Creative Aging Symposium Speakers

Louise Aronson, MD MFA, is a leading geriatrician, writer, educator, and professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco. The author of New York Times bestseller Elderhood, she is a regular contributor to the New York Times and  New England Journal of Medicine. Recognition of Louise’s work includes a MacDowell fellowship, four Pushcart nominations, the American Geriatrics Society Clinician-Teacher of the Year award, and a Gold Professorship for Humanism in Medicine.


Debra Rapoport, MA from University of California, Berkeley, eco-friendly style icon from New York City, began her creative expression as a three year old playing dress up and never stopped! She calls it “dressing up, over and again.” She believes style is healing and where there is creativity there are no rules; where there are no rules there is no fear! She has an extensive background in creating textiles related to the body, head gear and other embellishments with an emphasis on recycling and re-purposing, with pieces featured around the world.  She has taught at UC Davis, NYU, the Museum of Arts and Design, MOMA  and the Neue Galerie.  Debra has achieved recent worldwide recognition as an ambassador for the Advanced Style movement.


Nancy Cranbourne is the owner/director of One Big Yes Productions and 40 Women Over 40, a dance company based in Boulder, Colorado. Nancy is a dancer, choreographer, and an award-winning actress & playwright. She has served on the faculties of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, University of Colorado/Boulder, Colorado State University, University of Washington, and Cornish College for the Arts. Nancy lives and thrives in Boulder, CO, where she inspires dancers to experience total acceptance as they develop communal identity through movement.


Albertina Zarazúa Padilla is a storyteller, the co-founder of and the story curator for, and facilitator of its’ storytelling workshops. Albertina was born to a farmworker family in Monterey, California, was a classroom teacher for over 20 years, and has served in a variety of community roles – shop steward and union representative, soccer coach, mentor for the National Latina Health Organization, board member of Clinica de la Raza, and member of the Teacher Advisory Board of the Oakland Museum of California and Luna Dance Institute. Albertina works with individuals and groups, helping them find the key to unlock their stories, and thus, their passage to shaping the world around them.

Photo by Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group

Edythe Boone is a self-taught artist and activist, working as a muralist, counselor, and art educator. She has spent decades using art as a tool for community transformation – bringing diverse individuals and communities together and fostering change through empathy. Whether collaborating on a mural as large and epic as Maestrapeace in San Francisco, or teaching a young student a new medium, Edythe’s message is clear – art, and its healing power, is for everyone.


David “Lucky” Goff, PhD, author and community organizer, had a brain aneurysm in 2003, which lead to the onset of a rare brain syndrome, the brink of death, and permanent disability. This experience had a transfor­mative effect on David, making him “lucky”, and cued him into how radically connected all things are. This broader awareness now informs his approach to what it means to be human. He writes extensively about a psychology of interdependence, community, elders, and the conditions that lead to a social and ecological sense of connection. He approaches aging in innovative ways, using learning techniques from a host of oral traditions to discover what promotes, heals, and binds together a culture where elders are seen, and see themselves, as valuable and essential contributors.