INTERGENERATIVITY—ASaP’s 5th Annual Symposium March 4

Our 5th annual ASaP Symposium focused on intergenerativity and the power of uniting people across the generations to inspire community, conversation and creativity. We were fortunate to have Dr. Peter Whitehouse as our keynote speaker. A Brown graduate and expert in the field of gerontology and intergenerativity (he coined the word), Peter donned his tree hat and t-shirt and explored our interelatedness through art, humanities, science, health and society. 

David Leventhal, Program Director for Dance for PD, has been a pillar of our symposium since it’s first year and as he does every year, he co-led a robust group of intergenerational dancers in a 75 minute Dance for PD community class. The class attracted a large number of regulars but we also saw some new smiling faces this year. With our DAPpers class in it’s 4th year, our community knows something about the power of dance for all ages and having David bring the groundbreaking Dance for PD to Ashamu dance studio demonstrated what’s possible for people of all ages and abilities. He also had some interesting observations to offer having seen the DAPpers perform over a 5 year span. We are grateful for his continued leadership, collaboration and inspiration.

We had a special guest artist this year with Sarah Friedland ’14. Sarah was an active member of the Brown dance and film community, and since graduation has been involved at the intersection of dance and film. Sarah has created several films and she brought to the symposium her newly completed short documentary "Home Exercises" which included segments featuring several dancers from our DAPpers group. The audience in Ashamu dance studio was mesmerized not only by seeing some of their friends on film but by the beauty inherent in simple movements made by members of the aging population in their daily routine.

Another popular event was a student run interactive workshop called Art2art. Three student musicians improvised while participants were paired up and led in "art conversations" designed to stimulate creativity, understanding, and joy." Marian Knapp, a participant who accompanied her cousin to the workshop, wrote "Someone to Inter-Generate With" in her blog, Voices of Aging, about her interaction with a Brown student during the workshop.

Stories like this remind us of ASaPs commitment to offer opportunities to connect people across the generations through creative practice.