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Black Tie International:
WHBPAC Creative Aging Program:
Melodies & Memories Performance



WHBPAC Creative Aging Program:
Melodies & Memories PErformance




Westhampton Beach, NY December 23, 2010: On Thursday, December 9 at 1:30pm more than 25 senior citizens performed at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center in a final performance as participants in WHBPAC’s innovative new Arts Education Program, Melodies & Memories – a Creative Aging program for area seniors that links the Center with the Town of Southampton Senior Services.

For the past eight weeks, the Director of Southampton Senior Services, Pam Giacoia, and her staff transported 20 – 30 Southampton Town seniors to the Center to participate in Melodies and Memories, a skill-based integrated arts program designed for adults ages 60+.  The Creative Aging movement seeks to link the basic human need for creative expression with an improved quality of life for older adults.  In addition to the mastery of various performing and visual arts skills, Creative Aging programs emphasize the importance of reminiscence – which has been proven to increase self-esteem, reinforce personal and collective identity, and assuage anxiety about getting older. 

Teaching artists Julienne Penza and Patricia Feiler along with Peter Pece, an accomplished pianist and Brian Quillan, vocal assistant, led the seniors in singing songs and examining objects and materials from years past. Participants were inspired to reminisce about their lives and share their stories in intimate groups.  They expressed their memories through either a dramatic reading, or a visual art project and weaved it together in a public performance and art exhibit at the Center!

The program would not have been possible without the generous support of long-time supporter and WHBPAC Board Member, Emilie Corey.  "People who are engaged in these kind of programs have a better quality of life. They need less medication; they spend less time at doctors' offices; they have better mental and physical health. It's a way to help people have a better life."  Emilie has witnessed first hand the transformative power of the arts.   After a career as a geriatric social worker,  Emilie founded the Park Slope Geriatric Day Care Center in Brooklyn.  She supports the mission of the PAC to serve the entire community…and older people are an important part of the community.

WHBPAC Managing Director of Arts Education, Julienne Penza cites, “Today, the 22 seniors in our Melodies and Memories program gave an incredible, moving performance. We are so grateful for our talented team of Teaching Artists and Assistants, the many community members who came to the show, and, of course, the amazing seniors who shared their talents and stories with us!”

For more information, contact Julienne Penza at 631.288.2350, ext. 114 or by e-mail at   

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