Press Releases

From Dance Performances to Visual Arts, Seniors Explore Their Artistic Side with SPARC

Seniors engage in a wide range of artistic disciplines and activities with SPARC. Photo courtesy of Emily Berl

June 1, 2015 - SPARC: Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide is a City program that places artists-in-residence at senior centers across New York City. Each of these residencies - which engage participants in a wide range of artistic disciplines and activities – culminates in a public program that displays or exhibits the work each group has produced throughout the course of the residency. From dance performances to visual art exhibitions and oral history projects, these programs welcome visitors to witness the incredible breadth of this year’s SPARC residencies. SPARC ends in June of each year, so a preponderance of interesting and fun activities await anyone interested in taking part. Here are a few highlights:

Moving Stories
Artist Laura Nova
Moving Stories is an interactive storytelling and movement project led by SPARC artist and Lower East Sider, Laura Nova. It involves a walking tour on the Lower East Side that encourages senior citizens to combine physical movement and memory through a series of storytelling workshops and group walks. Moving Stories will be part of the Older American Exhibit at the Manny Cantor Center that run from May 13 - June 25. Moving Stories will perform every Monday at 10:30am in the gallery installation located in the lobby. On June 25 at 6pm there will be a performance and screening of Moving Stories at the Manny Cantor Center.
Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway, Manhattan
Through June 25; Mondays, 10:30am; June 25, 6pm

Musical Theater – Travelling to Jamaica
Artist Rudolph Shaw
Based on improvisations in the workshops, the group created a musical theatre piece to reflect traveling to Jamaica, enjoying songs, being swept away by a hurricane, working on a plantation, and sailing back to Far Rockaway.
JASA Roy Reuther Senior Center 711 C Seagirt Avenue, Queens
June 9, 11am–12pm

Oral History & Storytelling
Artists Cyndi Freeman + Dawn Fraser
During this residency, participants focused on storytelling. In this performance, a diverse group of Brooklynites will present real life stories on subjects ranging from emigrating to the USA, life in Brooklyn, and family experiences - all while the audience enjoys cookies, coffee, and tea.
Prospect Hill Senior Center, 283 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn
June 10 and 17, 2pm

Puppets Perform
Artist Josh Rice
The event will be a 15-20 minute puppet performance designed, built, devised and performed by the seniors of the Bayside Senior Center. The puppets will be on display pre- and post- performance, and there will be a Q&A following the performance.
Bayside Senior Center, 221-15 Horace Harding Expressway, Queens
June 11, 12:30-1:30pm

Photography Exhibition
Artist Christina Carannante
This event will feature original photography by the participants. Seniors will also have the opportunity to tell the stories behind their pictures.
Cassidy Coles, 125 Cassidy Place, Staten Island
June 17, 10:30am

Ballroom Dancing
Artist Kelly Gilmore
Seniors will present ballroom dances learned during this three month residency to an audience of their peers and family.
JCC Staten Island, 1298 Arthur Kill Rd, Staten Island
June 23, 1:30pm

North Brooklyn Dance Performance
Artist Rachel Cohen
Williamsburg/Greenpoint seniors, choreographers, and community members meet and share moves and stories in this open house event. Choreographer and SPARC artist Rachel Cohen leads everyone in a dance warm-up and then facilitates the joint creation and presentation of a modern-day folk dance, with each gesture connected to a larger story.
CCNS Pete McGuiness Senior Center, 715 Leonard Street, Brooklyn
June 23, 10:45am-11:45am

For more SPARC events, visits the NYCulture Calendar - - and select “SPARC” from the “select category” drop down menu.