Village news

‘Musical Pen Pals’ Plays the Right Note

January 4, 2022 | From the Chicago Tribune: “From February through May, the Music Institute of Chicago paired 25 music students, age 6 to 18, with adults age 65 and over. Every other week, the pairs met to share music and conversation. Victor Ribadeneyra, director of community engagement for the Music Institute, credits the school’s President and CEO Mark George with coming up with the concept for this program. “We have an initiative at Music Institute of Chicago called Music as Service,” Ribadeneyra explained. “The goal is to serve anyone who doesn’t have access to music.” He said that means playing music for seniors who are isolated, at soup kitchens and at homeless shelters, among other locations. “The older adults were selected through a group called Senior Connections, which is part of Chicago Methodist Senior Services. Then we got a grant from the RRF Foundation for Aging that allowed us to expand the program.” That grant made it possible for the music institute to partner with five social service agencies to locate seniors for the program: Highland Park Senior Center, North Shore Senior Center in Northfield, Senior Connections in Evanston, The Village Chicago in Lincoln Park and Westminster Place in Evanston.” Click here to read more.

Where Is the Affordable Housing for Older Adults? A Thought Leaders Panel

December 8, 2021 | Last week, The Village Chicago hosted a Thought Leaders Panel on the topic of affordable housing. The housing crisis impacts individuals and families across the income spectrum. A panel of experts discussed strategies that can remove the barriers to finding a home in a livable, engaged community and how we can all help.

Panelists included: Earl L. Chase, Executive Director and VP of Heartland Housing; Gail Schechter, Executive Director of H.O.M.E.; Britta Larson, Senior Services Director at the Center on Halsted; and Donald Bell, Housing Justice Field Organizer at Jane Addams Senior Caucus. The discussion is moderated by Callie Alton, Director of Membership & Engagement for The Village Chicago. Click below to view the recording of this live event, OR copy and paste this link to share with friends, families, and colleagues who wish to learn more about this important topic:

To learn more about the panelists and resources on affordable housing, click here to view a supplementary guide.

The Village Chicago Has Support for Family Caregivers

October 20, 2021 | November is National Family Caregivers Month and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. While supporting caregivers and individuals with memory care and brain health needs are part of the Village Chicago’s mission year-round, throughout November The Village Chicago will present a series of free events via Zoom featuring leading experts with new insights and information on family care-giving.
Village CEO Darcy Evon says, “The role of the family caregiver has never been more essential or more in demand. In addition to spouses and siblings, a new “sandwich generation” of Millennials and Gen X need all the help they can get managing children, work, and aging parents. The Village Chicago stands ready to help with events such as these and our ever-expanding support services for family caregivers.” CLICK HERE to read the full press release.

Tom Kuczmarski, Town Hall Apartments and Ashton Applewhite Selected as The Village Chicago’s 2021 Trailblazer Award Recipients

August 2, 2021 | The Village Chicago is excited to announce the recipients of the 2021 Trailblazer Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement and extraordinary leadership in changing the narrative on aging. The awards will be presented September 21 at our annual benefit: “It’s the New Roaring ’20s!”

Trailblazers are individuals, organizations and authors who shatter stereotypes about aging and show that the decades of life after 50 are vital, engaging, productive and fulfilling.

Board President Karen Terry noted, “We are living in a time when working together toward common goals has taken on existential importance. What’s at stake now is our city, our country, our planet. Through their work, these Trailblazers have demonstrated the immense benefits of a fully age-integrated, inclusive society where everyone’s strengths are appreciated, respected, and utilized.” CLICK HERE to learn more about our Trailblazer Award recipients!

From left: A portrait of Tom Kuczmarski, an image of Town Hall Apartments from the street, a portrait of Ashton Applewhite From left: Tom Kuczmarski, Town Hall Apartments and Ashton Applewhite (image of Ashton Applewhite courtesy of Adrian Buckmaster)

Chicagoland Villages Collaborative Launch Aging Brain & Body Series

April 22, 2021 | Chicagoland Villages are working together to provide quarterly seminars that educate, bring awareness, and highlight the exceptional work at the leading dementia research centers being done related to brain and body health. The purpose of this series is to provide our community with information, interventions, techniques and tools that support us all at various levels of mental and physical health and wellness. Participating Villages include Chicago Hyde Park Village, South Loop Village, Skyline Village Chicago, and The Village Chicago.

The first event launched the series on April 15, 2021 with Connecting Through Communication for Families and Friends of Persons with Dementia, featuring Dr. Angela Roberts. In this talk, Dr.  Roberts covers how cognitive changes affect conversation and social communication; the importance of communication as a form of connecting with persons who have cognitive impairment/dementia; and strategies for creating and maintaining connections through engaging activities and effective/meaningful conversations with persons who have dementia.

See below to view the recording OR copy and paste this link to share with friends, families, and colleagues who wish to learn more about this important topic:

Future of Work Hosts Dr. Rao Kotamarthi on Mitigating Climate Change

March 17, 2021 | Whether you missed the live event on March 10, or want to share it with others, please enjoy this recording of Mitigating Climate Change and Its Impact on the Future of Work, featuring guest speaker Dr. Rao Kotamarthi! Dr. Kotamarthi – Chief Scientist & Department Head for Argonne National Laboratory’s Atmospheric Science and Climate Research Group – has nearly 30 years of experience in climate research. He is Principal Investigator for projects ranging from climate modeling to wind energy for the Department of Energy’s Environmental Research Office. He led teams of climate scientists who analyzed the climate change impacts on Department of Defense installations and assessed the climate change vulnerabilities of lifeline infrastructure systems — transportation, power, water/wastewater, and telecommunications. He authored the soon to be published book, Downscaling Techniques for High Resolution Climate Projections – From Global Change to Local Impacts, published by Cambridge University Press, UK. In his presentation recorded below, Dr. Rao Kotamarthi discusses how innovations and President Biden’s plan should mitigate climate change and impact the future of work. He also shares what jobs these initiatives might create and/or eliminate, how future jobs may change and what we as individuals can do to help. Click the image below to view the recording OR copy and paste the link to share with friends, families, and colleagues who wish to learn more about this important topic:   Mitigating Climate Change and Its Impact on the Future of Work Featuring Dr. Rao Kotamarthi from The Village Chicago on Vimeo.

Our 2020 Annual Report is Here!

March 8, 2021 | The Village Chicago 2020 Annual Report (click here to view the PDF) features our successes and underscores our comprehensive response to the pandemic. Some of the highlights include our new brain health and memory loss program, expanded opportunities for social connection to reduce isolation and loneliness, and increasing diversity, inclusion and equity in our community. We also recognize our broad community of donors, partners, collaborators, members, family and friends who helped the Village have a remarkable year. Please enjoy the report, and if you would like to help older adults and join our efforts, you can donate here.

The 2020 Village Annual Report
Designed by friend of the Village, Kathy Krick (2021)

Welcome Our Newest Ageless Innovators!

February 24, 2021 | Congrats to Village members David Baker, Michele Baldwin, and David Hiller for being part of the newest cohort of Ageless Innovators, Chicago’s first multigenerational co-mentoring program established in partnership with Chicago Innovation. Thanks to the generous support of the RRF Foundation for Aging, we are able to offer the newest cohort of co-mentors a Village membership. Please join us in welcoming this amazing group of Ageless Innovators to our community (see below for the full list). (more…)

Rick Stevens on Artificial Intelligence

December 9, 2020 | Whether you missed the live event on November 9, or want to share it with others, please enjoy this recording of our Future of Work event featuring Rick Stevens. Rick Stevens is the Associate Laboratory Director of the Computing, Environment and Life Sciences Directorate at Argonne National Laboratory and a professor at the University of Chicago. His research spans high-performance computing, to the building of innovative tools and techniques for biological science and infectious disease research, to advances in deep learning to accelerate cancer and COVID-19 research. At Argonne, he leads the AI for Science initiative to launch Argonne’s first Exascale computer, Aurora 21, which will pursue some of the farthest-reaching science and engineering breakthroughs ever achieved with supercomputing. Click the embedded video OR copy and paste the link below to share with friends, families, and colleagues who wish to learn more about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it is impacting the world:   Future of Work Presents AI with Rick Stevens, Co-hosted by Ageless Innovators from The Village Chicago on Vimeo.

The Village Chicago Announces 2020 Trailblazer Awards

September 9, 2020 | The Village Chicago will recognize outstanding contributions and extraordinary leadership in changing the narrative on aging with its annual Trailblazer Awards, to be presented Sept. 22 at The Village Chicago’s virtual 2020 benefit: ​Zooming Ahead—No Stopping Us Now! The awards celebrate the work of individuals and organizations that are reframing how we think and talk about the decades of life after age 50—a period that can be vital, engaged, productive and healthy, in contrast to the stereotype of aging. With more than 11,000 Americans turning 50 each day, it is vital to understand and leverage the potential of a fully age-integrated, inclusive society where everyone’s strengths are appreciated, respected, and utilized. The 2020 Village Chicago Trailblazer Award winners are physician and author Louise Aronson​,​ ​community leader ​Ruth Ann​ ​Watkins​, and ​Next Avenue​, public media’s national journalism service focused on older adults. Click here to read the full press release.

The Village Chicago Launches Major Program for Brain Health and Memory Loss

June 24, 2020 | A generous two-year grant from an anonymous donor has been awarded to The Village Chicago for a comprehensive Brain Health and Memory Loss program. The program represents a significant expansion of the Village’s Health and Wellness Initiative which addresses social isolation, community engagement, and navigating the complexities of health transitions for people over 50. Click here to read the full press release.

The Village Chicago: Calling All Members

April 6, 2020 | From Classic Chicago Magazine: “The coronavirus crisis is proving that The Village concept really works and really serves people. Our members, committees, and staff are all coming up with creative, potent ways of staying connected and helping one another. If there was doubt in anyone’s mind that the sense of belonging to one another matters, something like this totally erases that doubt.” —Karen Terry, Board President, The Village Chicago.   At this time of deep isolation and loneliness, sometimes all you need is a phone call. What if you multiplied that by 500? And kept each one fresh and full of feeling. The Village accepted that challenge and met it with aplomb.” Click here to read the full article.

Cubii and The Village Chicago Work Together to Bring In-Home Exercise to Seniors

March 25, 2020 | The Village Chicago has teamed up with Cubii (Fitness Cubed), the maker of the Cubii Jr compact seated elliptical, to enable Village members to stay active without leaving their homes. The Village Chicago is a member-to-member network of friendship, engagement, and services for Chicagoans who are over 50. The Village has taken on a critical role in helping its members stay connected, positive, and active as public health worries have forced Chicago residents to remain at home. Cubii’s ellipticals help users stay active and gain mobility through low-impact exercise without changing their routines or even leaving the couch—a feature that makes their products safe and convenient for Village members. Click here to read the full press release.

The Village Chicago and Artis Senior Living Announce New Care Partners Support Group

March 6, 2020 | Caring for a spouse, family member or friend with memory loss is a demanding task. The Village Chicago—the city’s premiere social and educational network for people over 50, and Artis Senior Living—which specializes in compassionate, individualized care, have teamed up to offer a ten-week support group led by veteran facilitator Bruce Hunt, who is himself a care partner for his wife. The series will be based on Dr. Edward Shaw’s best-selling guide, The Dementia Care Partner’s Workbook.

The Care Partners Support Group will host a free information session on Wednesday, March 11, from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM at The Village Chicago Office (2502 N Clark St). The ten-week program will be held each Wednesday beginning on March 25th. Participant cost is $50 for the series and includes a copy of The Dementia Care Partner’s Workbook; the cost for individuals who have the book is $25.

Can Co-Mentoring Reduce Ageism in a Multigenerational Workforce?

November 8, 2019 | From “Ageless Innovators is Chicago’s first intergenerational co-mentoring program. It was created by Chicago Innovation, a community of entrepreneurs and business professionals, and The Village Chicago, a community of older adults who are often retired, but remain active locally. The Retirement Research Foundation helps fund the program.

To date, 25 co-mentoring pairs have formed. Avery Stone Fish, the program’s manager, says the goal is to double that number next year and keep Ageless Innovators going as long as possible.” Click here to read the full article.

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