Five Miami-Dade library system branches are now offering Lifetime Arts creative aging classes through the Creative Aging in Public Libraries Project funded by MetLife.
Ana Veciana-Suarez of The Miami Herald interviewed Lifetime Arts Co-Founder and CEO Maura O’Malley and Miami-Dade Library Director, Raymond Santiago, for this feature article which also includes frank anecdotes from participants and teaching artists talking about why these classes mean so much. The article was published today. Here’s an excerpt:
Irma Ulate, 68, a retired bank teller, wanted to get out of the house and learn something new. So she and her sister Ada Martins signed up for the 10-week [quilting] workshop [Wisdom: Pass it On!”]. Now she’s not only learning to quilt, but “I’m meeting other people and doing something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Jones [the teaching artist], an urbanologist who specializes in southern folk art, incorporates the history and customs that accompany the tradition of quilting into her lessons. She tells her students, most of whom are older than she is, that quilting is more than a collection of fabric blocks sewn together.
“You’re sewing your spirit into it,” she said. “You can use it to teach the lessons you’ve learned.”