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Daylighter's Conference

What’s so great about ART? / Daylighters Conference 2019

The Benefits of Art on the Aging Brain

Presser Arts Center


This conference is geared toward daylighters…


Daylighter; noun | day-light-er | \`dā-līt-er\

Those in our population who are available during the "daylight" hours, looking for a vibrant relationship between creative expression and healthy aging.



Presser Arts Center is hosting a special 1day conference to explore the benefits of art on the aging brain and experience a sampling of the art classes available to daylighters on Wednesday, January 9th 2019(alternate weather date January 30th) from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Cost is $5.00 in advance / $7.00 at the door.


To open the morning, Presser Director, Lois Brace will share her experiences from the recently attended National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference on Creative Aging. Next, Presser Healing Yoga instructor, Lisa Snow, will lead the group in a sampling of her healing yoga class currently being offered at Presser. Then, speaking from first hand experience, Keynote speaker Maria Ojascastro will elaborate on the health benefits of engaging in the arts. Maria is a teaching artist for children and adults. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis, studied in Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Maria has lead workshops for other educators, medical and mental health professionals, cancer survivors, and victims of trauma for the Center for Creative Arts, the Kemper Art Museum, the Cancer Support Community and other cultural, mental health, medical, and educational institutions both regionally and nationally. She has taught individuals with developmental delays, hearing impairments, significant medical conditions, dementia and learning disabilities, as well as typically developing and gifted students.


Following the lecture, there will be 3 mini break out classes to personally experience a few of the Daylighter classes that are currently available at Presser, including pottery, music and water color. After the mini classes there will be sharing and exchanging of ideas followed by refreshments and a time to visit in the gallery. An optional tour of our beautiful facility including the rich historical background will be offered from 1-1:30p.m. Fee for attending the conference is $5.00 in advance / $7.00 at the door. Register in person M-F 9-5, or by downloading and mailing form to Presser Arts Center.



Art’s Positive Effects

Gene Cohen, MD, PhD, director of the Center on Aging, Health & Humanities at George Washington University in Washington, DC, and the first researcher to conduct a national longitudinal study on the quality of life, found that the arts have a positive effect on health and illness as we age.


Such activities offer a wide range of benefits, including the following:

            Helpings individuals relax

            Providing a sense of control

            Reducing depression and anxiety

            Assisting in socialization

            Encouraging playfulness and a sense of humor

            Improving cognition

            Offering sensory stimulation

            Fostering a stronger sense of identity

            Increasing self-esteem

            Nurturing spirituality

            Reducing boredom


Additionally, expressive art exercises constitute innovative interventions to promote self-expression and improve communication with others.  (New York Times)


Presser Arts Center chosen 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.


Daylighters Art Program / Presser Arts Center

The Daylighters art program at Presser has been designed for our population that is available during the “daylight” hours, looking for a vibrant relationship between creative expression and healthy aging.  We are developing programs that explore this and build on this understanding.  Today, we can expect thirty more years of life than past generations – years that hold tremendous, but often untapped, potential for vitality and contribution.  As we age, our capacity for creativity increases.  We seek meaning and connection.


“Our mission is to inspire, entertain and education people in the arts by providing the finest venue, productions, and programs.  We also serve as a resource and gathering place for Mexico and the surrounding communities”

Mission Statement


Contact for registration: Stephanie Kulas / Annie Wimmer Smith

Earlier Event: January 4
Offices Closed
Later Event: January 11
Offices Closed