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MonteCedro’s Creative Living Academy: Stimulating Lifelong Learning

Summer 2016

Creative Living is a philosophy that shapes the culture of ECS communities for residents and staff. It is inspired by a whole-self approach to wellness in mind, body and spirit. Through Creative Living, residents are empowered to forge their own paths and pursue their unique inspirations and aspirations – to remain their own leaders. Launched in early 2015, MonteCedro’s Creative Living Academy is a lifelong learning model driven by residents, supported by staff and enhanced by the greater community. A group of volunteer Advisors, made up of MonteCedro residents, supervises the development and oversight of the Academy. For each trimester, the Advisors create a catalog of lectures, workshops, trips, tours, discussion groups and other special events. “Our commitment to lifelong learning and excellence in programming are key factors when residents choose MonteCedro,” said Wendy Shiba, Chair of the Advisors for the Creative Living Academy. “The Creative Living Academy is resident-driven, with a great number of the presenters being residents themselves. We learn from and with each other, which builds and fosters a community culture at MonteCedro that promotes growth and fulfillment for all of our residents.”

The Creative Living Academy features distinguished community partners and offers a variety of programs, including Learningprivate discussions and recitals with the Pasadena Symphony; rehearsal previews, meet the cast and set tours with Pasadena Playhouse; docent-led tours of the Huntington Library; tours of Eliot Arts Magnet Middle School, and many others. Because of the wealth of knowledge and insight among residents on campus, the Advisors even created an “Inside MonteCedro” series in which individual residents and staff members participate in a guided conversation or interview about topics related to their expertise and experience. The first “Inside MonteCedro” session featured a resident of Japanese American heritage who shared stories about her life, including her experience of being interned during World War II. The series has attracted large audiences and inspired widespread conversations. Residents and staff at The Canterbury and The Covington are now developing Creative Living Academy programs. Although modeled after the now-thriving Academy at MonteCedro, each resident group will no doubt bring its unique perspective to the model. After all, that’s what Creative Living is all about.

Above photo of Ida Hankins participating in a paint mixology class.

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