Life Long Arts Learning Connecticut Programs

Arts for Learning CT’s Life Long Arts Learning programs provide  sequential arts learning over time,  usually 8-10 week sessions, one session each week.   These are an accessible entry point for people over the age of 55 to try something new or an art form that they always wished they had time to participate in.  All programs support individual as well as cooperative learning, and opportunities for socialization and sharing.

Programs are taught by professional teaching artists who are trained in the tenets of Lifetime Learning and Creative Aging, allowing for skill building and social engagement among the learners and artists. Programs can take place in community centers, libraries, schools, and independent living centers. Our programs come directly to your site.

Fees and final program design will be tailored to fit the needs of the presenting organization and learning community

Arts For Learning Staff can help you plan programs in theater, music, visual art and dance that would appeal to women and men who seek opportunities to learn and socialize with others in their age group. Call for ideas or with your requests!



Susan Rosano: Self Expression Through Visual Art

Visual artist and expressive arts therapist, Susan Rosano offers two programs for lifetime learners.

Creating a Personal Icon uses imagery and small items from the past to write a fun story from your life.  From there, participants will create a background using watercolors or pastels, foam board, scissors and glue.  The background will be decorated and the poem or story becomes part of the Personal Icon through collage techniques.

Students will document stories; create a visual art piece from personal history; create an art show revolving around these stories and visual art pieces; and, bring an atmosphere of comraderie among the participants regarding the importance of their stories.

The Art of Zentangle © is an engaging, relaxing modern art form where images are created by drawing a series of repetitive patterns.  The formation of a Zentangle is absorbing and brings a person into the flow of creativity easily. That is why the word “Zen” is used.  It’s an art that brings a type of inspired meditation where beautiful, intricate images are made.  This form helps a person focus, be creative and provides artistic satisfaction.  A different Zentangle project will be presented each week.

Participants will become familiar with using watercolor paints and paper; pastels and paper; creating collages incorporating written stories or poems; and with writing personal stories or poems.

Linda Peck: Moving Mind and Body

The title of this program speaks comprehensively about Linda Peck’s approach to learning.  A full body approach, Linda’s students learn to connect a physical vocabulary with thoughts and ideas, using mime, movement, theatre, balance, acting, tai chi, and sign language.  Participants will build strength in various parts of the body through non-invasive but lyrical exercises, related to tai chi with balance, sequential postures or forms, of which they will learn 36 moves to do as a regular practice.  Each student will be given a video of the forms to practice on their own.

Participants will delve into their personal stories, connecting these with physical interpretation of their lives.  Doing “living sculptures” participants will create their own movements to ideas and thoughts to bring to life their lives ad increase the motivation to be creative.  This course demonstrates effective impacts on the mental and physical health of participants through balance, breathing, focus, sequential learning skills and critical thinking skills in a sustainable way.

Students will:

  • feel better physically
  • be more alert and able to grasp concepts (both tangible and intangible)
  • will learn 36 postures in a Cheng stype format and be able to put them together sequentially.

Warm up exercises each week include group collaborations. Students will work in pairs and/or groups of four or more. Group critiques weekly of work done. Each week ends in a reflective exercise.A culminating tea party will involve the entire group.

Itemized materials and supplies:

Ideally each student will purchase a uniform (tobuk) top:  $18.00

Supplies for Chinese tea party. $18.00

 Kahana Hula:  Hula Zen

“Hula Zen” makes exercising a tropical breeze.  Achieve overall fitness by dancing to Hawaiian songs and melodies and learn the graceful art of traditional Hawaiian dance called hula.  Engage in dance movements that tell a story and express emotion while learning the culture, traditions, language and history of Hawai’i.  Students will learn basic hula motions and Hawaiian dance terminology, progressing to learn simple dances to their choice of their favorite Don Ho or Elvis songs.  They will celebrate their last class with their very own pot-luck lu’au when they will perform the hula dances that they learned, followed by a lu’au show presented by Tiare of prncipal dancer of Kahana Hula.

Students will gain all the benefits of physical exercise:

  • improved muscular range of motion
  • joint flexibility
  • improved posture
  • cardiovascular conditioning
  • muscle toning
  • improved balance and coordination
  • mental relaxation

There will be time for group discussion on topics such as travel to Hawai’i and Polynesian culture and time for discussion and planning of the lu’au. Shared time for reflection on the learning process during the sessions and at the culminating event.



Sharyn Farrell: Dancealife – A Taste of Ballroom

Students are introduced to basic steps of ballroom dance (usually American Tango and East Coast Swing, but other styles such as Foxtrot or Partnered Hip Hop can be included.  Students will learn how to dance basic steps of one or more styles of dance and can practice either alone or with a partner.  They will be inspired with musical choices in class and receive suggestions as to where to get more music and more practice time for themselves.  When all is done, students will have acquired skills and ease of partner dancing. A culminating event in the form of a fun and entertaining recital could be included.

Participants will gain communication skills through eye contact and touch and will develop respect, confidence, playfulness, flexibility through the dance process and through discussion on dance technique.