Artistic Awakenings, incorporated in 2006, in collaboration with Dynamic Community Development Corporation (CDC), a 501(c) 3 corporation, operates the Dorothy Quintana Senior Arts Program for the Wynwood community’s senior population. The Wynwood neighborhood encompasses areas within two City of Miami Commission Districts: #2 (Commissioner Marc Sarnoff) and #5 (Commissioner Keon Hardemon), as well as the Miami-Dade County District #3 of Commissioner Audrey Edmonson. This neighborhood, traditionally known for having few economic resources, has witnessed a growth in the senior population within the community and in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. The gentrification of parts of the Wynwood community has not improved the lot of the area’s seniors – most of whom are low income and living on fixed incomes and assistance.
Artistic Awakenings and Dynamic CDC serve seniors through its Dorothy Quintana Senior Arts Program, located at Roberto Clemente Park. The goal of this program – named after a longtime community activist who passed at age 101 - is to provide basic arts and crafts instruction to enable seniors to discover – or rediscover – their artistic talents and abilities. The program provides seniors with an opportunity to break the monotony of their routine, their isolated lifestyles, and to become involved in a socially interactive and mentally stimulating activity. Studies have shown that seniors, who remain active in such mentally stimulating and creative activities as arts & crafts, delay or even prevent the onset of various dementias and other health issues.
In each session, the art instructor will engage the seniors in developing their potentials using various artistic materials. In addition to traditional arts and crafts materials and supplies, there will be an emphasis on recycling – utilizing bottles, jars, newspapers, boxes and other recyclable materials.
The Dorothy Quintana Senior Arts Program serves its participants a healthy lunch each Wednesday and Friday, and celebrates special occasions throughout the year. During 2013 and 2014, we have celebrated Christmas, St. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, “Sofrito” Day, and a “Derby Hat” Contest. Seeking to help the seniors remain healthy and active, we have co-sponsored (with Borinquen Medical Centers, Clear Health Alliance, and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine) a HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day and a free Community Health Fair.
Artistic Awakenings is guided by a Board of Directors who are active in the corporation, and volunteer their time to support our work, as well as by the Board of Directors and employees of Dynamic Community Development Corporation. The current art instructor is Ms. Maribel Camacho, who oversees the program on site.
A special “thank you” goes to: Borinquen Medical Centers of Miami-Dade; the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department; the office of Commissioner Keon Hardemon; and the Office of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado for their ongoing support of the program.