Panel of speakers presenting in front of an audience of conference attendees

Creative Aging Convening 2023


Day 1: Thursday, September 21

9:30 am: Arrival and check-in (South Sturm Pavilion, Martin Building)

9:45 am: Words of Welcome

10-10:25am: Mindfulness activity

An engaging and energizing mindfulness activity led by Catharine McCord.

10:30-11:15 am: Ageless Creativity, Endless Curiosity, Boundless Imagination: How Art Inspired Lifelong Learning, Health, and Well-Being

Todd Siler, internationally recognized visual artist, author and innovation facilitator, will explore his 45 years of "ArtScience" work and collaborations exploring the nature of creativity and how the arts expand and enrich our understanding of the world around and within us-at all ages.

11:20-12 pm: Creative Aging in Action: Building Relationships and Creating Safe Spaces

Jennifer Kubik, Program Coordinator at Think360 Arts for Learning, will share the elements necessary to build community, train artists, and create safe spaces for older adults to tap into their creativity.

12-12:45 pm: Lunch

Boxed lunches provided for all attendees. During the lunch break, please sign-up for one afternoon Breakout Session.

12:45-1:45 pm: Connecting Generations: Intergenerational Programming and Practices

Explore the impact and benefits of intergenerational activities that connect older adults and youth in meaningful ways. Presenters from the Denver Art Museum and LinkAGES Connects will share the benefits of intergenerational programming on both older and younger audiences, key components to keep in mind when designing programs, and case studies of successful intergenerational programs.

2-3 pm: Breakout Sessions (Sensory Garden, Sky Blue, Ruby Red, and Wild Plum workshops in the Creative Hub)

  • Breakout 1: Crazy Quilts (Ruby Red workshop)
    • Experiential workshop with Elizabeth Stanbro (Think360 Arts for Learning)
  • Breakout 2: Explore the Intersection Between Aging and Disability (Sky Blue workshop)
    • Facilitated discussion group with Damon Mcleese (Access Gallery)
  • Breakout 3: Poetry for People Who Don't Write Poetry (and People Who Do, Too!) (Wild Plum workshop)
    • Experiential workshop with Andrea Asali (Think360 Arts for Learning)

3:15-3:30 pm: Break

3:30-4:15 pm: Wrap-up, Reflect, and Look Ahead (South Sturm Pavilion)

Day 2: Friday, September 22

12 pm: Arrival and Networking Time (Sharp Auditorium Lobby, Hamilton Building)

Explore the potential for partnership and collaboration with other attendees. Bring your business cards or other promotional materials to share. Please also sign-up for one afternoon Breakout Session

12:45 pm: Welcome to Day 2 (Sharp Auditorium)

1-2 pm: Age & Identity Panel: The LGBTQ+/50+ Experience

Learn about the unique circumstances people from the LGBTQ+ community experience as they age-the vulnerability, challenges, joys, and benefits-and how access to creative experiences can support this community to age well. Staff from The Center on Colfax, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver Art Museum and Denver Public Library will share program case studies, impact stories and tools for creating inclusive and supportive programs.

2:15-3:15 pm: Breakout Sessions (Sharp Auditorium and the Sky Blue, Ruby Red and Wild Plum workshops in the Martin Building's Creative Hub)

Facilitated discussion groups or experiential workshops meant to expand thinking and practice to new levels.

  • Breakout 1: Community Center Goals and Challenges (Wild Plum workshop)
    • Discussion group with staff from Denver-area older adult community organizations
  • Breakout 2: Dance for All: A Seated Approach to Movement (Sky Blue workshop)
    • Experiential workshop with David Reiulle (Think360 Arts for Learning)
  • Breakout 3: Folding Paper to Hold Stories: Simple Bookbinding (Ruby Red workshop)
    • Experiential workshop with Jo Fitsell (Think360 Arts for Learning)
  • Breakout 4: Project Visibility screening and discussion (Sharp Auditorium)
    • Discussion group with Reverend Nicole Garcia and Michael Chifalo, LGBTQ+ Program Specialist, Boulder County Area on Aging

3:15-3:30 pm: Break

3:30-4:15 pm: Wrap-up, Reflect and Look Ahead (Creative Hub, Martin Building)

Day 2: Additional Experience

Space is limited to 20 participants, $25 pre-registration required.

9:45 am-12 pm: Artful Living: Embracing Aging workshop (Garden Room, Martin Building)

Explore the topic of Ageism through this multi-modal workshop. Begin with a TED­ talk style lecture from Changing the Narrative, then move into the museum galleries for a close-looking experience with led by dance artist/scholar Donna Mejia, and end with a hands-on artmaking activity with expressive artist Quána Madison.

$25 registration fee includes box lunch following the workshop.

Registration & Parking


Tickets: $100

Tickets include full program attendance, boxed lunch on Thursday, and light refreshments. Limited financial support is available, please reach out as soon as possible for more information to


The DAM can provide accessibility accommodations to enhance your participation in the event. Please email by September 6 to request American Sign Language interpretation (ASL), assistive listening devices, real-time captions (CART) or any other accommodations.

Directions & Parking

The convening will take place at the Denver Art Museum's Martin and Hamilton Buildings, located on 13th Avenue between Bannock and Broadway streets. Several parking garages and street parking are available on the surrounding streets. Visit our website for a more details.

Speakers and Collaborators

Andrea Asali (she/her) is a writer, musician, and teaching artist with Think 360 Arts for Learning. She has authored and translated several dozen books, and is currently creating a workbook featuring different types of poetry from around the world.

Rachel Cohen (she/her) is the Founder and CEO of Aging Dynamics consulting firm and the Executive Director of LinkAGES intergenerational initiative committed to addressing social isolation, loneliness and ageism through meaningful intergenerational connections. She has a diverse background in community planning and social work.

She has 30 years’ experience working and consulting with public and private organizations of all sizes, and across sectors. Ms. Cohen facilitates collaboration lending her expertise in social services, housing, community development, environmental education, aging, and food systems. She helps entities understand and work with one another to achieve common goals on the local, statewide, and national level. By leveraging funds, staff, knowledge, and networks, together they build communities that are supportive, engaging, and equitable places to grow up and grow older. She is often engaged in deep community engagement, setting high standards for inclusive and accessible outreach. She is a trained visual facilitator and believes in bringing the fun back into strategy development. Ms. Cohen holds a Bachelor’s in City Planning from the University of Virginia, a Master of Social Work with a focus on non-profit management, a Specialist in Aging Certificate, and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.

Sydney Crain (she/her) is the Older Adult Services Library Programming Associate at Denver Public Library. She creates and coordinates engaging programs for people 50+ in and outside of DPL’s walls. She has a particular passion for working with LGBTQ+ elders and the ways in which multi-generational programs can facilitate healing and build understanding across generations.

Michael van Dalsem (he/him) is a gay man who has been in the process of coming out for the last 54 years. In the meanwhile, he's been in the theatre as an actor, singer, dancer, director, and teacher. In later years, he trained to be an applications programmer. He's now retired and is volunteering as a Senior Companion Volunteer through Americorps and provides companionship and transportation to two senior clients.

Jason Eaton-Lynch (he/him) MSW, Director of Elder Services at The Center on Colfax. Jason's social work philosophy is positive leadership. In his daily programs, he creates meaningful community engagements that leave participants feeling fulfilled, accepted, and prioritized. He maintains a forward-thinking attitude toward community partnerships that push both organizations into new opportunities and encourages divergent collaboration. Since joining the Center on Colfax, it's older adult program (West of 50) has experienced a program renaissance and expansion. Rethinking the look and feel of the program and he consistently asks, “what is possible with aging”? This mindset has assisted him in embracing new ideas, ensuring quality in practice, and continually searching for opportunities to improve his practice.

Jo Fitsell (she/her) Jo Fitsell is an artist and teacher working with fiber, paper, paint and the stitched line. Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In Colorado, her artwork is in Kaiser Permanente, The Center for Health Sciences at Lowry and The Denver Seminary. Jo currently teaches at The Art Students League in Denver and is a Think 360 artist-in-resident and has enjoyed many rewarding collaborations with young people. She is one of the founders of Front Range Contemporary Quilters. Interweave Press has published her DVD on Marbling. Jo contributed to The Denver Art Museum’ Thread Studio exhibit and has published various articles.

Lindsay Genshaft (she/her) is the Senior Manager of Family Programs at the Denver Art Museum where she runs a variety of live and installed programming for young people and their families. This includes developing, writing, and directing original plays for kids focusing on art and artists and writing audio guides for kids for temporary exhibitions. Lindsay also oversees the development and implementation of self-guided and installed family activities in the galleries. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre, minor in Art History from NYU and an MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities, with a minor in Museum Education from the University of Texas Austin. Lindsay believes that connection to art can empower, bond, and heal people.

Jennifer Kubik (she/her) comes to Think 360 Arts with a background in the arts and service work for nonprofit organizations. She is passionate about arts education and arts integration in our community and believes the arts should be an integral part of every student’s learning experience. While her career has focused mainly on youth, she began to realize the importance and benefits in the pursuit of creative endeavors throughout all stages of life for individuals. She is excited to be part of the Creating Aging movement. She has worked as an arts educator teaching music and drama to youth and adults in various settings, from artist’s residencies to private lessons. For 16 years she ran her own Creative Dramatics Program, Playhouse Power, in the suburbs of Chicago. She continues to provide music lessons here in the Denver area. She has been a performer and can still be seen performing with local opera companies. Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts at Bennington College. She is currently studying for her Master’s in Music Therapy through Augsburg University.

Quána Madison (she/her) is an artist, healing arts facilitator and a Buddhist pastoral care mentor. She is is an arts and well-being advocate. Expressive arts revived her soul after a near death complication from cancer previvor treatments and the onset of disruptive chronic illnesses. well-being. A graduate of New York University and Colorado College, Quána holds a MA in Education and a BA in Philosophy. More information is available at and

Catharine McCord (she/her), Lifelong Learning and Accessibility Fellow at the Denver Art Museum, is deeply committed to justice, equity, diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility. She specializes in creating innovative wellness programs for older adults, enhancing their museum experiences. During the summer, she serves as a Program Educator and Mindfulness Guide with Veterans to Farmers, harnessing the healing power of nature. Catharine is an active member of the City & County of Denver's Asian American Pacific Islander Commission. She demonstrates her dedication to ethical research as a member of MSU Denver's IRB, ensuring the ethical treatment of human subjects.

With expertise in Hatha yoga, horticultural therapy, and trauma-sensitive mindfulness and drawing from advanced degrees in biochemistry and landscape architecture, Catharine blends immersive sensory spaces with self-care practices, promoting holistic nervous system regulation. Her work embodies her vision for a more equitable and inclusive world.

Damon McLeese (he/him) is the Executive Director of Access Gallery where he has served for over 25 years. Damon is also a speaker, trainer, activist, consultant, coach, mentor, and community artist. Damon specializes in unlocking the creative power of people regardless of their background—teaching those with Alzheimer’s and dementia how to do street art, developing photography projects for the blind, and hiring students with disabilities to create corporate art commissions. Working at the intersection of art and ability, Damon is passionate about opening avenues of community by providing an innovative, collaborative space where all viewpoints can be both shared and valued. Under his leadership, Access Gallery continues to grow and expand exponentially as it increases awareness of the artistic gifts individuals with disabilities have to offer. Damon received the 2014 Mayor’s Award for Innovation in the Arts and was a speaker at the 2016 TEDx Mile High “Make and Believe” event. In 2017, he received the prestigious Governor’s Award for Leadership in the Arts, and in 2019, Damon was named the Bonfils Stanton Foundation’s Arts and Society Awardee.

Lindsey Miller (she/her) oversees all things access-related at the DAM, including physical accessibility and accessible programming. She works both onsite and in the community to engage older adults and provide them access to the DAM through engaging programming. She began working on museum programming for the Dementia/Memory Loss community in 2013 and oversees the museum's monthly Art & About program for individuals with memory loss and their care partners. She also organizes exhibitions with community partners for the Community Spotlight space in the DAM’s Creative Hub.

David Reuille (he/him) David Reuille’s (pronounced “Roy”) vision for dance fuses different dance styles into a vibrant style that is accessible to everyone, no matter their exposure to the arts. As a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer, his career has spanned 29 years and 8 countries. He is a master teacher in dance and choreography and has also worked extensively in drawing, sculpture, painting, photography, music, theater, videography, and interactive video.

David’s workshops explore the creative process using dance and choreography. He teaches all levels from Early Childhood Education to older adults as well as professional dancers and absolute adult beginners. His workshops inspire a sense of play while grounding the student in solid dance syllabus. He also has done extensive work with professional development teaching teachers at all levels how to use dance in the classroom.

Danielle Schulz (she/her) is dedicated to an accessible and inclusive future. She currently serves as the Associate Director of Lifelong Learning and Accessibility at the Denver Art Museum, where she works with colleagues and community members to promote inclusive practices that ensure visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy and be inspired by their interaction with art. Her team leads creative aging programs for adults 55+ online, in the museum and out in the community. She co-authored The Art of Access: A Practical Guide for Museum Accessibility (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) and received a master’s degree in art education from The University of Texas at Austin.

Todd Siler (he/him) is an internationally recognized visual art, author, and innovation facilitator who founded The ArtScience® Program for Lifelong Learning (aka, Think Like a Genius® Program). He received a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Psychology and Art from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; in 1986, he became the first visual artist to receive a doctorate from M.I.T.. Siler’s published works include Breaking the Mind Barrier (Simon & Schuster, 1990), Think Like A Genius (Bantam Books, 1997), which have been translated into many foreign languages. He has facilitated innovation workshops for Fortune 500 Companies, technology startups, schools, cultural centers, using arts-based tools and methods he calls “Metaphorming.” Since 1979, Siler has been represented by the Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York City. His artworks are in numerous public collections, including the Denver Art Museum, Kirkland Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Twentieth-century Collection), Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and the Belsar Verlag Print Archives in Stuttgart and Zurich. Siler was awarded the 2011 “Leonardo da Vinci” World Award of Arts by the World Cultural Council.

Elizabeth Stanbro (she/her) is focused and passionate about teaching in the Creative Aging Field and Workplace Transformation (Team Building, Personal Care, Enhanced Creativity). She has taught in diverse environments including art museums, care homes, a university, a hospital, libraries and schools. She trained at the Creative Center in NYC for Creative Aging applications and while there was inspired to take the certification courses for OMA (Opening Minds Through Art) from Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University, Oxford Ohio, and from TimeSlips Storytelling. Both are designed for people with dementia and older adults. After training to become a Mindfulness instructor 7 years ago, Elizabeth wanted to blend those teachings with art-making processes. She’s presented at educator’s conferences and for individuals with PTSD and cancer survivors and sees this approach being applied within workplaces to enhance employee interaction, provide self-care tools and enhance creativity. Elizabeth holds a BFA and MFA in Studio Art and is a Certified Art Teacher in Colorado.

Janine Vanderburg (she/her) is in her encore career with Changing the Narrative, a leading U.S. campaign of NextFifty to end ageism that she founded in 2018. She has led media and social media campaigns about the value of older people, advocated for age-friendly public policies and stronger anti-discrimination laws, launched an anti-ageist birthday card campaign, and trained over 17,000 people across the country in research-based messaging to counter negative stereotypes of older people and to advocate the adoption of age-friendly policies. Committed to leveraging the talents of people of all ages to benefit the community, Janine served for three years as chair of the Encore Network Leadership Council, and currently serves on the board of the Center for Workforce Inclusion Labs. She has recognized by the City of Denver, Denver Regional Council of Governments and the Colorado Center for Aging for her innovation and advocacy for older adults and last month was named one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business in Colorado. Her favorite saying: “We are the leaders we are looking for.”

Lifelong Learning and Accessibility programs are supported by the William Randolph Hearst Endowment for Education Programs, Nancy Benson Education Endowment Fund, CenturyLink Endowment, Jim Kelley and Amie Knox Education Endowment Fund, and the Cooke-Daniels Fund. Support is also provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, NextFifty Initiative, LinkAGES Colorado, the Michael and Karen Fried Community Education Fund, and the residents who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).