Vitality Arts Event Celebrates Creativity

The workshops encouraged older adults to step outside their comfort zones

Part of the Vitality Arts Special Report


Storytelling, improvisation, filmmaking and even singing opera — these are just a few examples of the creative pursuits that were on full display at Next Avenue’s recent Vitality Arts event, supported by Aroha Philanthropies and held at Twin Cities PBS in St. Paul, Minn.

The day-long celebration of the arts encouraged participants to take a step outside of their comfort zones and try something new.

One of the workshops featured a group rendition of a piece from Verdi’s Nabucco, conducted by Matt Abernathy, music director for Voices of Opera, a choral and education program at the Minnesota Opera for singers 55+.

About Voices of Opera, Abernathy said, “It’s a wonderful way to make people participate in an art form that seems otherwise untouchable.”

Mary Moore Easter, a teaching artist from Tu Dance, was the co-leader for a lively movement session where participants pantomimed putting on and taking off a favorite piece of clothing multiple times.

“The creative moment, that’s the thing,” she said. “Everybody has that, but I don’t know if everybody is used to accessing it.”

This video captures some of the spirit of the day and offers reflections by workshop leaders and participants on the intrinsic value of making the arts part of your life.

By Julie Pfitzinger
Julie has worked as a writer and editor for more than 20 years; most recently she was a managing editor for the community lifestyle magazine group at Tiger Oak Media in Minneapolis, where she also served as editor of Saint Paul Magazine. Julie can be reached via email at jpfitzinger@nextavenue.org    Follow her on Twitter @juliepfitzinger.

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