Engaging in creative pursuits and lifelong learning
Episcopal Homes’ Creative Ventures program inspires elders to participate in learning and growth opportunities that are designed to form lasting friendships and enrich their sense of meaning and purpose.
From one-time to more in-depth, multi-session classes, Creative Ventures offerings are designed to strengthen elders’ wellbeing, not just to keep them busy. Uniquely, programming taps into the’ talents, skills and experiences of our residents who co-create program offerings with staff. We also actively engage professional teaching artists through partnerships with organizations like MacPhail Center for Music, Northern Clay, Tu Dance, the University of Minnesota and others.
Many classes culminate with a public exhibit or performance, allowing elders to share their wisdom, skills and stories in various intergenerational forums, such as a recent cabaret performance on topics of aging and elderhood held in a University Avenue bar. As Joey Clark, Episcopal Homes’ frequent, visiting teaching artist from MacPhail Center for Music and St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts says, “Cabaret is about telling stories—and those who have lived the longest have the best wisdom and stories to share.”
Episcopal Homes Creative Ventures Programming includes:
- Intergenerational Theater
- Storyweavers Writers’ Group
- Writers Workshop
- Open Session Craft Center in our Art Studio
- Musical Performances by professional musicians
- Museum and Theater Outings
- Life Stories Presentations
- Bridge Club
- Theater Series in our state of the art movie theater
- Resident-guided Painting Classes
- Professionally-guided Clay Classes
Story of Impact
Newfound courage and connections
Two resident students in Joanie Delamater’s painting class, Nancy Begin and Doris Eide, embody the impacts of participation in arts programming. Even though she was a long-time painter, Nancy wasn’t originally enrolled in the class. She watched class from outside of Studio K’s windows, presuming her now disabled hands made it impossible for her to participate. Delamater invited her in, suggesting she use sponges instead of paint brushes, which she could not grip between fingers. Nancy’s capacity to paint with sponges left her classmates in awe.
Nancy and Doris met the first day of class. They sat side by side in their wheelchairs and have become lasting friends. One day, as Nancy struggled to paint, Doris said, “I wonder how we can make this happen?” Doris didn’t step in and paint Nancy’s piece. Like Delamater, she honored Nancy’s capacity to discover new ways to grow, create and share.
From Delamater’s perspective, participating in painting class empowered Nancy to connect with others, helping her unwrap herself in a way that disease wasn’t the lens through which she lived. “Since I met Doris in the painting class, I find myself venturing further out of my comfort zone and doing more than I would have ever dreamed. Without her encouragement, I don’t think I would go anywhere. Last week we ventured down the block in our wheelchairs. Recently, I also started taking the bus to the store. These are things I just wouldn’t have even tried before,” says Nancy.
Our wellbeing programming offers a variety of physical, emotional and spiritual engagement opportunities. Follow these links to learn more:
Contact Creative Ventures Director:
Episcopal Homes is a member of the International Council on Active Aging. The ICAA Integrated Wellness Model is the foundation of our wellness program.
Wellbeing programming is funded entirely by the generosity of donors to Episcopal Homes Foundation.