Seniors Out & About in The Twin Cities: Invoking your Artistic Side
Working on craft projects, in the right environment, can be fun and something the entire family can enjoy. It also can have great benefits for the senior mind as it stimulates thinking about something new and following directions.
Upstairs Circus is a great opportunity for the family to get together and work on something fun in a nice environment. When we say “together”, each person can actually work on their own project but being together is super fun. Upstairs Circus puts together everything you need for your crafting project and has a wide variety to choose from.
Things like cement coasters, wall art, jewelry, or items from their lifestyle section like a leather pet collar. This includes the materials and a step-by-step instruction guide along with friendly employees that stop by to see if you need any help. It is a good idea to look at the difficulty listings they provide for the various crafts as some require more patience and dexterity than others along with the time they generally take to complete.
Are you a little nervous about crafting with your family--don't be! Besides getting great assistance from the Upstairs Circus team, you can order a cocktail or food to help you release your inner crafting creativity! In fact, Upstairs Circus is not named because they are located upstairs. The name is really to reflect that your “creative brain” is--above your shoulders. When a senior gets a chance to use their mind creatively it is extremely valuable. Research has shown that it can hold off certain types of dementia, forming new synapse paths in the brain. Additionally, seniors often are more relaxed after a day of participating in a new experience. Especially when they can do this with friends and loved ones around them.
Tables are at the perfect height for seniors with mobility issues and the aisles are wide enough for wheelchairs. The bathrooms are accessible but it may take some help from a friend to get back to them, they are down a short hallway in the back of the building. All the materials were either at your station or easily accessed near the back of the room. Children are welcome and you can rent a party area if you have a big group. At all times, reservations are a good idea but walk-ins are accepted if there is room.
While Upstairs Circus is a wonderful way to experience crafting and spending time as a family, there are many places around the area that can provide stimulating experiences. In the Anoka area, The Rum River Art Center (RRAC) is putting together programs for the over-55 crowd--they call Vitality Arts. These are specific projects you can sign up for in advance with an instructor available to provide assistance. They range from things like pottery work and watercolor paintings to working with clay tiles. According to their Director, Larry Weinberg, “From our research, we found that many older adults can’t afford the costs of classes or are hesitant to try them. These conclusions brought us to develop our Community Senior Art-reach program. RRAC believes in teaching the process of creating art and helping students realize what they can accomplish. RRAC believes in the power of the arts and the important role it plays in the lives of our students. The arts are valuable for not only the social and psychological benefits but also for the physical health benefits.” RRAC offers classes and programs at the Center four to five days a week. Some students come to classes just for the social part. RRAC studios are ADA-compliant with ramps to all the various studios. They have plenty of parking and are on a bus line. A great opportunity for a family member to sign up and take a class side by side with their senior loved one. They even have a cafe and small store--located in the historic Old Milk Factory 2665 4th Ave. in Anoka.
The Twin Cities also have an abundance of other opportunities for families and seniors to explore their artistic side. In White Bear Lake, there is the White Bear Center for the Arts. The center was founded in 1968 and is a non-profit community art center serving people of all abilities and generations. WBCA offers art classes, showcases exhibitions from a diverse range of artists, and connects the community to art resources.
These are just a few of the creative offerings available in the Twin Cities. If you want to help a senior stimulate their mind and have a great experience, get out and enjoy a fun art experience!