Dixie Darr

Not Your Father’s Retirement

In creativity, Home, Lent - Season of Change, small houses on March 18, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Lent – Season of Change, Day 16

What if art wasn’t just your hobby or even your livelihood? What if art encompassed your whole life? That’s the idea behind a new trend in senior housing – senior arts colonies. Instead of the typical retirement community, residents gather together to devote their later years to the arts.

One DIY group is planning a co-housing community for aging rockers. That’s the music, not the chair. They may buy an RV park to accommodate people who want to live in tiny houses as well as those who would only live there part of the year.

Several senior arts colonies already operate in California, developed by Los Angeles-based Meta Housing and EngAge, a non-profit dedicated to providing arts, wellness and life-long learning programs for seniors. The Burbank Senior Artists Colony features an on-site professional theater and also offers classes in “every art under the sun — fine arts, painting, drawing sculpture, performing arts, poetry and drama, writing, literature,” according to the developer. 

Twenty or more years ago, my friends and I fantasized about forming our own Golden Girls-style retirement home where each person would have her own private space and the opportunity to share some spaces with like-minded others. Now, it seems, that may become the norm. Isn’t it obvious that the people we live with should have more in common than age?


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