Creative Aging Symposium Speakers
We are excited to announce our speakers for the 2022 Creative Aging Symposium.
9:00-9:15 Opening Remarks by Calida Jones, Musician & VP of Arts Consulting Group
9:15-9:30 Performance by Community Music Center of SF Elder Choir
9:30-10 Good Music for the Soul! with Tammy Hall, Soul Musician
10-10:15 Interactive Visualization Activity with Anabella Denisoff, Blind Elder Artist
10:15-10:45 How I Keep Looking Up by Christine Wong Yap, Visual Artist & Nancy Simpson, Vocalist
10:45am-11 Written Word Performance & Collective Affirmation by Oshea Luja
11:00-11:30 Interview with Marc Freedman, CEO & Founder of Encore.org
Calida N. Jones is an accomplished musician, social justice advocate, and educator with more than 20 years of experience in planning, workshop and curriculum development, project management, and advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and access initiatives. Passionate about intentional and purposeful mentoring and community engagement, her personal mission is to ensure that those with limited resources have access to arts opportunities and activities.
Tammy L Hall began playing the piano at age 4 and is still devoted to that instrument, Music and its calling. In pursuit of the creation and development and performance of Good Music, Tammy has worked with numerous accomplished vocalists and instrumentalists, played at Carnegie Hall, Jazz At Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and many international music festivals, conducted the national orchestras of Turkmenistan (Ashgabat) and Baku, and teaches and lectures at several performing arts organizations and schools. Tammy is a recipient of the BAJABA MOISHA YA KAZA BOARA AWARD, in recognition of her lifetime contribution to Black American Music, and a two-time award winner from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle.
Anabella is the Regional Spanish Spokesperson for the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), a member of the Board of Directors of Blind and Vision Impaired of Marin (VIM), Facilitator of the Latino/Hispanic Support Group and Novato Support Group in Marin County, and the Spanish Support Group at the Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco. She is also the Coordinator of a Watercolor class for the visually impaired. Her watercolor paintings offer a vivid free form explosion of colors contained within the framework of hope and joy to help celebrate the artist’s passion for life, and also to illustrate the premise that true color filled creativity cannot be lost because one loses vision.
Christine Wong Yap (she/they), BFA, MFA, is a visual artist and social practitioner who explores dimensions of psychological wellbeing such as belonging, resilience, interdependence, and collaboration. She is deeply embedded in community engagement through creative partnerships using drawing, printmaking, publishing, and public art. Her work has been exhibited coast to coast in the United States, and in the UK, Manila, and Poland. She has been awarded grants from the Queens Council on the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. This past spring and summer, Christine was a public artist-in-residence at Times Square Arts, where she co-created the Times Square exhibit, How I Keep Looking Up, with elders living in NY.
Nancy Moore Simpson lives by the motto, “Music Makes Everything Better.” She has been singing ever since she can remember – starting with church, school, and studying music in college. She has performed with a variety of ensembles, including NY Christmas Revels, The Blue Hill Troupe, Canterbury Choral Society, Art Mob, international choruses, off-Broadway, and more. She has a passion for nonprofit work and founded the William W. and Nancy Moore Simpson Endowment for Senior Programs at the Salvation Army. Her creativity knows no bounds- she is a Reiki Master and you can also find her watercoloring, writing, playing the piano, ukulele and kazoo, and tap dancing!
Oshea Luja is the Artistic Director of Still Waters Network, the Producer of the Still Waters Experience, and co-founder of the literacy-rooted Still Waters Writers Workshop. A renowned poet and producer, he is a 2015 and 2017 Village Award Recipient from the Villagers Hall of Fame Awards Foundation. Oshea co-founded Vibrations Holistic Center in Inglewood CA and later, The Balance Portal in Southern CA, where he has co-created a line of teas and natural skin and hair care, and helps others explore life-purpose alignment and soul work.
Marc Freedman, President, CEO and Founder of Encore.org, is one of the nation’s leading experts on the longevity revolution. He is a member of the Wall Street Journal’s “Experts” panel, a frequent commentator in the media, and the author of five books. His newest book — How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations was featured in The New York Times and named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the year’s best books on aging. In this book, Marc issues a deeply personal call to find fulfillment and happiness in our longer lives by connecting with the next generation and forging a legacy of love that lives beyond us.
CMC developed the nationally recognized Older Adult Choir Program to provide the many personal, social, artistic, and quality of life benefits that musical activity can bring. Older Adult Choirs are sprinkled throughout San Francisco, bringing transformative experiences to elders speaking many languages, living a variety of experiences, and above all, fostering a deep sense of community together. The CMC choir presenting is from the Bayanihan Equity Center in the SOMA district of San Francisco. The choir sings primarily in Tagalog, and prior to the pandemic frequently performed at Filipino festivals and events throughout the city.