This project builds on Taller Puertorriqueño’s 20-year+ history developing programs in the arts for seniors in the field of artful aging, programs that inspire and enable older adults to learn, make, and share their creative skills in ways that are novel, complex, and socially engaging. Since the early 1990s, we have worked with senior centers offering art classes in theater, puppetry, dance, painting, ceramics, crafts, and more. From 2000-2014, in collaboration with the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, we developed a program to provide watercolor classes to Latino elders experiencing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia through the program Memories in the Making.
Funding from Aroha Philanthropies is enabling Taller to offer visual and performing arts classes at area senior centers, providing opportunities for older adults to learn new techniques, explore their creativity, and showcase their talents. Classes bring together seniors living independently as well as those at residential facilities, combating social isolation and providing opportunities to develop new skills in art-making, teamwork, and communication.
Aroha began the “Seeding Artful Aging” initiative in the spring of 2016. From an applicant pool of over 200 arts and social services organizations, Aroha selected Taller as one of the 15 agencies in the inaugural cohort. Taller’s contribution to the initiative brings the perspective of immigrant cultures to the senior citizens of Philadelphia with the theme “there to here.”