ORANGE, NJ - Orange based nonprofit, Arts Unbound Inc. has received a Newark “ArtStart” grant to collaborate with the Jonathan Rose Companies to lead 30 Newark seniors through a personal history art project over 10 weeks starting in September 2018. Fifteen seniors will be residents of Grace West Manor in Central Ward, and the other 15 will be residents of St. Mary’s Villa in West Ward. Jonathan Rose Companies is integral in coordinating with Arts Unbound to recruit and meet with residents to promote the project to encourage participation.

Participatory arts programs like this project have proven positive impacts on seniors’ emotional well-being, level of social interaction and self-confidence. Project participants will gain specific skills, confidence from that learning, and social connection from the group setting and shared experience.

Participants will learn elements of art and design to create intricate collages reflecting their own personal history. The works along, with accompanying writings by the seniors will be exhibited at the senior residences for viewing and discussion by other seniors, their families, caregivers and community members. The workshops will be led by renowned collage artist, photographer and performer, Mansa K. Mussa.

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Arts Unbound has conducted this personal history project before at the PineRidge senior residence in Montclair. Due to the success of the personal history project at PineRidge, Arts Unbound felt it important to offer it again to another group of underserved seniors facing social isolation, decreased self-worth and confidence, and lack of stimulation. Arts Unbound plans to address each of these challenges through the art-making process.  

This project will serve 30 senior (over age 62) residents of Newark, all residents of low-income senior residences with income less than 50% of area median income (the income limit for these residences is less than $33,000 for one person, $37,700 for two).

About Arts Unbound:

Arts Unbound is dedicated to the artistic achievement of people living with disabilities and to the continuing artistic enrichment of seniors. We provide visual arts education and professional development to help emerging artists compete on the retail market. By promoting the work of artists with disabilities and seniors, we celebrate their art-making and by doing so challenge the stigma associated with disabilities and aging.

About Jonathan Rose Companies LLC

Jonathan Rose Companies, Inc. is a seasoned real estate investment, development and project management firm whose mission is to create Communities of Opportunity. The firm is nationally recognized for its ability to achieve visionary goals through practical, duplicable strategies. The firm acquires, develops, and acts as a consultant to assist not for profits with transit-oriented, green, mixed-income residential, innovative office, civic, education and health serving projects. Jonathan Rose Companies has developed or acquired more than $2.5 billion of real estate projects from offices in New York, Connecticut, Colorado, California and New Mexico. For more information, visit www.rosecompanies.com.