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The arts spark ageless creativity, self-discovery

Bill Conallen

With a resounding message that creating art is ageless, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s (PCA’s) 22nd annual Celebrate Arts & Aging month-long festival in May, empowers older adults to explore their artistic talents. The program has garnered widespread acclaim for fostering lifelong creative expression.

Among the program’s newest artists is Romera Stazzi, who visits the Marconi Senior Center and is a South Philadelphia resident, aged 94. Despite his advanced years, Stazzi embraced his newfound passion for art with unwavering enthusiasm. He had never imagined that he would submit his art for display before and expressed his joy at discovering his creative side late in life.

“Art has given me a sense of purpose and joy in my golden years. I may be 94, but I feel like a young artist discovering the world a new and forging new connections in the process,” Stazzi remarked, highlighting the program’s ability to ignite creativity and community at any stage of life for older Philadelphians. “It has truly taught me that it is never too late to roll up your sleeves and put your imagination on display.”

His latest work, “Ode to the English Cottage,” is a stunning painting that captures the essence of a classic English architecture. The painting (pictured at the top of the page) features a rustic two-story, eclectic-style house, with colorful flowers and foliage adorning the front yard.

“Art is something that I have had the joy of sharing with my family, friends and everyone at the Marconi Center as a means of communicating my passions with others,” Stazzi said. “As someone who believes in keeping active and engaged every day, my art is a terrific outlet for me to express my artistic side with a community of inspiring older adults who I may not have otherwise ever crossed paths with.”

Macdonald’s submission, “Twisting Monotype,” (pictured below) uses an artistic method where a unique print is made by applying paint or printing ink to a flat sheet of metal, glass or plastic. The painted image is transferred to paper either by manually rubbing or using a press.

In recognition of Older Americans Month in May, Celebrate Arts & Aging showcases exhibits of artwork created by older adults. Creating art is an ageless activity that enhances the quality of life for older adults by providing an outlet for self-expression, stress reduction and relaxation. PCA’s long-time commitment to arts-based programming is supported by research, which has shown that artistic activities can boost cognitive functioning, reduce loneliness and social isolation, and promote overall well-being.

“We believe that age should never limit one’s ability to express themselves creatively,” said Najja R. Orr, PCA president and CEO. “The arts have the power to enrich lives and foster a sense of dignity and belonging – at any age.”

Art is ageless

This year’s Celebrate Arts & Aging festival is a hybrid event, offering opportunities for in-person connection and instant access to a larger audience online. The full collection of original artwork created by older adults is now available for view at Celebrate Arts & Aging also features three in-person exhibits of selected artwork on display for public viewing, weekdays in May, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the following locations:

Celebraye Arts & Aging!
  • Parkway Central Library, First Floor, West Gallery, 1901 Vine St. | Artists’ reception: Wednesday, May 8 at 1 p.m.
  • South Philadelphia Older Adult Center, 1430 East Passyunk Ave. | Artists’ reception: Thursday, May 23 at 4 p.m.
  • Center on the Hill, 8855 Germantown Ave., behind the Presbyterian Church | Artists’ reception: Thursday, May 30 at 4 p.m.

PCA remains committed to promoting the importance of arts engagement among older Philadelphians and challenging societal stereotypes about aging. Through initiatives, like Celebrate Arts & Aging, older adults are encouraged to embrace their creativity and continue their journey of self-discovery without limits.

PCA’s 2024 Celebrate Arts & Aging is sponsored by PECO, Always Best Care Senior Services, and Independence Blue Cross. For more information about the Celebrate Arts & Aging program and other upcoming events, visit PCA’s website at

This year’s signature artwork is “Under the Boardwalk” by Philip Cohn. Philip Cohn is a World War II veteran and centenarian who has been painting since he was 19.
Categories: Arts & Crafts Milestones eNews News about PCA


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