Creative Aging Symposium Recap: Questions for Meaningful Exploration

Hand drawn word bubble with ? insideA guest post by Mia Robinson Mullen, Associate Director of Strategic Initiative at Leading Age. Here are Mia's reflections on the Creative Spark's 2023 Creative Aging Symposium. 

As I took notes during the 2023 Creative Aging Symposium, I found myself writing question after question for meaningful exploration on the topics. The richest paths are not laden with answers but open us up to (and with) the richest questions. The kind of questions that take time—and often require us to have many more conversations. Here are questions that arose for me. Follow the links to view and listen to each component of the symposium.

Questions on movement, inspired by Dance Generators. I'm mindful of the ‘call and response’ of movement happening around us all the time…

How do we hold and move our bodies in relation to others? Does it change in the company of people who are older, younger? Friends? Strangers? In what way? How would you describe the quality of your movement?

Questions on being bold and taking risks, Inspired by a conversation between textile artist, Margaret Fabrizio, and Nick Brentley, Image Stylist, “Creative Paths to Rock Your Boat”.

How do we hold and embrace risk? How has this changed as we grow older? And how does my life experience (and aspects of my identity) inform the way I approach and hold risk? Who in my life inspires me to be bold and take risks? In what way do I inspire others to take risks?

Questions on living with passion and purpose, inspired by a conversation between Jordan Evans, Co-Founder of Art Against Ageism, and myself, Heidi Wagner, Photographer and Founder of Passions Project, “Creative Paths to Change”.

What is the most authentic gift that I can offer to others? When do I feel most seen? In what ways might I see and connect more deeply with others? How do I hold and nurture my own passions as I get older? How have my passions changed over time? How do I nurture and lift the passions of others in my life? What do I love most about being my age?

Questions on honoring our histories and what made us, inspired by a conversation between artist, Sharon Lee Minsor “Auntie Afrika” and Park Cofield, “Pause for Celebration”.

What object(s) in my life would I consider to be a personal artifact? What meaning do these objects hold for me? How have they shaped me? What/who does it make me think of when I see these objects from my past? How might it inform/inspire the transitions in my life that I now face?

Questions on building authentic friendships and connections, inspired by a conversation between Ari Seth Cohen, creator of Advanced Style, and Judith Boyd of Style Crone, “Creative Paths to Visibility”.

What are my most authentic intergenerational relationships? How did they come to be? In what ways have these relationships supported my growth and self-awareness (and vice versa?) How can I cultivate more authentic relationships in my life? In what way does/can my self-expression be used to connect with others? In what way does it convey my values?

From Creative Spark: Heidi, we are delighted with these questions to prompt meaningful exploration in ourselves and with each other. We look forward to the 2024 Creative Aging Symposium!

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