Issuing a Challenge to Students in NYU Wagner’s Capstone Program

Photo courtesy: Kalyan Neelamraju via Flickr

Wagner is housed in The Puck Building. Photo courtesy: Kalyan Neelamraju via Flickr

On Monday, September 16, the Lifetime Arts team visited the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University to issue a challenge to students in the Capstone Program there. The assembled students listened to us deliver a brief overview of our work and our vision for the future of the organization. If selected as a Capstone project client, the students will help us revise our business plan with a focus on new and diverse income streams.

Getting Graduate Students to Relate to Creative Aging

We fielded some interesting questions from students and professors but I found myself wishing we had some time to ask them questions of our own, such as:

  • What do you think of the quality of life of your grandparents?
  • Can you imagine your grandparent as a painter? Actor? Singer?
  • How do you envision yourself as an older adult?
  • Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions to make art of any kind?

Making an Impression on the Future of Public Service Leadership

As we try to change the culture of institutions serving older adults we have to realize that these institutions are made up of individuals whose hearts and minds need to be open to the potential for creativity in older adults. These NYU Wagner graduate students may very well lead some of those institutions in the future. We hope that we have planted a seed in them about the transformative power of creative aging programming that will serve as a reference as they embark on careers in public service.

– Ed Friedman

About the Capstone Program

Public Administration, and Urban Planning students in this program are required to take part in a year-long consulting or research project to resolve a problem or conduct an analysis for a public service organization. From the Wagner website:

Capstone brings together teams of graduate students to address complex challenges and identify new opportunities for nonprofit, governmental, health-related, urban planning and international agencies. Project teams approach their assignments with initiative and professionalism. They organize and frame their projects into a thorough work plan that results in a carefully considered final product. Every team produces a written report and conducts a final presentation of their findings and recommendations.

Finding Great Teaching Artists for Creative Aging Programs

Valerie Hager, Teaching Artist, Ageless Improv, Lifetime Arts

Creative Aging Roster artist, Valerie Hager.

After people hear about our work, view our videos, and read testimonials from participants, we’re often asked, “How do you find the teaching artists?”

When we launched Lifetime Arts, we called on artists we have known over our 60 collective years of experience working in the arts in the metropolitan NY area. But since we wanted to help build the field of Creative Aging nationwide, we instituted the Lifetime Arts Creative Aging Roster. The Roster is a vetted list of teaching artists qualified to work with older adults teaching sequential arts instruction and providing the opportunity for meaningful social engagement.

What Does the Review Process Entail?

Prospective applicants go through a process which includes submitting resumes detailing their professional experience as an artist and a teacher, a sample lesson plan for an 8-10 week-long workshop, two references who can attest to the applicants effectiveness as a teaching artist, and a statement about why the applicant wants to work in the field of Creative Aging.

Each submission is reviewed by a panel mostly made up of teaching artists with a few arts administrators whose expertise is arts education.

Notes from a Recent Review Panel

Last week, our panelists convened to evaluate the latest round of prospective applicants. The panelists reviewed the qualifications of each teaching artist – not by a formula, but by looking at the whole story their submission package tells about what kind of Creative Aging teaching artist they would be.

The applicants in this pool represented a wide range in terms of both artistic discipline and experience. Some of them sailed right through the process garnering high marks on all aspects of their submissions. The few applicants who were deemed not ready for the Roster lacked the necessary experience or the understanding of sequential instruction and social engagement.

Probably most challenging to the panel were the submissions that indicated some definite potential but just missed the mark on one aspect of their work. The panel carefully crafted their feedback to give these applicants an opportunity to submit additional information that would put their submission over the top, reassure the panel about their qualifications and gain them admittance to the roster.

It was heartening to see the seriousness and rigor shown by the panel through this process, all the while considering the humanity of each applicant. – Ed Friedman

Join the Creative Aging Roster

Are you an experienced teaching artist looking to teach older adults?

Lifetime Arts, Inc. is preparing to hold its quarterly Creative Aging Roster Panel Review. We are calling on professional teaching artists to submit applications to be listed on the Creative Aging Roster, featured at www.lifetimearts.org. Applications are accepted year round and reviewed quarterly. For the upcoming Fall review, applications are due August 12th, by 5:00 pm.

What is the Creative Aging Roster?

Screenshot of the Creative Aging Roster

Screenshot of the Creative Aging Roster

A free online directory of professional teaching artists and organizations, across all art disciplines – peer vetted and qualified to design and deliver instructional arts programs for older adults. Searchable by arts discipline, geographic location and languages spoken, the Roster is available to anyone to search for and engage teaching artists for creative aging programs.

To learn more about The Roster, click here.

To learn more about Creative Aging, click here.

Guidelines + How to Apply

An ideal candidate possesses;

  • Professional experience as an artist
  • Proven teaching experience in delivering sequential arts instruction
  • The ability to create curricula for older adults

Only those with the above qualifications are invited to apply.

To Apply:

  1. Complete your online Teaching Artist Profile.
  2. Attach the following documents in a single e-mail addressed to roster@lifetimearts.org, with the subject line “Creative Aging Roster Application – YOUR NAME”
  • Artist CV – two (2) page maximum, summary of your skills, experience and education as a professional artist.
  • Teaching Resume – two (2) page maximum, summary of your skills, experience and education as a teacher.
  • Sample Project Outline – two (2) page maximum, lesson plan outline for an 8 – 10 session instructional residency for older adults (55+). Include:
    • sequential learning goals
    • objectives
    • a brief description of activities
    • what art-making skills will be taught
    • how you will promote social engagement
    • a brief description of a culminating/sharing event
  • Two Professional References – Include references who are familiar with your work as a teaching artist. Please do not send letters of recommendation. References will be contacted directly. For each reference, please provide:
    • name
    • title
    • organization
    • email address
    • telephone number

Questions?
Please contact Nathan Majoros at 914-355-2304 or nmajoros@lifetimearts.org.

Please note: Artists listed on the Roster are not employees of Lifetime Arts, Inc., and Lifetime Arts, Inc. assumes no responsibility for their individual performance. Commitments, agreements and contracts between teaching artists on the Roster and any other organization are private and outside the scope of Lifetime Arts services.

Already a Creative Aging Roster Artist?
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Contact Nathan Majoros at 914-355-2304 or nmajoros@lifetimearts.org.