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Connecting generations through art

Through a collaboration with TimeSlips’ Tele-Stories and the Brown County Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), 12 college students were partnered with elders to learn from one another and celebrate with an art presentation. Pictured are Aubrey Laux, second from right, and her collaborator “Jacki,” center, presenting their Tele-Stories partner “Nancy,” second from left, with an apron. Dr. Rebecca Meacham photo
Through a collaboration with TimeSlips’ Tele-Stories and the Brown County Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), 12 college students were partnered with elders to learn from one another and celebrate with an art presentation. Pictured are Aubrey Laux, second from right, and her collaborator “Jacki,” center, presenting their Tele-Stories partner “Nancy,” second from left, with an apron. Dr. Rebecca Meacham photo

By Gracelyn Giese

Contributing Writer

BROWN COUNTY – Art has always been a uniting force that brings people of different backgrounds together, and the English students at UW-Green Bay are utilizing this ability.

Through a collaboration with TimeSlips’ Tele-Stories and the Brown County Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), 12 college students were partnered with elders to learn from one another and celebrate with an art presentation.

TimeSlips is a nation-wide organization that hosts Tele-Stories, which is “a series of calls provided to isolated/under-connected seniors that spark creativity and facilitate meaningful engagement” explained Jackie Kostichka, Milwaukee-based program manager and certified trainer for TimeSlips.

She said that the overall goal of this wide-reaching project is to “provide added, meaningful creative engagement opportunities for people who lack them, increase positive connections with isolated seniors and share the creative outputs with people in their community and beyond.”

With these goals in mind, professor of writing, English and humanities Dr. Rebecca Meacham chose to collaborate with TimeSlips and the ADRC a second time for her English 309 Co-Creative Writing class.

Explaining the process Dr. Meacham said, “During [the spring] semester, my 12 students partnered with elders at the ADRC for a month of conversations, then created gifts of art and writing from those conversations.”

Reflecting on the student experience, Dr. Meacham said “Students often say that working with TimeSlips is the most meaningful—and in some cases, impactful —classroom experience they have at UW-Green Bay. They learn to listen, engage, be curious, and engage the creativity—and dignity—of people of all ages and backgrounds. It takes us all outside ourselves.”

One of the students who participated in the course was Aubrey Laux, a rising senior.

She enrolled in the course out of curiosity about what co-creative writing would be.

Laux reflected, “It was very wholesome and inspiring. It felt like we were all close and connected, both through class and calls, and like everyone around us was open and happy to be there.”

Laux and her collaborator, “Jacki,” partnered to make an apron for “Nancy” to celebrate her volunteer work in the kitchen at the ADRC.

“This was a great experience that shows how communication and connection can change the world,” Laux said.

UW-Green Bay is a verified creative community of care through TimeSlips and will host further Co-Creative Writing classes with collaboration between TimeSlips and the ADRC.

To learn more, visit timeslips.org.

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