Creating Minds Stay Spunky! – $2,080
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley was honored to award this grant to Teton Arts and appreciates the collaborative nature of this project, combining the needs of Teton Valley seniors with the assets of Teton Arts. The Community Foundation seeks to have its grants represent and support all sectors of the community and this program focuses on an important demographic that at times can be left behind. The Community Foundation is truly excited to support this program.
In rural communities, positive, stimulating social situations can be hard for seniors to access due to limited transportation. Studies show that aging brains that are not challenged to engage in the creative process and problem-solving begin to lose these abilities. In a rural community, activities for seniors to socialize while exercising their minds and spirts are often few and far between. Teton Valley is a unique and wonderful place to live, however, the rugged landscape and remote location can often keep seniors from being supported from extended family that may not live locally. This geographical isolation can make it even harder for seniors to regularly connect and socialize.
Transportation is a limiting factor for senior engagement in the Teton Valley community. Offering creative group art experiences, with free transportation will create a resource where seniors can exercise their mind’s creative functions while socializing in a fun and unique environment. This will help raise self-worth, cognitive functioning, and overall happiness for participants. Creative opportunities are a lacking resource for our senior community. While there are classes at the seniors center, Seniors West of the Tetons sees offering classes that are also an outing, with a bus ride to a new location, as a nice experience that will also foster comradery and friendships amongst the participants. These art classes will not only challenge seniors to use their imaginations and creativity, but they will also create much needed social experiences that are outside of the normal daily engagements of many of the valley’s senior population.
Realizing the power of creative experiences to keep the mind young and the spirit joyful, Teton Arts is teaming up with Seniors West of the Tetons to offer monthly, year-round opportunities for seniors to engage in the arts. Art activities will include pottery, sculpting, painting, wreath making, knitting, weaving, felting, paper making, sewing to make a rice-filled heat pack, watercolor painting, printmaking, greeting cards, holiday craft making, and more, based on the interests of participants.
Teton Arts will also be sharing resources with Seniors West of the Tetons as they will use their bus, and a volunteer bus driver, to offer free transportation to and from the art classes.
Teton Arts is providing a great resource for the local senior population. Collaboration between Teton Arts and Seniors West of Tetons is a perfect match and the opportunity to make this a free program will further its success. The Community Foundation of Teton Valley looks forward to hearing of the many great experiences the seniors will have this summer and viewing their creative artwork.