AAI End of Year Letter

1/1/13

Dear Friends, Allies, Mentors and Leaders of Aging Artfully,

Most of you know that this has been a year of ups and downs for everyone, and AAI is no exception. Some days have just been difficult. But most days have been positive and encouraging, and some have been brilliant.

By now you have heard that our mentor, Tim Carpenter, founder of the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, came to Portland in the end of August to assess our suitability and readiness to become an affiliate of his primary organization, EngAGE. It was an exceptionally rewarding and productive couple of days.

We are now building on the momentum of that visit.

The two tracks of AAI, Building Development and Program Development, are now progressing, and Sara Garrett with her organization, MotiveSpace, is directing the building development aspect, in direct relationship with Tim and his development partners in L.A. and here. AAI will not have to own the property we will eventually occupy.

AAI’s great friend and former Executive Team member, Mary Bedard, is no longer in leadership at AAI, due to some very strong decision making and prioritizing on her part. We applaud her for this choice. We are sure her path will be increasingly rewarding. (She has been on the board of MotiveSpace from it’s beginning.) Thank you, Mary!

We have come to the attention and gained the support of an extremely effective and determined senior advocate and leader of the national movement for Aging and Creativity, Jeanette Leardi. She lived for decades in Charlotte N.C., and recently moved to Portland to be closer to the socially progressive culture we are all so familiar with here but which is absent or struggling in other cities. Jeanette is a writer, editor and educator and brings a powerful spirit of boldness and awareness to AAI. She recently accepted our invitation to join the Executive Team, with Gary and myself! We believe that her intense application, powerful intelligence and kind spirit will influence our growth for many years to come. Gary and Jeanette are working together to lead the Program Development.

The educational component mentioned above is the initial program of AAI, which we are calling the Aging Artfully Institute. This is designed to roughly match the curriculum and catalog of EngAGE in L.A., and provide a range of empowering and life-enhancing opportunities for residents of independent living senior communities and for community members seeking such opportunities in senior community centers. The curriculum will be organized around four tracks: Artful Creating (literary, visual & performing arts); Artful Healing (health, wellness & prevention); Artful Achieving (lifestyle & career skills); Artful Engaging (community involvement skills). (Special thanks to Jeanette, Gary, Roger and Tim.)

Our plan is to provide a platform for our instructors to develop their unique offerings within our AAI value system. Our particular take on what aging people of all generations need is very broad, and we have found a perfect ally with a unique and comprehensive approach to tie all these values together, Roger Anunsen.

In the summer of 2011, we discovered the work of MindRAMP and its co-principal Roger Anunsen, who immediately showed us a unifying model of Brain Health Education to apply to all our educational programs. We are currently developing a system with Roger to introduce and integrate all our instructors into the ethics and imperative of disseminating the powerful new knowledge coming from brain health research. Roger is another inspiring ally of AAI.

Now we are developing a non-profit structure comprising the two arms of AAI, Building Development and Programming. It is now an urgent matter to build a stable source of funding as well as a leadership resource to make AAI really effective. You will see that while we started as an LLC as we launched the initial organization, we have become aware that we are more of a social benefit organization than a business, though we also see that we may need to be both to grow. We have discovered a growing movement for such purposes, the “social profit” enterprise. We have a notable example in Portland, the Rebuilding Center, which is a for profit arm of ‘Our United Villages‘. There are other examples nationally, which we are studying. To those of you who want to help as we develop our multi-purpose entity, I ask, please let me know. Eventually we will be creating a board, composed of civic leaders and professionals who care about Aging, Creativity, and Community.

Finally, I want to thank each of you for believing in us and the work we are doing. It has required nimbleness, intelligence, patience and passion. Because of shrinking resources, we have had to improvise a LOT. That’s easy for a jazz cat like me, but others have had a hard time seeing how this would ever pan out. But now we have the active support of Tim Carpenter’s hugely successful organization, and a beginning community of affiliates of EngAGE around the country to lean on for “best practices“. We didn’t have that a year ago.

I want to close with a poem. I have long ago identified one thing that draws our peeps to us, a shared sense of creating a world. My wife, Joy, and I have been inspired by the work of Oregon poet William Stafford.

Vocation

This dream the world is having about itself

includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon trail,

a groove in the grass my father showed us all

one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell

something better about to happen.

I dreamed the trace to the mountains, over the hills,

and there a girl who belonged wherever she was.

But then my mother called us back to the car:

she was afraid; she always blamed the place,

the time, anything my father planned.

Now both of my parents, the long line through the plain,

the meadowlarks, the sky, the world’s whole dream

remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two.

helpless, both of them a part of me:

“Your job is to find what the world is trying to be.”

William Stafford

Blessings to all of you at this special time, in this wonderful festive season, and may you all find your deep calling, and find happiness, purpose and family in the New Year.

Yours in Service to Elder Creatives!

Jim

Jim Corcoran

Founder and President

AAI

AAI End of Year Letter

1/1/13

Dear Friends, Allies, Mentors and Leaders of Aging Artfully,

Most of you know that this has been a year of ups and downs for everyone, and AAI is no exception. Some days have just been difficult. But, most days have been positive, encouraging and some have been brilliant.

By now you have heard that our mentor, Tim Carpenter, founder of the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, came to Portland in the end of August to assess our suitability and readiness to become an affiliate of his primary organization, EngAGE. It was an exceptionally rewarding and productive couple of days.

We are now building on the momentum of that visit.

The two tracks of AAI, Building Development, and Program Development, are now progressing, and Sara Garrett with her organization, MotiveSpace, is directing the building development aspect, in direct relationship with Tim C., and his development partners in L.A. and here. AAI will not have to own the property we will eventually occupy.

AAI’s great friend and former Executive Team member, Mary Bedard, is no longer in leadership at AAI, due to some very strong decision making and prioritizing on her part. We applaud her for this choice. We are sure her path will be increasingly rewarding. (She has been on the board of MotiveSpace from the beginning.) Thank you, Mary!

We have come to the attention and gained the support of an extremely effective and determined senior advocate and leader of the national movement for Aging and Creativity, Jeanette Leardi. She lived for decades in Charlotte N.C., and recently moved to Portland to be closer to the socially progressive culture we are all so familiar with here but which is absent or struggling in other cities. Jeanette is a writer, editor and educator and brings a powerful spirit of boldness and awareness to AAI. She recently accepted our invitation to join the Executive Team, with Gary and myself! We believe that her intense application, powerful intelligence and kind spirit will influence our growth for many years to come. Gary and Jeanette are working together to lead the Program Development.

The educational component mentioned above is the initial program of AAI, which we are calling the Aging Artfully Institute. This is designed to roughly match the curriculum and catalog of EngAGE in L.A., and provide a range of empowering and life- enhancing opportunities directed at residents of independent living senior communities and at community members seeking such opportunities in senior community centers. The curriculum will be organized around four tracks: Artful Creating (literary, visual & performing arts); Artful Healing (health, wellness & prevention); Artful Achieving (lifestyle & career skills); Artful Engaging (community involvement skills). (Special thanks to Jeanette, Gary, Roger and Tim.)

Our plan is to provide a platform for our instructors to develop their unique offerings within our AAI value system. Our particular take on what aging people of all generations need is very broad, and we have found a perfect ally with a unique and comprehensive approach to tie all these values together, Roger Anunsen.

In the summer of 2011, we discovered the work of MindRAMP, and its co-principal Roger Anunsen, who immediately showed us a unifying model of Brain Health Education to bring apply to all our educational programs, that of Brain Health Education. We are currently developing a system with Roger to introduce and integrate all our instructors into the ethics and imperative of disseminating the powerful new knowledge coming from brain health research. Roger is another inspiring ally of AAI. Roger is another stunning ally and a key member of the leadership of AAI.

Nowext we have theare developingment of a non-profit structure underneath comprising the two arms of AAI:, Building Development and Programming. It is now an urgent matter to build a stable source of funding and as well as a leadership resource to make AAI really effective. You will see that while we started as an LLC as we launched the initial organization, we have become aware that we are more of a social benefit organization than a business, though we also see that we may need to be both to grow. We have discovered a growing movement for such purposes, the sSocial pProfit enterprise. We have a notable example in Portland, the Rebuilding Center, which is a for- profit arm of Our United Villages. There are other examples nationally, which we are studying. To those of you who want to help as we develop our multi-purpose entity, I ask, please let me know. Eventually we will be creating a board, composed of civic leaders and professionals who care about Aging, Creativity, and Community.

Finally, I want to thank each of you for believing in us and the work we are doing. It has required nimbleness, intelligence, patience and passion. Because of shrinking resources, we have had to improvise a LOT. That’s easy for a jazz cat like me, but others have had a hard time seeing how this would ever pan out. But now we have the active support of Tim Carpenter’s hugely successful organization, and a beginning community of affiliates of EngAGE around the country to lean on for best practices. We didn’t have that a year ago.

I want to close with a poem. I have long ago identified one thing that draws our peeps to us, a shared sense of creating a world. My wife, Joy, and I have been inspired by the work of Oregonian, poet William Stafford.

Vocation[PC1]

This dream the world is having about itself

includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon trail,

a groove in the grass my father showed us all

one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell

something better about to happen.

I dreamed the trace to the mountains, over the hills,

and there a girl who belonged wherever she was.

But then my mother called us back to the car:

she was afraid; she always blamed the place,

the time, anything my father planned.

Now both of my parents, the long time line through the plain,

the meadowlarks, the sky, the world’s whole dream

remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two.

helpless, both of them a part of me:

“Your job is to find out what the world is trying to be.”

William Stafford

Blessings to all of you at this special time, in this wonderful festive season, and may you all find your deep calling, and find happiness, purpose and family in the New Year.

Yours in Service to Elder Creatives!

Jim

Jim Corcoran

Founder and President

AAI


[PC1]OK these changes to the poem? I found the version at http://williamstaffordarchives.org/images/large/Vocation.jpg

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