Sitting in a new, fully wired conference room in the new, fully wired (with caffeine and technology) Soref Learning Commons in the UWM library, with 3 really smart students and a really smart colleague – in a heated discussion about discovering themes/images/iterations of the Penelope story that will inform our discussions with family, staff, and residents in long term care this fall. This project is a thrill…
By way of update, we’ve received a Wisconsin Humanities Grant and a Wisconsin Arts Board grant to support the project (via Luther Manor). We’ve received funding from the Office of Undergraduate Research to support two of our hearty team of students (paying them to do research!). The Brookdale Foundation and Helen Bader Foundation has granted us $16,000 and $20,000 respectively to support this project. The budget is large – so we have a ways to go – but we’re on the way.
The next steps for the student team are to create a presentation on the project for the National Association of Activity Professionals conference here in Milwaukee on April 16th. Three members of the Sojourn Theatre ensemble are coming into town (from all three coasts – New York, LA, and Chicago!) to participate in that presentation and in a training the next day at Luther Manor for staff, volunteers, students and ensemble members. The training is an introduction to person-centered care (or person-directed care, or relational care…) and creative engagement. We see this project as a way to demonstrate the core skills needed to get staff/family/residents on the road to more holistic care – which emphasizes the quality of life, not just physical maintenance.
Fore more on this project, see The Center on Age & Community website, and click on Creativity.
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Posted in art, cultural phenom, long term care, public education, theatre, tagged Luther Manor, Penelope, Sojourn Theatre, theatre and aging, UWM on January 22, 2010 |
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Classes start up on Monday, and on Tuesday, we have our first scheduled meeting of the “Penelope Research Team,” 5 students and my colleague Robin Mello. We are entering the research stage of the Penelope Project, which will facilitate discussions with family, staff, and residents at Luther Manor Health Center’s nursing home (among other local settings), about the myth of Penelope from Homer’s Odyssey.
In the fall of 2010, UWM students will help facilitate these discussions, and creatively present their substance back to the groups. Then in the spring of 2011, family, staff, residents, and students collaborate with professional theatre company Sojourn Theatre to create a site-specific performance in the Health Center, inspired by the myth and by the discussions.
This semester, we gather information to fuel this exciting project -
What are interesting themes/images in the myth of Penelope?
What models of arts programs are there of this scale in long term care?
What other artistic iterations of Penelope have been created?
What myths from other cultures might resonate on a similar level to the Penelope story?
What is the current state of long term care for family? for staff? for residents?
How are issues of aging taught (most effectively) to children K-12? to students in higher education? LTC professionals? The general public?
Our hearty research team will tackle these questions to inform the creation of our educational guide to the project, and to inform the project (discussions and play creation) itself.
Stay tuned for more installments as this amazing project rev’s up!
We received our first grant to support the project in December – from the Wisconsin Arts Board’s Creative Communities program – and hope to share news of more with you soon!
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