Senior Center Summit: Best Practices of Arts Programs

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Senior centers are great places to exercise creativity. In the second session of this summit, you will hear from professionals who have implemented a variety of arts programs in senior centers – what they did, how they did it, and how it went. Learn best practices of successful programs that you can implement in your senior center.

In this webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the impact of the arts and its benefits and how to gain access to state resources. 
  2. Explain how positive age beliefs can be beneficial to health outcomes.
  3. Discuss possible themes and how to frame programs to be attractive, fun and meaningful to the variety of older adults that participate or attend.

Tracey Colagrossi

Senior Center Manager

Arlington Heights Senior Center

Tracey Colagrossi has over 20 years' experience working with older adults in community-based settings.  Ms. Colagrossi is the Senior Center Manager for the Arlington Heights Senior Center, a unique model of 8 tenant agencies serving older adults.  Ms. Colagrossi is the Past Chair of the Executive Committee for the National Institute of Senior Centers with the National Council on Aging. Tracey Colagrossi has an associate degree from the American Academy of Art, a bachelor's in organizational management and leadership from Judson University, and a Master in Gerontology Aging Services from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. 

Loryn Ray

Director, Department of Senior Services

Town of Woodbury/Woodbury Senior Center

Loryn Ray, M.P.H.  is Director , Department of Senior Services for the Town of Woodbury , CT. In 2007, Loryn and her team had the opportunity to grow a program nearly “from scratch” as a senior center was built and that creative approach to change, growth and innovation still guides her team today. In 2019, Woodbury Senior Center won a NCOA Programs of Excellence first place for the intergenerational program Woodbury Ukulele Band. During the COVID shutdown, Loryn and her staff addressed the ongoing need for technology education for older adults that was non-threatening, and even inviting for those with few skills and experience. From this idea, the Technology Maker Space was born, which won the NCOA Programs of Excellence first place in 2022. 

Loryn holds a Bachelor degree in Music Therapy from Ohio University, and a Masters of Public Health degree from Southern Connecticut State University. She serves in an advisory role to several statewide initiatives addressing aging and health in the community.  She has presented on community engagement and the role of a dynamic senior center in a community in various settings. An avid hiker, she leads hikes for older adults and is a mentor for Over 50 Outside, a national sponsorship program encouraging women over 50 to enjoy hiking and outdoor pursuits. Loryn is married and is mom to three adult children.

Carmela Geer

Executive Director

The Edward King House Senior Center

Carmela A. Geer has made a difference in her community through her civic activities as well as her work as the executive director of the Edward King House Senior Center in Newport, which offers a variety of social, educational and cultural activities for 16,000 to 18,000 seniors annually. Her mission to form collaborations and partnerships that encourage a life of self-direction, empowerment, enrichment and energy for the 50+ population; through the work of the King House she builds a welcoming environment that values and respects every member of our community as a hub for resources and opportunities that support adult learning, independent living and an enriched quality of life.  Due to her passion for connecting people, Carmela plays an active role with the Newport Partnership for Families. She is most proud of the partnerships with over 50 programs and agencies throughout the state, which have resulted in connecting Aquidneck Island residents with services, events, programs, and community engagement opportunities that they may not have otherwise had access to if left to navigate the system on their own. 

Ryan Landis

Director of Operations

Hub on Smith

Ryan Landis, the Director of Operations at the Hub on Smith, brings nearly two decades of service within non-profit organizations and higher education. A passionate advocate for nurturing communities and culture, he strives to couple a focus on relationship building with Operational Excellence, Leadership Development, Event Management, and Customer Service. His career includes positions at the Ucross Foundation, Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College, and Mississippi State University. Additionally, he served as the Asian Field Director for a Christian organization based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A proud alumnus of the University of Alabama, where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts, he is committed to serving seniors in Sheridan County. Beyond his professional endeavors, he embarks on a perpetual quest for the perfect cup of coffee and exploring the breathtaking trails of the Bighorn Mountains.

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Senior Center Summit: Best Practices of Arts Programs
02/28/2024 at 2:00 PM (EST)  |  60 minutes
02/28/2024 at 2:00 PM (EST)  |  60 minutes