Every September we celebrate National Assisted Living Week, but this year’s theme really hits home for me at The Greens. A Spark of Creativity is what it’s all about, and we are here for it! Creative expression is the cornerstone of our culture at The Greens. In every program that organizes our days, we cultivate, support, and grow as individuals and as a community through the creative exploration and investigation.
So many moments come to mind when thinking about all the creativity sparked here on a daily basis, and although dance is my passion and dance/movement therapy is my profession, I want to share a moment from and an art group I recently facilitated:
I provided each resident with a piece of paper that we folded in half, on one side we painted with cool colors (blue and green) and on the other side we used warm colors (red and orange). It was a “color study” that was meant to spark feelings or emotions associated with those colors (for example, many people associate red with love or blue with calm). The result went so far beyond my expectations that I found myself, yet again, being in complete awe of this inspiring grout of residents. Our centenarian painted abstract waves in blue and the negative space of white paper gave the illusion of white caps on large crashing waves; on the other side he wrote the word “justice” in red letters framed with an orange linear pattern. I asked him what he wanted to express with his painting and he shared with the group: ”You have to ride the waves to understand that justice can only be served from a place of warmth.”
The whole group moved from silent admiration to roaring applause. This moment, for me, like so many others, reinforce the importance of sparking creativity not just for the sake of being creative, but for connecting to one’s self and for connecting to others.
Being creative is wonderful, but being creative as means to connection is where we, at The Greens, take this year’s theme one step further every day. In sparking creativity, what we are really doing is sparking moments of awe-and that’s AWESOME!
Beth Liebowitz, Program Director