MILWAUKEE -- It's not often you see kids hanging out with senior citizens, but the Intergenerational Multi-Arts Project, started by an organization called Danceworks pairs Milwaukee school children with senior citizens, to promote cross-generational relationships. The students and elders build friendships by working together to create visual art and dance.
Through the program, the kids and senior citizens spend 12 weeks together, and then perform their dance pieces at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Organizers say the final recital is a celebration of all the time these new friends with an age gap of about 70 years spent together, the hard work put in to creating the final piece, and the new relationships that have been established. "Children that are in school, and don't have a lot of physical activity, or a creative outlet, and then elders in our community that may be dealing with isolation or dementia-related conditions," Deborah Farris with Danceworks said.
Next year, a new group of students will take part in the program, but the students and elders that took part this year say they'll cherish their newfound friendships. "It means a lot. I cannot describe it, but I have really enjoyed it from the minute I walked in the door, until now," Lullie Hortman, a senior citizen involved with the program said.
More information on this program can be found at Danceworks' website.