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Arts Program Helps Keeps White Plains Seniors Sharp

Seniors at The Bristal paint.
Seniors at The Bristal paint. Photo Credit:

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A new assisted living community in White Plains is teaming up with the city’s library to engage its seniors in art projects designed to keep them mentally and physically healthy.

The Bristal at White Plains, 305 North St., offers memory care support to its seniors. It has worked with the Westchester Library System to pilot a new initiative, the Creative Aging Public Libraries Project. It is paid for through a grant by The Bristal and will begin in the spring.

“Arts programs promote sustained involvement and keep participants involved week after week,” Susan Yubas, director of business development at The Bristal, said in a press release.

A 2001 survey found people 65 years and older who were regularly involved in participatory arts programs reported fewer doctors’ visits, less need for medication and were less prone to depression. Yubas cited the study, co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the George Washington University, in the release.

The program consists of two eight-week workshops in music, literature, performing and visuals arts taught by a professional teaching artist. The workshops culminate in a showcase event at the library, which is open to the public.

The first two sessions will be taught by Kim McCormack of Creativity Curiousity Inc. in Katonah, and Frank Ingrasciotta, a local playwright, actor and director. Registration for the program begins in February.

Residents of The Bristal will get priority registration, but the program is open to all White Plains-area seniors.

For more information, visit The Bristal's website or call 914-681-1800.

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