The Square
News and perspectives from Covia.

Covia, Well Connected, and Well Connected Español will host the fourth annual Creative Aging Symposium on Thursday, January 28, 2021 from 9:00-11:30 PST. This virtual event invites older adults to explore and celebrate identity through a creative aging lens, with keynote speakers that include a CEO, professors of psychology and religious studies, storytellers, multi-media artists, and more.

The Creative Aging Symposium counters the commonly held belief that creativity is only the province of the young. Co-organizer Katie Wade says, “Older age presents a unique time for creative growth, should we choose to explore ourselves and community through the lens of imagination, adaptation, and innovation.”

This year, for the first time, the symposium will be presented in English and in Spanish simultaneously. Lizette Suarez, Program Director for Well Connected Español, says, “We are incredibly excited to widen the reach of this event by organizing it 100% in Spanish. Aging is a universal topic and we are thrilled to introduce the Creative Aging concept to the Spanish speaking community.” Closed captions will also be available, and audio descriptions of visual content will be provided for those with vision loss.

Keynote speakers for the 2021 Creative Aging Symposium include EngAGE founder Tim Carpenter, multidisciplinary artists Gabri Christa and Mabel Valdiviezo, photographer S. Renee Jones, psychologists Dr. Angélica Ojeda García and Dr. Ricardo Carillo, and poet Gregory Pond. Topics include how identity is shaped by community, how one’s sense of self evolves over a lifetime, and how people make meaning out of life’s joys, tragedies, and everyday moments.

Though many of the speakers explore creativity in their jobs and hobbies, the event planners assure attendees that they do not need to identify as creative or artistic. “Through creative demonstrations, interactive experiences, and inspiring voices, you will discover new insights into the distinct gifts you bring to the world.”

The suggested donation to register is $10. The registration page in English can be found here; the registration page in Spanish is here

The Creative Aging Symposium is hosted by the Covia Community Services programs Well Connected Español and Well Connected, and older adults active in our programs.

For more information, including speakers and schedule, visit www.creativeagingsymposium.org or call 877-797-7299.

Leaders in senior affordable housing will share the story of the Openhouse Community, the Bay Area’s first LGBT-welcoming senior affordable housing project, in a free event on June 1 at 3:00 at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. Pre-registration is requested.

LGBT Housing – A Community Conversation About Lessons Learned and Future Directions will be moderated by Karim Sultan, VP of Affordable Housing for Covia. The panel will include: Marcy Adelman, co-founder Openhouse, a San Francisco non-profit exclusively focused on health and well-being of LGBTQI elders; Karyn Skultety, Executive Director of Openhouse; and Ileah Lavora, Housing Developer at Mercy Housing. 

“Hopefully, the panel will motivate like-minded parties, whether it be in San Francisco or in the greater Bay Area, to build more LGBT housing,” says Sultan. “Obviously, there would be a lot of work between this initial conversation and a building going up, but we would like to start a larger conversation.”

After the panel, participants are invited to take a tour of the housing community at 55 Laguna, which provides Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender-welcoming housing for seniors age 55 and older. Though open to people of all sexual orientations or gender identity, 68% of the residents identify as LGBT.

The LGBT Community Center is located at 1800 Market Street. To register for this event, please visit this eventbrite site.