Arts Blossom at Older Adult Centers 

Several people stand behind a crocheted banner reading I Heart Yarn while some hold up large crochet flowers

From a quilt inspired by quantum mechanics to a triumphant musical about the power of community—older adults at the Isaacs Center and our partner, Goddard Riverside, created and enjoyed amazing art this spring.  

Isaacs Center members joined professional actors to perform the original show “Geezers: The Musical” in front of a packed house in the Isaacs Center dining room. The script was inspired by “Scrooged” and told the story of the fictional “Stanley Isaacs Senior Home,” whose residents are threatened with eviction by miserly landlord Mr. Manson.  

Eight Older Adult Center members were in the cast.  “They came to practice twice a week for 3 months, and they really gave it all up there,” said Director and Co-Playwright John Ruiz-Miranda. “They showed up on time, always ready to work.” 

Member Marsha France had always wanted to try acting. She said she got alot out of the experience. “I learned about projecting—and being present in the moment, because sometimes things happen and you have to just cover it up,” she said with a laugh. 

Isaacs Center members also met throughout the spring to do creative crochet.  

“I hated crocheting,” said class member Raquel Cimino. “Now I’m in love. I’m like an addict. I have to crochet.” Cimino showed off pictures of a big orange shoulder bag she made with the words BE KIND in white, along with a sweater she made of colorful squares. “I didn’t know I could crochet BE KIND,” she added. “I didn’t know that existed!” 

Older adults at Goddard Riverside’s Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center enjoyed a weekly exploration of Latin music with “Songs Across America,” a series of performances organized by the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. “It was very soothing and relaxing and fun. We were thrilled to have them here,” said Program Coordinator Alan Mehl. 

At Goddard’s Older Adult Center on Columbus Avenue, participants created a colorful quilt based on a seemingly unlikely inspiration: quantum mechanics. Artist Sika Foyer said her starting point for the design was the concept that every being and object on Earth is made up of particles.  

“Every one of us, we are electrons. All of us, the table, the chair, the floor,” she explained. “That’s all we are.” She put dots on a piece of paper to represent these particles. Then, members of the class connected the dots into shapes, which they cut out of fabric and ultimately stitched into a quilt. 

All these artistic endeavors were made possible by the city’s SU-CASA program, which partners with local organizations and elected officials to place artists at older adult centers across the city. We’re grateful to City Council Members Julie Menin and Gale Brewer for their support of these programs, as well as the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and NYC Department for the Aging.