Advancing Creative Aging in Wyoming Convening

Jun 26, 2024

Four people in business attire sit at a table having a discussion

Several event participants, including Sam Shumway of AARP, two staff members from the WAC, and Brian Greene, the WSL’s Library Development Manager, take part in a group discussion.

The Wyoming Arts Council (WAC), the Wyoming State Library (WSL), and Lifetime Arts collaborated at the Advancing Creative Aging in Wyoming Convening on June 6 at the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to inform stakeholders about creative aging efforts happening throughout Wyoming. This convening was a requirement of participation in the Advancing Creative Aging in Western States Initiative. The Advancing Creative Aging in Western States Initiative was launched in 2023 and is designed to deepen and sustain collaboration among state partners to advance creative aging in the Western region. Currently the initiative includes partnership teams in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

Four people in business attire sitting on chairs on a stage in front of the Wyoming state flag

Krisene Watson (holding microphone) adds her thoughts she and her fellow panelists discuss the question: “What is Creative Aging in Wyoming?”

The day-long event began with networking and opening remarks from the WAC and the WSL, including an introduction by Josh Chrysler, WAC Folklorist & Health and Wellness Specialist. Lifetime Arts, led an orientation session, “Creative Aging: An Essential Component to Serving Older Adults.” A panel discussion, “What is Creative Aging in Wyoming?,” featuring Krisene Watson, Extension and Outreach Services Manager at the Campbell County Public Library, Grace Cannon-Wallace of WYO Performing Arts and Ed Center, and Desiree Brothe of the Cheyenne Creativity Center and moderated by Josh of the WAC.

Jessica Otto, the WSL’s Research and Statistics Consultant, and Krisene Watson participate in a creative exercise during the event.

In the afternoon, the participants were led in a creative exercise by Grace Cannon-Wallace and learned about the “Lay of the Land in Wyoming” from Sam Shumway of AARP Wyoming and Jeff Clark of the Wyoming Department of Health’s Aging Division. Lifetime Arts led a Creative Aging Town Hall and the event wrapped up with a discussion regarding next steps.

Robin Westphal, Missouri State Library and Abby Beaver, Wyoming State Librarian will be talking about this initiative at the Western Council of State Librarians meeting in San Diego later this month. Krisene Watson will be a panelist at the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) in Springfield, Massachusetts, this September and will speak about the IMLS-funded “Advancing Creative Aging Through State Library Leadership,” which is the WSL’s joint Creative Aging initiative with Lifetime Arts, CALIFA in CA, and the Missouri State Library.



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