Read an article about the project in the Roanoke Times here, check out a video on the project here, and listen to a short feature on NPR here.
While quarantining in Blacksburg, VA, Steven T. Licardi and I developed playful encounters with elders that honored the need for social distancing. Through Windows consists of creative and playful interactions with elders at their bedroom windows or at large common area windows. Each session incorporates improv, spoken word poetry and call & response singing based on the day’s theme (e.g. belonging, magic, and ancestry). The songs are drawn from Appalachian ballads and other folk tunes accessible for any voice.
Research shows that creative engagement can lead to improved quality of life. We believe that creativity is for everyone. Creativity helps us challenge our minds and increase our cognitive reserve, build our social network, reduce stress, and develop a greater sense of meaning and purpose. Playing together is healing. Laughter is good for the soul.
- Collaboration with Dr. Ozzie Abaye at Virginia Tech, connecting Through Windows to a service-learning course through the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. Students learned about creative aging principles and explored improv basics through a training process, observed a session led by Steven and I, and led three sessions at Commonwealth Senior Living in SW Virginia.
- Collaboration with Dr. Matthew Komelski at Virginia Tech to develop digital creative engagement programs for elders in SW Virginia online.