Art Class for the elderly

The Problem

During the last two years, I have volunteered for, and continue to work with seniors at Senior Housing Options, a low income senior housing program with several locations around Denver and statewide. I regularly visited the residents, keeping them company and doing errands with them, etc. I thought I could help them in other ways, too: Because on e of my main passions in life is art,I started giving art lessons to the seniors residing there once a week. This was an amazing way to include two of my most enjoyed activities to the schedule - creating art and teaching others the same.

Plan of Action

I developed an art curriculum, organized a schedule, and enlisted some other students from my school to join me so we could reach other senior residents through art activities, and hopefully bring a little joy and companionship into their lives. This class is hosted for the residents of Park Hill Housing. During lessons the seniors are led in drawing either a still life or a subject to evolve their creativity. Through this experience the elderly are able to express their thoughts either about their memories or their present life on paper. The object of this class is to be able to transfer the image that the participant is thinking of clearly on paper, and thus expand their talents and enrich their skills. Currently there are five constant participants, and a few drop-ins each lesson-which are led every Thursday. Many of the participants are disabled in some way, and it is a struggle to lead them past their fears of making mistakes. I consider this an important and valuable activity, and I want to continue to provide this service to these older and sometimes lonely and isolated residents to enhance the quality of their lives. I also recognize that I am learning through my association with these people and am grateful for the experiences of knowing them, and learning from them as well.

Project Updates

My project is flourishing with the help of new volunteers and students. Since I have gotten the grant the students have been very happy with their new supplies. They have grown confidence in doing art, and even sold some of their pieces.

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