Artist Retirement Communities Spreading to Arizona, Minnesota, Oregon
There may a senior arts colony headed your way—or at least in your general direction.
Last week, we talked about a retirement community in Burbank, CA, for artists or aspiring artists. A writer with The Huffington Post recently profiled the community’s founder, and it turns out, he’s exporting his concept:
We just got a grant from the Irvine Foundation to take this on the road. … We’ve targeted a few cities now: the Bay area, Sacramento and San Diego. We’ve also got projects in Minneapolis, Portland and a couple in Arizona. We’re looking for partners in key cities around the country. We’re really just trying to target places that would be cool to retire in.
His artist retirement community is modeled after college, he says.
Instead of doing arts and crafts where people put popsicle sticks together in a corner with some lame activities director, we started hiring college-level professors and doing real programming. We put things on a semester basis, and end every semester with culminating events and opportunities to use skills in real-life applications. If you do a painting class, you have an art show. If there’s a poetry class, we have a poetry slam.
The biggest surprise? These artist communities aren’t targeted to wealthy people. In fact, the founder says, 95 percent of residents are living at or below the poverty level.
(Looking for a retirement community right now? Check out options in your area here.)
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.