around the edge” types, often on the wrong side of the law.

He was born on April 30, 1940 in New York City, where he received his dramatic arts training under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.

Young first garnered notice playing tough thugs in such films as The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, Across 110th Street, Chinatown, and The Gambler. Fiery director Sam Peckinpah cast Young as the getaway driver/assassin, “Mac,” in The Killer Elite, and Young came to the attention of newcomer Sylvester Stallone, who cast him as future brother-in-law, “Paulie,” in the 1976 sleeper hit, Rocky. Young received an Oscar nomination for the role, which he has gone on to reprise in five Rocky sequels.

He won the Best Actor Festival Prize from the Atlantic City Cinefest, and was nominated for Best Actor awards by the Queens World Film Festival and the Maverick Movie Awards for his role in the short film, Tom in America (2014). He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hoboken International Film Festival.

Young has appeared in numerous major film productions, including Once Upon a Time in America, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Mickey Blue Eyes, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, and Win Win.

On Stage Now!

Academy Award-nominated actor Burt Young takes on the role of an aging mob boss in a new comedy written and directed by David Varriale. The world
premiere of The Last Vig will open Jan. 14 at the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose for a six-week run.

Joined onstage by Ben Adams (West End and national touring productions of Peter Pan), Clint Jung, (Ray Donovan, Prison Break, Music Within), Bruce Nozick (Weeds, All the Way, The Last Ship) and Gareth Williams (Dawson’s Creek, The Shield), Young will play the character of “Big Joe,” a Mafia wiseguy getting along in years who might just be the last of a dying breed. “I wanted to look at the changing of the guard,” explains Varriale. “For so long the mob was part of our cultural mythology. But there don’t seem to be any superstars left. Gambino, Gotti – they’re all dead. Bulger is incarcerated. Atlantic City is going bankrupt.” In The Last Vig, times are changing. Big Joe is old. But is he out? Can he stay in the game with the help of his young, hip-hop loving assistant, Bocce, and his old friend, Jimmy “The Fixer” D? Or will the juice on the $100K he owes be his last vig?

Get tickets here!

Zephyr On Melrose
7456 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA  90046
Ample Street Parking
(323) 653-4667 Theater Phone

Also on this show . . .

Experience Talks Producer/Host Cynthia Friedlob shares one of her In My Experience commentaries from 2009 entitled, “The Ephemeral Nature of Live Theater.”





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Meet the EngAGE Team: Jennifer Fallon

Jennifer Fallon, Regional Program Director – Jennifer has ten years of experience in education, teaching grades k-3 in Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, and California. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with an Elementary Education degree and specialization in Psychology. During her husband’s military career, she actively taught various grade levels while they moved to new stations. She has three sons; Connor, Patrick, and Aiden. Her husband, Jim, is currently a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton. Over the past several years, she has found a new interest in working with seniors. Their love, knowledge, and spirit inspire her to provide them with innovative programming. She has been working for EngAGE since 2013 and is based in Orange County, CA.


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Save the Date: “The Artfully Aging Radio Hour” Live Performances in Minneapolis on 1/23 and 1/24

Please join us for “The Artfully Aging Radio Hour” project, two live shows that will be performed and recorded for radio broadcast and podcast at 7:00 p.m. on January 23 and 24, at Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis.

“The Artfully Aging Radio Hour” is a collaboration between CommonBond Communities and EngAGE.MN, in association with Pillsbury House Theatre, Hippocrates Café, and Aroha Philanthropies. Each show in the “Artfully Aging Radio Hour” project will feature inspiring older artists and performers who will share their valuable lifelong experiences as creators of art, music, dance, and theater.

“The Artfully Aging Radio Hour” is the culminating event of EngAGE.MN’s “The Power of Storytelling” class at CommonBond’s Riverview Senior Housing Community. The class, which explores the power of personal storytelling, is taught by T. Mychael Rambo, a regional Emmy award-winning actor, vocalist, arts educator, and community organizer.


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A Cure for Senior Loneliness Is Within Our Reach

Next Avenue invited all of the 2016 Influencers in Aging to write essays about the one thing they would like to change about aging in America. This is EngAGE Founder and Executive Director Tim Carpenter’s essay: A Cure for Senior Loneliness Is Within Our Reach





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News from Portofino, Casa Bonita, San Antonio Gardens, and Metro Chinatown: Thanksgiving and Harvest Celebrations

Before we get too far away from the November celebrations: At Portofino in Pomona, residents enjoyed celebrating their Thanksgiving holiday with a community potluck, dancing and fun. Participation was at an all time high in November with 65 attendees. There is a lot to be thankful for at Portofino.

~ Alma Wright, Regional Program Director

At Casa Bonita in Huntington Park, San Antonio Gardens in Norwalk, and Metro Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles, residents enjoyed delicious communal meals and danced the night away during their Harvest Celebrations.


~ Sandra Vargas, Regional Program Director


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