TEDxSoCal - Tim Carpenter: Thriving As We Age

Uploaded by TEDxTalks on Aug 16, 2011

Tim Carpenter is the founder of EngAGE and host/producer of the EXPERIENCE TALKS radio show. EngAGE is a nonprofit that transforms aging and the way people think about aging by turning affordable senior apartment communities into vibrant centers of learning, wellness and creativity. EngAGE provides life-enhancing arts, wellness, lifelong learning, community building and intergenerational programs and events to thousands of seniors living in Southern California.

Arts and the Mind

Arts & the Mind, hosted and narrated by Lisa Kudrow, reveals the crucial impact of the arts on the human brain across our lifetimes, and explores its particularly vital role in human development during youth and older age. This two-part documentary shares stories of how music, dance, painting, poetry and theater markedly improve well-being at both ends of life, and reveals the cutting-edge science that explains the powerful, positive impact of the arts on our brains.

Showcasing some of the nation’s most innovative and successful arts programs plus the work of leading American educators and scientists, Arts & the Mindilluminates: How the arts can improve children’s school performance as well as keep our brains agile and sharp into old age; how teenagers find meaning and hope through poetry at Los Angeles’ renowned “Get Lit” program; how the arts help heal children in hospitals and older veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder; why one of America’s leading Alzheimer’s researchers advises that dance is the single most effective way to ward off dementia; and much more, including a program website featuring resources for parents, educators and health professionals.

Watch Full Video on PBS


At New Rentals, the Aim Is to Age With Creativity

Excerpt from nytimes.com by Patricia Leigh Brown, photo by Monica Almeida. Published September 10, 2006

In a city that worships youth, the colony is the latest spin on late-life living. With the understanding that not everyone wants the old-school model of golf course retirement, the colony offers artful self-expression: a digital film editing laboratory, a theater, drama classes and studios open for inspiration 24 hours a day.

This is a place where amateurs discovering their inner Picassos in retirement can commune with working pros like Charlie Schridde, a painter in his 70’s from the “cowboy impressionist” school who resembles the grizzled trappers of his canvases.

The colony, which was recognized last month as a model for creative aging by the National Endowment for the Arts, represents a profound shift in thinking about aging. In 2001, a study co-sponsored by George Washington University and the N.E.A. found that people 65 and older who were regularly involved in participatory arts programs reported fewer doctors’ visits and less need for medication and were less prone to depression.

The colony was one of 15 programs cited by the N.E.A. Among the others were the National Center for Creative Aging in Brooklyn, which places older artists as mentors in public schools; the acclaimed Levine School of Music’s Senior Chorale in Washington; and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Md., a Washington suburb, where the virtuosity of youth is balanced by dancers staving off arthritis. To Marc Freedman, the founder and president of Civic Ventures, a nonprofit group that promotes meaningful second careers for older people, the colony represents the next frontier of a movement that began in the 1970’s, when leisure retirement typified by golf and shuffleboard gave way to the lifelong learning exemplified by the Elderhostel program.



The Sources of Innovation and Creativity

Excerpt from The Sources of Innovation and Creativity by Karlyn Adams
Commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy for the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce

A variety of theorists, using case studies, experiments and a variety of research methods, have attempted to better understand the sources of creativity and innovation in individuals. While these efforts have contributed significantly to broadening our comprehension of the subject, there is nonetheless disagreement between theorists and many hypotheses that remain to be fully substantiated. The challenge lies partially in the nature and definition of creativity itself. Broad, complex and multi-faceted, creativity can take many forms and can be found within a variety of contexts. It is embodied by individuals with a broad range of personal characteristics and backgrounds. It appears that the only rule is that there are no hard and fast rules concerning the sources of creativity. As such, the following paragraphs synthesize the current viewpoints, with the caveat that our understanding of the topic is still a work in progress.



Innovation and Creativity

Excerpt from URBACT, a European exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development 

The economic crisis has made at least one thing clear. This is that over-dependence on large traditional industries, and low productivity, low wage sectors is an immense risk in a globalised economy.

In the past, economic sectors have come and gone, bringing first prosperity then wreaking havoc on cities and their inhabitants. It is in this context, the European Commission recognises that stimulating the innovative and creative capacity of all its citizens is ultimately the bedrock for a more sustainable future. After making 2009, the European Year of Innovation of Creativity, the Commission argues that "growth based on knowledge and innovation" should be one of the three main priorities for the strategy for "Europe 2020" To back this up, the EU Commissioners for innovation and industry has produced a "flagship" initiative "the innovation union". 

Go to urbact.eu for more information.