Presser Arts Center Chosen to Participate in the Catalyzing Creative Aging Program

20 Arts Organizations Selected to Participate in the Catalyzing Creative Aging Program

Twenty nonprofit arts education organizations have been selected to participate in the National Guild for Community Arts Education’s Catalyzing Creative Aging Program. This multi-phase initiative, provided in partnership with Lifetime Arts, is designed to support the establishment of new, professionally led arts education programs for older adults that increase social engagement and mastery of one or more art forms. Research shows that professionally led, arts education for older adults fosters positive aging.

Program participants include:

“Now in its second year, the Catalyzing Creative Aging Program is proving to be a highly successful vehicle for broadening access to lifelong learning in the arts,” said Jonathan Herman, executive director of the National Guild. “By building our members’ capacity to launch these programs, we are inspiring community organizations to serve more older adults and to develop innovative new models of service. We are proud to partner with Lifetime Arts, a nationally recognized leader in designing and disseminating model creative aging programs for active older adults, to catalyze this growth and innovation across the nation."

Through this program Lifetime Arts will provide training and technical assistance for eight months via a series of workshops, webinars, and video consultations designed to increase each organization’s capacity to serve older adults through skill-based, participatory arts programs. Ten of the participating organizations will be selected — through a separate competitive application process — to receive seed grants of up to $7,000 from the National Guild to implement new creative aging programs beginning in fall 2019.

“We are proud to again partner with the National Guild to enhance its members’ capacity to develop, evaluate, and sustain successful creative aging programs and share what we learn with the field,” said Maura O’Malley, co-founder and executive director of Lifetime Arts. “Training this second cohort will undoubtedly expand the ways in which arts organizations can attract, engage, and serve older adults throughout the country.”

The goals of the Catalyzing Creative Aging Program are to:

  • Increase capacity to serve older adults through skill-based, participatory programs

  • Provide models of high quality creative aging programs to the field

  • Raise public awareness about the benefits of creative aging programs.

The 2018-19 Catalyzing Creative Aging Program is made possible with support from Aroha Philanthropies and the NAMM Foundation.

Photography Competition 2016

Entry Sizes: 8x8 inches or 8x10 inches, mounted and matted with white matte. Please mark each entry with name and category in addition to including the entry form. Entry Form available in the right hand column, download

Categories: Sports/Action, Animals, Architecture, Black & White, Floral, Abstract/Manipulations, Macro, Landscape, Portrait, Youth(up to High School, any category)

Any processing must be limited to that which does not alter the truth of the photographic statement. No elements may be moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged, or combined. No manipulation or modification is permitted (Abstract/Manipulations category exempt) except resizing, cropping, selective lightening or darkening, and restoration of the original color of the scene. ____$10.00 entry fee per photo enclosed ____$7.00 entry fee for youth category ____$7.00 early entry (prior to September 15th)

Entries can be mailed to: Presser Performing Arts Center 900 S. Jefferson Mexico, MO 65265 - or - Dropped off during business hours at: - Mexico Ledger - Mexico Chamber of Commerce - Presser Performing Arts Center

Each entry must include the original digital image (.jpeg or .tiff) and should be submitted with the print entry on a clearly labeled USB drive or disk (CD/DVD) or emailed to All photos may be picked up after the Gallery Showing unless otherwise arranged. If the photos remain at PPAC/Chamber longer than 30 days following the gallery, we will assume that we may keep them and use them in the facility. * all photographers must be Missouri residents ** no professional photographers

DEADLINE October 14, 5:00 pm

Gallery Show Saturday October 29, 2:00-3:00. Richardson Hall Lobby


2016 Poetry Winners

Co-sponsored by Mexico Ledger and Presser Performing Arts Center  

1st Place Winner Marilyn Schleuter

“Don’t Cry for Me”

Cry because you’ll miss me. Cry because memories make it hard. Cry because I’ll no longer be there. But   . . . don't cry for me.

I no longer cry from the pain. I no longer cry from the unfairness. I no longer cry for what I would leave behind. My tears are now of rejoicing and awe . . .

For I am sitting at the feet of the Master. So you see its okay to cry, but . . . Don’t cry for me.

2nd place Winner

Cheri Erdel

Down the highway the van was zooming, And up ahead it was LOOMING – The giant rainbow ribboned hot air balloon. We couldn’t get there any too soon.

World of Fun – Oceans of Fun And, Oh, the fun had just begun! Off on another fun-filled trip, And poor old Dad was losing his zip.

Let’s see, there’s pay for the parking – don’t lose the stub. Buy all the tickets – “How many have come?” Park the van two miles away – Then listen to Mom complain, complain! Everyone ready? Load up the gear. Then fie it to food ole mother dear. They’re sunglasses, sandwiches stroller and sunscreen, Cameras, Kleenex, caps and creams.

Come on Mom, there’s so much to see!!!

Smear on the sunscreen-roll up your sleeves! We’ll all have a sunburn before we leave! There’s so much to do, it’s hard to choose. In every direction there is something to amuse.

Callie, she chose the merry-go-round As we watched it go up and down. Ben went for the bumper cars. We knew before long, he’d be seein’stars.

Peter, who’d been dreaming of candy and treats, Soon had forgotten about good things to eat! For his eyes were now riveted to the high twisting track! We knew in a moment there’d be no turning back!

Would it be possible? Could it be true??? That he’d be roller coaster qualified before the day was through? In order to earn this qualification, He must ride the “Express” without hesitation!

But that isn’t all that had to be done. There’d be lots more excitement, lots more fun! Hang on to your britches, hold on to your hat! You’re sure to have fun, I’m certain of that!

There are two other roller coasters that’ll scare you to death! So close your eyes and hold your breath. Jittering, Jumping, jerking, jolting . . . Rip-rollin’ cars, forever bolting.

It takes two brave rides on each of the three To be roller coaster qualified, if you know what I mean.

Two brave rides with your hands in the air . . . I bet you can’t do it – won’t take the dare. You’ll be screaming, sighing, shrieking, squealing. It’s not for ALL, that this is appealing.

But if you like Peter, and feel that you must, You’ll be roller coaster qualified or bite the dust!!!

3rd Place Winner

Becky Craig

“Goddess” She is a bashful lady With hair if faded fire. Reluctant to bare her full-figured glory, She Peaks, teasingly, from behind Feather boa clouds And begins her flirtatious dance. Through eons of animalia She was a silent goddess, Serene and sensual. Songs sung to her beauty Were coaxed and torn from the throats Of living creatures, Sung in wonder, fear, Love, and prayer. Her essence, her children, Are impatient beams Which spark and undulate On waving ripples In a dance of life. In smiling flashing splendor She steps forth And spreads glory On lilac-laden summer nights. The moon is a cold-hearted orb Some have said. She dances barefoot tonight.

Poetry Competition

Winners announced May 5thThe judges have had such a hard time this year!!! We are extending the time for announcing the winners, please be patient!!

Entry form for Poetry Competition located to right if you'd like to print out

National Poetry Month is APRIL! 

the Mexico Ledger and Presser Performing Arts Center


Annual Poetry Competition

Deadline April 22 5:00 pm

Winners announced May 5th

$5.00 entry fee per poem  Grand Prize - $100.00 Cash


All decisions are final.  Judging will be blind. (do not put your name on entries)  Entry fees are non-refundable.    Keep your original.  Copies will not be returned.  You may enter as many times as you like.  Each entry must include an entry fee and entry form.  All entries must be typed on light colored paper.  You must include 3 copies of each poem.

You may deiliver your entries to

The Mexico Ledger,  300 North Washington,  Mexico, Mo 65265

Payment may be check or cash.  Attach 3 copies of your poem to the entry form.  (NO NAMES on poems!)

Automatic Disqualification:  Graphic language/violent or sexual content.  Missing entry fee or identifying information.  The winnning entries will be published at and the Mexico Ledger.

entry form:

"Attached is my original work, never before published in any media.  I agree to all terms.


_________________________________print name

_________________________________address (must be a Missouri resident)


_________________________________phone number

Film Camp


July 16-20 Acting for the Camera 7p-10p 14 yrs and up all younger must audition

July 16-20 Media development and the Moving Camera

July 20 – 22 Screenwriters Workshop (film campers only)

Film Camp July 23th- August 4th   (12 days, Sat & Sun included- These are usually shoot days)

2 weeks,  9am - 4pm  times are a general idea . . . filming and editing days are longer and depending on the scenes required for shooting there may be evening shoots, 9-4 is a loose idea, this is the minimum time and there will be days that require more time.  Food is important, daily fuel is important, BRING IT!!!  Lunch and sometimes dinner.

Registration call 581-5592 or fill out the form to the right of this page 

Registration opens March 2, 2015

This camp is directed by Sam Dalton - Writer/producer/director/acting teacher

Sam Dalton is experienced in all phases of film and television creation and production on both sides of a camera. He is the founder and director of "Actors Asylum", a nationally recognized professional acting and film/video production training facility, creator, producer and host of Family Adventures and Boomer Adventures, both television travel program series, producer and host of Scrunch, an award winning nationally syndicated children's television program. Mr. Dalton has been a professional actor and teacher for many years and is the executive writer, producer and director of the Illusion Factory, an entertainment, promotion, and Public Relations Company located in Los Angeles, responsible for the on-going development of multiple entertainment programs, infomercials and commercials.

ages 14 and up sibling discounts and  Scholarships available Fill out form to the right and submit to Presser PAC 900 S Jefferson Street

Instructor: Sam Dalton  


Program Description

The art of filmmaking (including writing, cinematography, directing, and editing) is part of a business that requires hard work, dedication, and perseverance throughout one’s career, especially if one is to achieve a modicum of success. A high level degreed proficiency in the craft is necessary for high school students whose college and future career interests lie in any aspect of the entertainment business. What do you do?  Where do you go following high school? Who do you contact? What do you need to know? What is it like to attend film school?  This "hands-on" course takes a no-nonsense approach to the realities of becoming a professional filmmaker (including most careers within the discipline i.e. producer, director, AD, cinematographer, script supervisor, writer, editor, sound tech, grip), especially in Southern California.

This is a no-nonsense film making course that is designed to give high-school and college students hands on experience in the art of film making from concept to completion compacted into an intensive two-week, Monday through Sunday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm schedule. Students are expected to comport themselves as though attendance, participation, discussion, and assignments during the Pre-college Program/Film Track at Presser Performing Arts Center are part of a full-time college-level film making course, if not part of an industry-related summer job or internship. Behavioral Contracts will be signed! Students are expected to be on time, do the work, turn in the assignments, and participate in class. Students work in collaboration as a team to create and produce a short-length digital film (10-15 minutes) in length, of their own design and execution, from concept to story development to script writing to pre-production to production to post-production and distribution. Through this process, students acquire comprehensive knowledge of the duties required and gear used to produce motion pictures and television programs. Students rotate through all the typical positions that are incumbent in the process of creating their project film including writing, directing, videography/cinematography, script supervision, lighting, and sound. In addition to a screening of the completed film that is open to industry professionals as well as the general public, the completed film is submitted for consideration to several Film Festivals. 

Why Art?

Art: Ask for More
Art: Ask for More

"Art. Ask for More." is a national arts education public awareness campaign brought to you by Americans for the Arts, The Ad Council, the NAMM Foundation, and hundreds of local, state, and national official campaign partners.

  • The arts are much more than just fun "extra" activities for kids. Participation in the arts opens up children's worlds and minds, and offers them the skills they need for a bright future. And chances are, your kids are not getting enough art, in or out of school.
  • Has your 4th grader ever taken a DANCE class or learned the basics of choreography?
  • Does your 8th grader know how to play an INSTRUMENT or analyze a piece of music?
  • Has your 10th grader ever acted in a PLAY or studied the motivation of a dramatic character?
  • When was the last time your 12th grader went to a museum or talked about the origins of symbols in the SCULPTURE of various cultures?

A Little Art is Not Enough!

There's not enough art in our schools or in our children's lives. But ask almost any parent, and they'll say that arts education is very important to their child's well being. Which makes it so surprising that the arts have been allowed to virtually disappear from our children's learning experiences.

Did You Know?

  • The arts teach kids to be more tolerant and open.
  • The arts allow kids to express themselves creatively.
  • The arts promote individuality, bolster self-confidence, and improve overall academic performance.
  • The arts can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to delinquent behavior and truancy while providing an improved attitude towards school.

An impressive 89% of Americans believe that arts education is important enough to be taught in schools, but the sad truth is, your kids spend more time at their lockers than in arts classes. Read the facts on how arts education helps kids do better.

Did You Know?

Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
  • 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem

Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:

  • Attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
  • Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
  • Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
  • Perform community service more than four times as often

(Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-based Youth Organizations, Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching, Americans for the Arts Monograph, November 1998)

The facts are that art education...

  • Makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the "learning field" across socio-economic boundaries. (Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School, James S. Catterall, The UCLA Imagination Project, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA, Americans for the Arts Monograph, January 1998)
  • Has a measurable impact on youth at risk in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance among those youth engaged in after school and summer arts programs targeted toward delinquency prevention. (YouthARTS Development Project, 1996, U.S. Department of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, and Americans for the Arts)

Businesses understand that arts education...

  • Builds a school climate of high expectation, discipline, and academic rigor that attracts businesses relocating to your community.
  • Strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
  • Helps students develop a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting—skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
  • Can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to destructive behavior and another way for students to approach learning.
  • Provides another opportunity for parental, community, and business involvement with schools, including arts and humanities organizations.
  • Helps all students develop more appreciation and understanding of the world around them

Help Your Child Enjoy the Arts

At Home

  • Teach your child songs and enjoy singing them together.
  • Play different kinds of music from the radio or your own collection and encourage them to enjoy singing and dancing along with it.
  • A simple paper and pencil or crayon offers children the chance to express themselves—even a scribble is a good beginning—the important point is for them to feel encouraged and to develop the habit of writing and drawing. Their skill will improve as they naturally compare their work to other pictures and words they see around them. Drawing and writing together will help them see that you value those activities as well.
  • Have pictures and books available for them to enjoy and value. Your local library can be a terrific source of material at no cost to you.
  • Seek out high-quality children's programming that can stimulate your child's imagination and expand his/her understanding of the many different art forms that exist. Public television is available with or without paying extra for cable and offers cultural programming for adults and children. If your child sees you valuing the arts, they will too.
  • Practice photography. Buy a disposable camera for your child to practice. Talk to them about composing a photograph—what is included and what is cut out through the choice of the photographer? What are the elements of and their proportions in the photograph? Work together on creating family photo albums or other thematic collections.
  • Make videos together. Try organizing the shots ahead of time to tell a story as in filmmaking.
  • Read and write poems. Help your child feel the rhythm in poems you enjoy reading and enjoy the fun of writing together within an organized system of verse. If it is difficult to create your own rhythm, practice by borrowing the verse and rhythm structure of a poem you enjoy and make up new words to fit the poem's structure.

In Your Community

  • Most communities have arts festivals or craft fairs—even seasonal celebrations that feature music and dancing. The more opportunity children have to see the arts in action, the more ideas they will get about how they can participate and contribute.
  • Attend presentations in the arts at your local schools, colleges, and performing arts centers. Costs are free or lower than most professional venues.
  • Attend presentations at professional venues to help your child experience excellence: children's theater for younger children and adult dramas, comedies, and musicals for older children, symphonies, jazz ensembles, dance companies featuring ballet, ethnic (Irish step dancing, Spanish flamenco, American square dancing), or modern forms including jazz and tap. Museums sometimes offer musical and dramatic programming as well as their regular exhibits.
  • Singing practice and instruction through choirs can often be found at no cost through local churches and houses of worship.
  • Enroll them in classes that teach drawing, dance, musical instruments, singing, or theater skills. There are some classes that parents and children can take together. Private teachers and studios offer lessons but less-costly arts opportunities can also be found through local, YMCAs, YWCAs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Libraries, to name just a few. Contact Presser Performing Arts Center to ask for leads to community and cultural organizations that offer lessons/classes.
  • Many communities have museums where you and your child can look at art of different kinds. If you don't know of any museums, browse through an art store or gallery just so your child can enjoy seeing a variety of different artistic expression. Feel free to ask museum or store personnel to tell you about the particular works of art you are seeing. Museums often offer special events and classes at free or reduced rates.
  • Check out a book from the library introducing your child to the visual arts: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and more. Knowing what others have done in an art form can inform and inspire your child as they participate in the same activity.
  • Check out books from the library that tell stories about visual artists, dancers, actors, and musicians. This will introduce your child to the arts and help them feel like they "know" various artists.
  • Encourage your child to read both "classic" and modern books. Compare the styles: how are they similar and how are they different in terms of subject matter and style of writing.
  • Help your child understand art forms that were developed by people of your own racial or ethic heritage. Or talk about family members that had a particular talent or interest in an art form: maybe Grandpa loved to sing or Uncle John was a good storyteller. Ask them what art form they enjoy doing the most and encourage them to do it.