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ERIC Number: EJ1016972
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8055
Learning by Heart: Intergenerational Theater Arts
Gildin, Marsha; Binder, Rose O.; Chipkin, Irving; Fogelman, Vera; Goldstein, Billie; Lippel, Albert
Harvard Educational Review, v83 n1 p150-152 Spr 2013
The authors of this article describe themselves as a lucky group of older adults, ranging in age from sixty to ninety-two, who participate in an intergenerational arts program at their local senior center in Flushing, Queens, one of New York City's most culturally diverse communities. In their living history theater program, run by Elders Share the Arts (ESTA) and facilitated by ESTA teaching artist Marsha Gildin, they are joined weekly by fifth graders from PS 24, a public elementary school located around the corner. Some of the senior members joined just last year, while others have been involved for more than a decade. Their relationship with the children is very special and mutually nourishing. ESTA guides them in sessions based on sharing stories from life experience and in transforming memories into art. They explore their ideas through theater exercises and devise an original piece rooted in what they have learned from one another. Rehearsals are an ensemble learning process. With forty-five people on stage during their performances at the senior center and school, the performance experience is always challenging, surprising, and well received. They connect strongly with the children during the program year, and their goodbyes are tinged with sadness, for they have grown close in their shared art making. This year their theme focused on the power of music in their lives. In this article, they share their personal reflections about the many ways in which this art experience has influenced and transformed their lives. Through the arts they have come to see their lives in a fresh light. They have rekindled a connection with themselves and cultivated relationships that extend beyond the senior center into their communities and their lives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A