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Five-week endeavor is set up to get seniors moving, encourage their creativity

COURTESY PHOTO: TUALATIN PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT - Two seniors learn the use of an iPad at a technology assistance program held at the Juanita Pohl Senior Center several years ago. The center is helping sponsor the upcoming Creating in Community with Five Oaks Museum webinar, which begins Jan. 27. In an effort to engage older adults during these isolated times by getting their bodies and minds moving, Five Oaks Museum is hosting "Creating in Community with Five Oaks Museum," a free five-session online pilot program to bring the senior community together.

The program, which is limited to 10 participants ages 65 through 79, kicks off on Jan. 27. Classes run from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and will be held for four subsequent Wednesdays until Feb. 24.

Participants must be comfortable using Zoom video conferencing as well as have access to the internet, a computer video camera and microphone. They must also reside in Washington County and have intermediate English language comprehension.

Tualatin's Juanita Pohl Center, the Washington County CHIP Committee and Good Health Moves are all partners in the program.

Facilitators include Emily Squires of Reimagine Everything, Philip Carella of Good Health Moves, and Nathanael Andreini, co-director of the Five Oaks Museum, formerly known as the Washington County Museum, which is on the Portland Community College campus at Rock Creek.

"This is kind of addressing isolation and loneliness, which is so prevalent right now," said Marilyn Brault-Binaghi, a program specialist with the Tualatin Parks & Recreation Department. "It can really be a difficult time for everybody, especially our older adults who are in that vulnerable population. So it's really important to give them an opportunity to connect with each other and with others and the community."

Brault-Binaghi said while many webinars are passive, this one promises to be much more hands-on, with three major parts to the program that include a little bit of movement or exercise, followed by storytelling and sharing. It will conclude with a collaborative work of artwork.

"Inquiry-based creative work makes room for and center's participants' narratives, ideas, and creativity," Andreini said. "The type of artwork they choose to create will be entirely up to the group."

He noted, "As the design lead for this program and one of the facilitators, I'm most excited for how participants will collaborate to manifest their creative project together."

Brault-Binaghi said she's excited about the new program as well, although she acknowledges it's a lofty goal to put something together like this virtually.

"This is a pilot program," she said. "This is basically an opportunity to get feedback to see what works and what doesn't and then move forward into a really robust program that's going to serve a greater community."

The deadline to apply is Jan. 15. Visit fiveoaksmuseum.org for more information.


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