JUNE 10, 2016: AFTA-Party & Video Premiere

Lezley Melveen, Don Wright, Janine Tursini, Vereta Powell, Ryan Wilson
Lezley Melveen, Don Wright, Janine Tursini, Vereta Powell, Ryan Wilson

Under the gracious patronage of His Excellency Peter Kmec, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in Washington, friends of AFTA celebrated the culmination of our spring Annual Fund campaign and our spring tennis tournament with an AFTA Party. At the Embassy, we premiered our new AFTA video, enjoyed a Slovakian music performance, heard moving stories from AFTA programs, and were charmed by an originally choreographed presentation of Slovakian folklore by older adults with memory loss who took part in a series of workshops with AFTA teaching artists Nancy Havlik and Candace Wolf. Specially recognized during the program were retired trustee Susie Eisinger for dedicated service, and tennis tournament winners, Suzanne Schwetz and Miran Vucic. Afterwards, guests dined on delicious Slovakian cuisine prepared by the Embassy chef, and mingled with bubbly and good friends. Special thanks to the Embassy’s Cultural Counselor Dagmar Timurova and AFTA National Advisory Council member Rhoda Septilici for making the evening possible. The event’s program can be viewed here, and photographs are available here.

MAY 15, 2016: AFTA Cup Team Tennis Tournament

Trustee Alan Hermesch cheers players on.
Trustee Alan Hermesch cheers players on.

Arts for the Aging hosted a team tennis tournament, the 26th Annual AFTA Cup, at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, in Washington, D.C., capturing for play one of May’s rare sunny days in an uncharacteristically rainy month. Players enjoyed friendly competition and, afterwards, watched exhibition matches featuring the ranks of Richey Reneberg, Danny Waldman and Chi Wan Kim, as well as Junior champions Andrew Fenty and Brandon Perez. An awards presentation followed at a June AFTA-Party at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Washington, detailed above. Proceeds from the tournament support AFTA’s award-winning arts engagement workshops for older adults in the D.C. metro region who need it most. Congratulations to AFTA Cup winners Suzanne Schwetz and Miran Vucic. Special thanks to co-chairs Don Wright and Jim Faruki, as well as key sponsors, ACS/BNY Mellon, Konterra/Gould Property, SunTrust Bank, Kingdon Gould, Jr., Gingles, LLC, Kuni Matsuda, Fidelity Mechanical Services, and RPG Squarefoot Solutions. Event photos can be viewed here.

Our Story in the New York Times

In the March 8, 2016 Science section of The New York Times, Personal Health columnist Jane E. Brody talks about the importance of arts participation and its link to better health, including the work of Arts for the Aging.  Ms. Brody describes that “Music, dance, poetry and painting are pumping new life into older bodies and minds,” capturing the essence of key programs and happenings in the national field of creative aging, and quoting our CEO Janine Tursini about the impact, “The arts open people up, giving them new vehicles for self-expression, a chance to tell their stories…The programs capitalize on assets that remain, not on what’s been lost.”  What a thrill!


You can read the full article here, http://nyti.ms/1LLwetX, or view the print version here.  And please, consider making a gift to AFTA so that we can continue to bring free arts workshops to older adults in the D.C. region — to those who raised and nurtured us, taught and mentored us, and paved the way and blazed trails before us. Donate today.

DECEMBER 11, 2015: Dream Ship exhibition opening reception


Arts for the Aging ‘s exhibition of multi-media works created in classes taught by AFTA’s artistic faculty with frail and vulnerable older adults in the D.C. metro region opened on Friday evening, December 11, with a well-attended reception.  Curated by Jarvis DuBois, the exhibition is runs through January 6, 2016 at Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20009. Photos from the Opening Reception may be viewed here. Support for this exhibition was made possible by the Rotary Club and Rotary Foundation of Washington D.C. and the Philip L. Graham Fund.

Dream Ship image, above center: a sculpture by Judith in AFTA workshops with teaching artist Carol Siegel at Alexandria Adult Day Services Center.