Create, Connect, Contribute
~ A Celebration & Fundraiser ~
Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s agein a fun-filled success! Our “Week of Joy” was full of expressive creativity, community connection – online and in-person – and numerous contributions by friends of AHWGO.
Photos and video from this event are coming soon! If you’d like to get involved in next year’s agein, contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
“I want to support At Home With Growing Older’s work!”
Thank You to Our Venue and Food Sponsor:
Thank You to Our Online Play Date Facilitators!
Curiosity Lab: What can we spark through collectively imagining something? Through a series of interactive prompts, participants explored the power of collaboration using creative frameworks for heartfelt discussions and interactive exploration. In the Curiosity Lab, we made use of metaphor, spontaneity, storytelling, and all the senses to share, nurture, and developed fresh ideas together within a supportive cohort. Hosted by teaching artist and Bay Area-based theatre maker Evan Johnson.
Evan Johnson is an actor/creator, teaching artist, and community builder with over 15 years experience. He’s the director of the Cosmic Elders Theatre Ensemble, and he hosts regular gatherings, events, and workshops. Evan’s background is in physical theatre, improv, solo performance, and playwriting. For more info: www.evanjohnsonplays.com
Writing as Practice: Discovering the Joy of Connection
One of the fallacies of joy is that it only blooms when life is just right. The truth is that joy, the deep sense of being connected to our lives, is possible regardless of our circumstance.
For this Play Date, we used writing as the tool and the expression of connection. This wasn’t your second-grade teacher’s writing class. We were free to roam without a dictionary, commas or proper sentence structure. We were given a prompt and then invited to write from what some have called our “wild mind” — a place of forgotten treasures and unexpected visitors. Whatever your relationship to writing, you were welcomed to this party. We got to be playful, soulful and courageous. Our writing was different, but we were not alone. Our stories connect us, and this is fertile ground for joy.
David Fredrickson is a writer, author, mindful self-compassion teacher, psychotherapist, and student of life. For more info: www.davidafredrickson.com
Visual Expression: Flights of Fantasy, A Drawing Workshop
Artist Karen Heagle led this series of playful drawing exercises inspired by surrealistic free association, automatic drawing, diving deep into to the corners of our unconscious while also accessing the realm of the imagination.
At this Play Date, you were invited to use your choice of pencil and paper, tempera paint or colored inks, crayons or pastels, a few brushes, a couple of containers with water, or simply your favorite magic markers with a pad of drawing paper. Artists and non-artists were welcome!
Heagle also introduced her own art practice and shared some of the art historical trappings surrounding these drawing practices.
Karen Heagle is a visual artist based in New York City who works primarily in painting and drawing. Her work reflects autobiographical symbolism, thematically focused on memento mori, feminism, sexuality, and queer identity. She has exhibited widely in New York City, including most recently at Sargent’s Daughters, while also participating in many group exhibitions. She is the vice president of the Board of Directors of the Fire Island Artist Residency, holds an MFA from Pratt Institute, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more: www.karenheagle.com
Need a laugh?
At this Play Date, we wrote jokes about the experiences of growing older individually and collectively. Stand up comedian Iris Benson led this workshop about writing and landing jokes.
Iris Benson has been a standup comedian for 10 years in addition to improv, acting and screenwriting. Her deadpan delivery and off-kilter point of view has earned her spots in several comedy festivals, including The Laughing Devil Comedy Festival (NY, NY), Trial by Laughter Competition (Indianapolis, IN), The She-Devil Festival (NY, NY), The She-Dot Festival (Toronto, ON), Cape Fear Comedy Festival (Wilmington, NC) and the Idaho Comedy Festival (Boise, ID). You can see her in the upcoming World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas and The Savage Henry Comedy Festival in Eureka, CA. Learn more: irisbenson.com
Thank You to Our Saturday Celebrartion Facilitators, Caterer and Venue!
We participated in a Way-of-Joy Qigong session with Bay Area actress and qigong teacher Vicki dello Joio
We enjoyed joy-filled dance with instructor, Risa Jaroslow
We listened to the playful accordion stylings of Circus Bella impresario and musician Rob Reich
Catered by Sweet Adeline Bake Shop
History of agein
In June of 2019, AHWGO piloted a day-long super forum, an ‘agein’ in the style of the 1960s teach-ins. We aimed to include people of varied ages and backgrounds, and explore how the later stages of life are seen, felt and understood.
Motivated by its success we will take this annual event to key locations in California in order to:
- Reach new audiences
- Incentivize other communities to form AHWGO creative learning communities
- Identify more opportunities for AHWGO to bring aging consideration to a greater range of organizations and corporations
First agein, June 2019, Ed Roberts Campus Berkeley.
“….there were some amazing people and creative brains in the room and so much potential to activate whole communities and created system-wide change!”