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Arts & Aging

Community sits at the heart of our work. We believe that everyone deserves the benefits of connecting with neighbors and having a supportive community. Through our Arts and Aging program, we use the arts as a vehicle for lifelong learning and community building.

Arts and Aging offers participatory, multi-disciplinary sequential arts learning programs taught by professional artists, giving older adults access to high-quality arts and creativity classes and programs at no cost.

Teaching artists work within their own professional expertise to help participating residents build skills, a sense of mastery, and connection with fellow students. This model inspires a sense of purpose and vitality and brings people together. What’s more, research shows the transformative effect of participatory arts programs on the health and well-being of older adults.

Updates from the spring of 2021 classes:

  • The Arts and Aging program offered 7 classes with 42 participants from 9 buildings in the metro area.
  • Classes provided an opportunity for CommonBond residents to meet, learn with and from other residents living in different buildings.
  • The virtual formats enabled us to offer a catalogue of classes—and to survey residents’ interest in them across multiple buildings.
  • Teaching artists could test new class ideas by filling a class from across many buildings.
  • And, storytelling was so popular we had to create two class sections!

You've Got Mail

Artist: Judy, CommonBond resident

You've Got Mail

Artist: Nancy, CommonBond resident

You've Got Mail

Artists: Dee (left) and Fay (right), CommonBond residents

You've Got Mail

Artists: Julie (left) and Fay (right), CommonBond residents

You've Got Mail

Artist: Muffy, CommonBond resident

You've Got Mail

Artist: Sandra, CommonBond resident

You've Got Mail

Artist: Nancy, CommonBond resident

You've Got Mail

Artists: Dee (left) and Julie (right), CommonBond residents

You've Got Mail

Artist: Muffy, CommonBond resident

You've Got Mail

Artists: Judy (left) and Sandra (right), CommonBond residents

You've Got Mail

Artists: Judy (left) and Muffy (right), CommonBond residents

You've Got Mail

Artists: Nancy (left) and Julie (right), CommonBond residents

You've Got Mail

Artists: Nancy (left) and Fay (right), CommonBond residents

You've Got Mail

Artists: Sandra (left) and Nancy (right), CommonBond residents

You've Got Mail

Artists: Fay (left) and Muffy (right), CommonBond residents

You've Got Mail - Spring 2021

From March 22 to May 10, 2021, residents from 3 CommonBond communities participated in a Mixed Media Card workshop called “You’ve Got Mail” led by teaching artist Courtney Miller Bellairs. Pictured above are the fruits of their efforts from the remote class!

Learn more about the class from the perspectives of Courtney and participating resident artist, Fay, in this story.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund and a grant from Aroha Philanthropies.

                                                                                     

“Before this class many of us did not speak to one another. Though we lived in the same place I felt alone. This class, these people, these teachers have helped to create a community around creating.”
-Arts and Aging Participant, CommonBond resident
“I was new to the community this last session. The class hooked me and helped me belong. I even stepped up and have started a monthly creative friends group so that we can all keep drawing and talking together. I was never been able to do this kind of work before taking this class!”
-Arts and Aging Participant, CommonBond resident
“This class has helped me build my self-confidence and convinced me to try other new adventures.”
-Arts and Aging Participant, CommonBond resident

Browse the virtual galleries from three recent art classes

Technology allows us to showcase the amazing work of residents in a new way—through virtual gallery tours! Take a look at pieces made by resident artists during three classes from the spring of 2021:  Creative Artist Circle, Spark of Creativity, and Introduction to Watercolor.

Now friends and family can view the artwork from wherever they are. Enjoy the unique style and vision of each of these artists!