Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lifesongs

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.


This week's cool idea is Lifesongs, an intergenerational arts project in New Mexico that promotes social inclusion and dignity for elders and people in hospice care.

(Check our archives for parts 1-87 | non-archived: 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6 and 7)

Lifesongs brings elders and people in hospice together with artists, youth, and other community members in creative exchange. Working one-on-one and in ensembles, participants develop original works that incorporate music, movement, and multimedia to explore the richness of all stages of life.

After many months of collaboration, the pieces are performed in a public concert by professional musicians, local choirs, and artists of all ages.

Through witnessing our elders’ songs and stories, we connect around what we share as opposed to what separates us, we bless and heal the past, and we hold our elders and the dying in their potential rather than their decline.


In addition to public performances and scalable concerts, Lifesongs provides free and public facilitated dialogues on death and dying with community partners. In 2015, Lifesongs launched the Story Gathering project. 

The Story Gathering project brings youth, community members, and elders together to share stories and life experiences. Participants collaboratively shape stories into new works of writing and art to present to the wider community. 

While deepening its roots in northern New Mexico, Lifesongs is carefully fostering and mentoring projects in other communities around the country.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Share the inspiration. You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group. We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter!

No comments: