The Big Apple Gets Smarts with Senior Center Initiative

By Perlstein, Susan | Aging Today, November/December 2008 | Go to article overview

The Big Apple Gets Smarts with Senior Center Initiative


Perlstein, Susan, Aging Today


Last February, the city of New York launched SMARTS (Seniors Meet the Arts), the largest municipal initiative in the United States to connect elders to arts programs. This $1 million initiative brought cultural organizations and senior centers together to enhance older-adult participation in the creative life of the city through June 2008. The initiative was developed by the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) in partnership with the city's Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and city council.

Selected through a competitive application process, 57 cultural organizations were partnered with more than 1 50 senior centers in neighborhoods across the Big Apple's five boroughs. The chosen organizations provided a variety of hands-on programs, such as storytelling, circus arts, blues cabaret creative writing, visual arts, intergenerational theater and cinema.

DFTA Commissioner Edwin MendezSantiago said the department decided to focus on elders' creative exploration as part of its commitment to vital and healthy aging. He added, "SMARTS promotes senior participation in die arts and helps to strengthen senior center programming." Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin noted, "Nonprofit cultural organizations have been at the forefront in building healthy neighborhoods."

Enhanced senior center programming is a key component of DFTA 's modernization efforts. In response to the longevity revolution, the department is reenvisioning the future of services for older individuals, such as those the agency provides to more than 320 senior centers city wide. The department hopes senior centers will become hubs that promote social, physical and mental wellness by providing diverse programming, such as creative opportunities. Strengthening the linkages with community cultural organizations is a priority for both DFTA and DCA.

In the Bronx, for example, one participating organization was Teatro Pregones, which is dedicated to the performance of original musical theater and plays rooted in Latino cultures. For SMARTS, teaching artists conducted interactive workshops focused on poetry recital, storytelling and choreographed movements at six Bronx senior centers.

Teatro Pregones kicked off its activities at each senior center with a performance by its artists that presented excerpts from the play Baile Cangrejero (Dance From Cangrejos), one of the theater company's more successful productions. The performance also included an engaging selection of Afro-Caribbean poetry in Spanish and English accompanied by a lively piano-and-percussion group. The event introduced elders to the company members and sparked interest in the workshops.

ORIGINAL PLAYS

Subsequently, Teatro Pregones conducted eight 90-minute theater workshops in which participating elders created original short plays. Some of the themes of diese theater pieces included a woman's search for an adventurous spirit she thought she had lost with me passing of time; a story of campesinos (farmworkers) forced to leave their country of origin; immigrants' ar- rival in a new land; and neigh- bors in the Bronx forging a commu- nity. The short plays were per- formed one April afternoon at the Teatro Pregones for all of the participating senior centers as part of the Seniors Performance Exchange. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Big Apple Gets Smarts with Senior Center Initiative
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.