Artful Aging: registration for upcoming classes now open

Johnson City Press • Jul 10, 2018 at 6:35 PM

Registration is now open for two more arts workshops where elder adults will have the chance to step out of their comfort zone and onto the stage on their own or with the help from family members. 

The Artful Aging program through the Johnson City Public Library will conduct two more arts workshops: Theatre Games and Oral Narratives. Both are 10-week programs that will begin in August and will in a final performance. 

Artful Aging is a series of in-depth art worships organized by the library and funded by a grant from Aroha Philanthropies.

“It's a great way to break the ice and get into it if you want to try it out and see if you like (the activities,)” said Lisa Williams, the librarian at the Johnson City Public Library who wrote the grant proposal that brought in funds to make the program possible.

The Theatre Games Workshop will begin Aug. 22 and meet every Tuesday from noon to 2 p.m. at the library. No previous experience is required or even recommended. Teaching the class will be Christine Murdock. 

Murdock was a professional actor for 30 years who has ample experiences acting and teaching improv and the skills that will be taught in the workshop. 

“What they're going to do is they’re gonna learn these improv techniques and out of that, they will be creating their own theater piece. So they'll be creating an original performance piece and present that in their culminating event,” Williams said.

Another workshop taking place at the same time is the Oral Narratives which will be very similar to storytelling. 

“The Oral Narratives works with your family history. We all have stories in our family that are kind of unique to us and just part of our own identity as a family. I think and it's an awful lot of fun to share those,” Williams said. 

This year’s Oral Narrative workshop will meet on Wednesdays beginning Oct. 22 and will allow participants to bring an older or a younger family member to make the class intergenerational, allowing stories to be passed on in the family.

The class will be taught by storyteller Marjorie Shaefer. Shaefer is a graduate of East Tennessee State University’s Master of Arts in Storytelling program and is a performing member of the Jonesborough Storytelling Guild.

While the classes may seem similar in the sense of public speaking, Williams says the workshops use different techniques and will teach different skills. 

The final performance for the Oral Narratives workshop will take place at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 2 p.m. and is free to attend. The final performance date for the Theatre Games workshop has yet to be announced. 

For those wanting to see an example of some of the Artful Aging final events, the gallery for the recent sculpting workshop will open in Slocumb Gallery, 232 Sherrod Drive, on July 23 with a reception on July 27. 

Registration is now open for both workshops that begin in August. There is no fee to participate. 

Anyone interested in signing up should call the library at 423-434-4356 or 423-434-4454. For more information on Seeding Artful Aging, visit arohaartfulaging.org.

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