culture cardThanks to a grant from Aroha Philanthropies, the Newark Museum is expanding its Creative Aging programs with a series of six workshops that are designed to inspire and enable older adults to learn, make and share the arts in ways that are novel, cosmplex and socially engaging.

The Museum was one of 15 non-profit organizations from across the country selected by Aroha to support the development and expansion of successful artful aging programs, document their effectiveness and share the information broadly.

Building upon a tradition of providing arts education using museum collections that began with its founding in 1909, the Newark Museum will offer three workshop series targeted specifically towards Newark residents and another three especially for Essex County seniors.

Teaching artist and frequent Museum collaborator Mansa Mussa will create three different workshops that each explore a particular artistic medium: photography, collage or book arts. The goal is to utilize the Museum’s collections – with a special emphasis on the American Art galleries – to develop an understanding and appreciation of the process of making art, to develop a mastery of a particular art skill set and to encourage creative expression.

“This opportunity comes at a time when we have been making concerted efforts to give our surrounding community a greater sense of ownership and pride in their Museum. This past year we began offering free family memberships for all Newark residents,” said Steven Kern, the Museum’s Director and CEO. “This new initiative demonstrates our commitment to making the Museum a community resource and a social gathering space that is both accessible and enriching for visitors of all ages.”

Each workshop series begins with a discussion of art and the artists’ techniques, and then includes hands-on demonstrations and student explorations of specific artistic tools and materials in the Museum’s studios and new MakerSPACE. Students will develop portfolios and prepare their work for a public event that includes a presentation of their projects in the Museum’s program hall.

The new initiative will be celebrated with a screening of Stepping Up: Stories of Jazz and Caregiving on Saturday, October 8 from 3-5 pm. The event is held in conjunction with the Institute of Jazz Studies Rutgers University-Newark and is sponsored by the AARP.

Narrated by Wendell Pierce of The Wire, Tremé, and Selma, the film tells the story of four musicians as they struggle to balance the roles of artist, caregiver and patient. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Pierce along with director Larry Locke and producer Wayne Winborne. The screening is free with Museum admission.

Stay tuned to for more details on the Newark Museum’s Creative Aging program.


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