The lakes area kickoff for the statewide campaign Creativity Matters for Older Adults is planned for 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at the Bethany Community Chapel in Alexandria.

The campaign has sprung from the work of the Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Network (MnCAAN), a volunteer, citizen-led group of Minnesotans dedicated to expanding opportunities for creative expression by older Minnesotans throughout the state. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the many benefits that older adults experience when they take part in music, visual art, writing, and other creative programs led by professional artists and to help create more opportunities for them to do so.

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The lakes area is one of 12 locations around the state where the campaign is being launched by local enthusiasts. The lakes area kickoff has been organized by Randee Hall and Deb Waldvogel at Bethany Community, plus a planning team representing 10 other local organizations.

The Creativity Matters campaign kickoff is intended to bring together staff from senior-serving organizations, arts organizations, and educational institutions plus artists and a wide range of other community members interested in involving more people over age 50 in the lakes area in creative activity.

The centerpiece of the event will be the showing of a new half-hour film, "The Creative Power of Aging." The film features three artists who discuss the evolution of their work in their older years. It also highlights how creative expression benefits older adults in a variety of locations where older Minnesotans live, work, and gather, such as community centers, senior residences, and dementia care settings.

The film was produced by MnCAAN and Twin Cities Public Television in collaboration with three senior-serving organizations.

At the kickoff, the film will serve as a springboard for a community conversation to spark ideas and connections that will assist more people over age 50 in the lakes area to become engaged in the arts.

Pat Samples, coordinator for MnCAAN and the author of numerous books and articles on creativity and aging, will speak at the event about the services provided by MnCAAN and other state and national resources. She will also facilitate small-group discussions to help with developing local activities.

Samples will introduce participants to MnCAAN's new interactive website,, which serves as a virtual meeting place for artists, aging service providers, and older Minnesotans with an interest in aging and creative expression.

The Oct. 2 event is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It is open to the public. Registration is due by Monday, Sept. 29.

You may register by sending an e-mail message to: or by calling Deb W. by phone at 320-763-1132. Cost is $5, and includes lunch.

Bethany Community is located at 1020 Lark Street in Alexandria.

Directions can be found at