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 ARTS FOR SENIORS PROGRAMS

THE FOCUS OF OUR EFFORTS

ZMAG’s Arts for Seniors Program was conceived in answer to the growing need for worthwhile directed activities in our adult day centers, senior centers, affordable housing centers, and nursing homes. Our focus is to provide valuable community-based learning/therapeutic experiences for our seniors.

 

Our art program provides practical, theory-building foundations using multi - disciplinary arts with older adults. Regardless of past artistic experience, art is an effective means of providing structured care to older adult. In an overview of non-pharmacological approaches to healing, our Arts for Seniors Programs has been described as a treatment expected to improve the cognitive functioning of older adults by stabilizing emotions. The benefits of art are in the expressive components. We also offer therapeutic interventions to aid older adults in feeling a much-needed sense of dignity and control in life. ZMAG’s  therapeutic sessions are said to bring a sense of emotional comfort to modern healthcare settings.

 

Here at Zola Monroe Art Group, LLC we have a comprehensive understanding of the powerful effect that the creative process can have on those in therapy. Our artist incorporates the use of psychological, spiritual, and artistic theories to achieve the desired therapeutic outcome. The approach has even proven to be beneficial even for non-verbal individuals.

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ABOUT 

Arts Programs Are Essential In A Community To Help Older Adults Get Involved And Remain An Important Part Of Their Communities.

Since 2010 Zola Monroe Art Group, LLC has been promoting and conducting unique and collaborative art classes and workshops for older adults. We are proud to say that we currently serve over 300 seniors combined in the Washington, DC, Maryland & Virgina area. Below is a partial list of the art classes that we offer and also program details. 

Here at Zola Monroe Art Group we take pride in our Community-based arts programming. Helping older people—as the keepers of culture—remain dynamic members of society and provides younger generations with positive role models and access to knowledge and talent accrued over a lifetime has been our mission. These relationships encourage a strong sense of meaning and purpose in vital communities. Our vision also engages older adults and care partners in health improvement and life enhancement through routine participation in the multi-disciplinary arts. 

ZMAG's vision, in the Washington D.C. region and beyond, is to model and promote how very important dignity and compassion are in the care of older adults, and that arts intervention strategies provide accessible and uplifting ways to cope with changing abilities as we age.

Almost everyone can relate to the internal “boost” of pride or satisfaction we feel when we create something we are proud of. This feeling is supported by studies that show how creative expression, especially as an older adult, improves overall physical and emotional well-being.

Old Friends

Respect
Respect is a crucial component of any successful arts program for older individuals. Rather than creating a program for “patients,” “participants,” “residents,” “seniors” or even “older adults,” they should be thought of as artists. Once considered artists, both older adults and their artwork are treated with the same dignity and five-star service as any other artist in the community. At ZMAG's, we ensure the use of high-quality materials; she titles and frames the artists’ work, then displays it in a culminating gallery show. We also teach artistic concepts during the art-making process so both artists and any companions or volunteers have a shared vocabulary to critique their work beyond basic positive and negative reactions. All of these practices are ways to show artists that the time, energy, and care that they put in to their work is valued… and respected. 

 

Creativity
Grace encourages offering creative opportunities that are complex looking, but not complicated to create based on the skills, abilities, and cognition levels of participants.  She also encourages programmers to consider the end result – is it something the artist would truly be proud of? Will each artist have the opportunity to make something unique? ZMAG's visual art class, which follows the principles of the OMA concept, focuses on abstract painting. We  provide a very broad instructions to participants, which are simply meant to act as ways to make a blank page more approachable. She also offers a multitude of different materials which provides opportunity for depth, layering, and texture, making the project appear complex even if using simple techniques. These techniques allow participants to create art that has a focus, is accessible for various abilities and allows for individuality. 

 

Autonomy
A successful arts program will allow space for artists to make their own choices. At Kavod, straying from the instructions is celebrated; participants are encouraged that there is no right or wrong in art. Art makers are in charge of “what good looks like” – they are the keepers of their canvas. 

RESPECT
Respect is a crucial component of any successful arts program for older individuals. Rather than creating a program for “patients,” “participants,” “residents,” “seniors” or even “older adults,” they should be thought of as artists. Once considered artists, both older adults and their artwork are treated with the same dignity and five-star service as any other artist in the community. At ZMAG, we ensure the use of high-quality materials;  titles and frames the artists’ work, then displays it in a culminating gallery show. We also teach artistic concepts during the art-making process so both artists and any companions or volunteers have a shared vocabulary to critique their work beyond basic positive and negative reactions. All of these practices are ways to show artists that the time, energy, and care that they put in to their work is valued… and respected. 

 

CREATIVITY
ZMAG encourages offering creative opportunities that are complex looking, but not complicated to create based on the skills, abilities, and cognition levels of participants.  We also encourages programmers to consider the end result – is it something the artist would truly be proud of? Will each artist have the opportunity to make something unique?  We  provide a very broad instructions to participants, which are simply meant to act as ways to make a blank page more approachable. We also offers a multitude of different materials which provides opportunity for depth, layering, and texture, making the project appear complex even if using simple techniques. These techniques allow participants to create art that has a focus, is accessible for various abilities and allows for individuality. 

 

AUTONOMY
A successful arts program will allow space for artists to make their own choices. At ZMAG, straying from the instructions is celebrated; participants are encouraged that there is no right or wrong in art. Art makers are in charge of “what good looks like” – they are the keepers of their canvas. 

OUR PRINCIPLES

 OUR PLAN 2022-2023

Zola Monroe Art Group's program is grounded in the belief that the arts play a powerful role in enhancing the quality of life of older adults. Designed to generate opportunities for lifelong learning, social engagement and mastery of skills, the program provides new creative possibilities for older adults. 

Creativity is hardly the exclusive province of youth. It can blossom at any age—and in fact it can bloom with more depth and richness in older adults because it is informed by their vast stores of knowledge and experience.
—Dr. Gene Cohen, Geriatric psychiatrist

CLEVELAND PARK LIBRARY Acrylic (Art Studio) Workshop

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ST. ALBANS Mixed Media Collage (Art Studio) Workshop