Creative Aging

In addition to my professional theater work, I have a special focus on the creation of original theater work with older adults - as well as inter-generational projects that bring seniors and students together - to create plays based on their life stories.  I was awarded multiple years of New York City's SPARC grant (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Department for the Aging for my original performance series SENIORS AND THE CITY, a collaboration with oral historian Liza Zapol.  (Featured in American Theatre Magazine and The Brooklyn Rail.)

I first encountered the work of Creative Aging as an ensemble member of Roots&Branches Theater, an intergenerational theater company of actor/ creators ranging in age from 9-90, based in New York City.  With R&B, I appeared in numerous original plays, lead theater workshops for youth and seniors across the city, wrote the play Grandma Siri and the film Google Map Memories for the ensemble - exploring the impact of technology on intergenerational relationships.  I conceived and directed the play ACTING OUT, a collaboration between the young "branches" of the R&B ensemble and the community at Stanley Isaacs Senior Center.

Most recently, I was Program and Training Director for Elders Share the Arts, the pioneer organization of Creative Aging founded in 1979.  I administered older adult and intergenerational art programs across New York City, lead trainings for teaching artists and aging services professionals nation-wide, and co-led ESTA's Creative Aging partnership initiative for New York state, supported by New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Community Trust.  I presented on behalf of ESTA to the UN’s NGO Committee on Aging, the American Society on Aging's national conference, and Face to Face Arts in Education Conference, and over-saw the transfer of all ESTA programs to like-minded organizations in the field upon its closure in June 2018.

I am currently a national Creative Aging Trainer with Lifetime Arts, and Education Associate, with recent projects in New York City and Wisconsin, and an intergenerational teaching artist with Lasting Impressions: DOROT's Legacy Project in NYC.

© 2019 by Julie Kline. Cover photograph by Jody Christopherson