Age, The Arts & Education: Arts Array Discussion Group
By ANGELA WAMPLER | August 26, 2008Joan Horsch, 76, has participated in the Arts Array Film Discussions for 10 years at the College for Older Adults at Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) in Abingdon.
"We have some pretty lively discussions," she admits, "so lively that we've been asked to close the
door to our classroom."
She and her husband are retired — "although a homemaker doesn't ever really retire" — and they both go to Arts Array films, but he doesn't participate in the discussion group afterwards. He does take other classes for older adults, such as digital photography.
"The film discussions are really interesting because someone else always sees something you didn't see or has an entirely different impression of what the ending means," she explains.
Participants not only talk about the action, they also discuss the making of the film — why a cinematographer uses certain techniques or what certain shots are called.
After a discussion, Horsch says she sometimes wishes she could see the film again, frequently looking for it on DVD, to see things she "missed."
She goes to all the films, even the ones she thinks she won't like. "Before the Arts Array series, this area never got these kinds of films," she says. "The series has raised the quality of everyone's film viewing. Although many are award-winning, European and Indian films are different from ours, at least our mainstream films. Their sensibilities are sometimes different. Their comedy is different. And philosophically some of them are markedly different. Foreign films don't always play to the masses."
Horsch concludes, "I like going to films, but [the discussion group] is a great learning experience."
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MEET LOCAL SENIORS who are passionate about The Arts and education.
— REBECCA HARRINGTON, 64, has been swept away in The Barter Experience: "I almost didn't go see Dracula, thinking 'how many times do I need to see that production?' But I went to the theatre and I'm so glad I did."
— CAROL BELL, 67,joins in discussions at SVHEC about women writers: "Some people mention other books. Everyone does away with news things to read and a new focus on the Appalachian region and the writers."
— ANNE ARMENTROUT, 60, loves words so Improvisation & Creative Movement is right up her alley: "The class provides exercises not only for the body, but also for the mind and imagination."
— SEAN O'SULLIVAN, 87, views the College for Older Adults as "a jewel in the mountains." He says, "It's like a social mixer, also. I've met people there that I would not have met otherwise."
— PROGRAMS for older adults available in the region.
— HISTORIC EXAMPLES: The Arts & the Brains of Older Adults
— BACK to the main story: "The Arts & the Brains of Older Adults"