Becoming Our Spaces


October 2021

Panelist for Groundwork: Healing within Community Arts Education, a virtual gathering for community arts practitioners to embody radical reinvention and imagination as we process the pandemic.

Tuesday, October 26 — Creative Aging Track 1 – 2:30pm ET — Real Talk Salon

Title: Pathways to Creative Aging: Building Community Alliances through Artmaking

Description: Creative aging programs—when rooted in authentic collaboration—can be paths for older adults to feel fully seen and heard as vital contributors to our communities. In this Real Talk Session, representatives of creative aging programs at Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana and Ping Chong + Company talk openly about how they are using dance and storytelling to deepen connections among local elders. Join us to discuss how these kinds of transparent and human-centered approaches to creative aging can build alliances among your older adult students, your staff and teaching artists, and your community partners and spark broader advocacy.

Presenters: Leslie Roybal (Program Director, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana), Elisabet Torras Aguilera (Teaching Artist, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana), Carly McCollow (Teaching Artist, Ping Chong + Company), Courtney Surmanek (Teaching Artist, Ping Chong + Company), Cory Michael Herman (Director, Alliance Stage Company), Sarie Teichman (Older Adult Student, Ping Chong + Company)

September 2021

Co-Facilitator of The Intimacy & Care of One-On-One Performance with Steven T. Licardi at Play Perform Learn Grow’s Creating Belonging in Times of Pandemic

PPLG is a conference, an international gathering and a growing community. Founded in 2017 in response to the dehumanizing conditions created by the refugee policy crisis in Europe, PPLG has already taken place three times. It brings together people from around the world who use play and performance to engage social issues, heal trauma, stimulate imagination and possibility, generate community, and build bridges.

The PPLG Community: PPLG ignited among its participants and their communities a collective movement, nourishing homegrown initiatives and creating new spaces of belonging across borders and cultures. Through art, performance, ritual and play, PPLG honors and celebrates the power of collective creativity to endure and transform adversity, to create new possibilities. The third edition of PPLG took place in 2019 in Thessaloniki at Anatolia College gathering 280 people from 38 countries.

Play Perform Learn Grow 2021: PPLG 2021 is happening online on 10, 11, 12 of September with the theme: Creating Belonging in Times of Pandemic. PPLG 2021 is born in times of Pandemic and in response to them. It combines a diverse program of presentations, workshops, panels, emerging community rituals and interactive performances. It is organized in collaboration with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Thessaly, East Side Institute NY, Epineio Institute, ANAMUH, Lesvos Solidarity, Odysseas – Lesvos and a hive of international organizations.

About The Intimacy & Care of One-On-One Performance: In this multi-day workshop, participants will envision/execute a 10-15 minute, site-responsive performance to be shared with select festival attendees. Each performance will be an emotional journey of healing and discovery, holding space for a range of emotions. Performances will be participatory, and one-on-one in a private Zoom room. Performances may be therapeutic, but are not offered as therapy. The goal of this multi-day workshop is to provide a structured environment to design a performance to be taken beyond the festival. Further, PPLG attendees will experience one-on-one, site-responsive performances that “craft new possibilities of belonging”.

July 2021

Co-Presenter at the National Association of State Arts Association’s Creative Aging Institute

Individual teaching artists and community arts organizations are the life force of successful creative aging programs across the country! NASAA's upcoming Creative Aging Institute features a panel discussion with arts administrators and teaching artists from Ping Chong + Company, who will share lessons learned from their recent Artful Storytelling: Our Meaningful Histories theatre project with older adults in New York City's Lower East Side neighborhood. Learn about program planning, delivery, partnership, virtual adjustments, outcomes and impact from the point of view of on-the-ground service providers. 

Please register for all Creative Aging Institute sessions. You will receive a link to join each session via the e-mail address you provide in the registration form. NASAA's inaugural Creative Aging Institute takes place online via Zoom video conference between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 20 and 21, and Tuesday and Wednesday, July 27 and 28, 2021. All state and jurisdictional arts agency and regional arts organization staff and council members are invited to participate, as are state and national partner organizations with an interest in creative aging. NASAA is waiving registration fees for this event, to make information on current trends and best practices in creative aging widely accessible to all.

For more information, contact NASAA Arts Learning Projects Director Susan Oetgen.


Recent writing published in September 2020 through the artist-run collective Holly and the Neighbors can be found here.