University of Louisville and local organizations partner with Creative Aging International to present “Creating a New Old Symposium: A Celebration of Aging” 

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University of Louisville and local organizations have partnered with Creative Aging International to present “Creating a New Old Symposium: A Celebration of Aging”

This unique 1.5 day symposium is a deep dive into contemporary aging through celebration and creative investigation. The event takes place at the Speed Art Museum and is free and open to the public. Event runs 9am-4pm on June 5, and 9am-noon on June 6, 2019.

The primary outcome of the symposium is to crowdsource and co-create Louisville’s 1st Creative Aging Festival prototype — a celebration of creativity, innovation and research on living better longer across the life span (as a vision think SXSW in Austin but for aging!). In launching, Louisville will join with Dublin, Ireland, Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA in forming an international “celebration innovation” network for cities committed to bringing together culture, community and creativity with research and science.

Who should come to the event?

The symposium is for Louisville’s residents, researchers, Metro government and businesses to celebrate the amazing answers and momentum already happening in Kentucky.  Together, we will:

  • Discuss how to influence national and international best practices;

  • Map assets and opportunities;

  • And, we will co-create Louisville’s first festival that celebrates creativity and aging well across the life span.

 Who is supporting the event?

The symposium is led by Creative Aging International, in partnership with the Center for Creative Placehealing at the University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences, Trager Institute and along with Atlantic Fellowship, Global Brain Health Institute, TimeSlips, IDEAS xLab, Health Enterprises Network, The City of Louisville Office of Performance Improvement and Innovation,  Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, Next Avenue, the Speed Art Museum, and Thrive. 

Why is the event in Louisville?

By 2050, 89 million people, 20% of the American population, will be 65 or older. Louisville is fast becoming a national thought leader for aging, environmental and cultural innovation in America: 

  • It is home to America’s largest cluster of elder and aging care businesses employing over 275,000 people and generating $80 billion in revenue. 

  • University of Louisville is home to leading research groups including the Trager Institute, Center for Creative Placehealing and Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute.

  • The unique Louisville Healthcare CEO Council leverages the strengths and assets of its members to solve important problems beyond the scope of any single member company. 

  • Louisville’s Thrive Innovation Center is a $1million dollar investment to create a meeting place for entrepreneurs, researchers, investors and aging-well organizations. 

What makes this event unique?

Aging is everyone’s business from the day we’re born. Creative Aging International specializes in “celebration as strategy” to harness research from universities, energy from entrepreneurs, creativity and community engagement as a way to spark change and collaboration.  Presenters and those attending bring expertise and knowledge from commerce, community, civic, culture, research, entrepreneurial and health sectors to consider how we all might live longer, better.

What attendees should expect?

Across 1.5 days the program stimulates understanding and innovation. Attendees are asked to:

  • Be present as an active contributor;

  • Bring their own unique perspective on the richness of existing assets already in Louisville;

  • Flex their creative muscles in exploring how assets may combine through celebration to help our city grow… and live better, longer.

The event takes place at the Speed Art Museum and is free and open to the public. Event runs 9am-4pm on June 5, and 9am-noon on June 6, 2019.

 PLEASE NOTE:  to keep the event free, teas and coffees will be available, but lunch is not provided. Food is available for purchase in The Speed Museum or nearby to suit all price points.

*Full list of speakers bios included in notes to editor.

Co-Hosted By: 

  • Dominic Campbell (Creative Aging International) is an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) and would like to thank GBHI at Trinity College Dublin and the Alzheimer’s Association for supporting his work.

  • Theo Edmonds is an Assistant Professor and founding Director of the Center for Creative Placehealing at the University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences. He co-chairs the Culture/Social Impact committee of the Louisville Health Advisory Board.

  • Trager Institute, University of Louisville

Supported by :

Atlantic Fellows

Creative Aging International

Global Brain Health Institute

Health Enterprise Network


The City of Louisville Office of Performance Improvement and Innovation

Louisville Healthcare CEO Council

Next Avenue

Speed Art Museum



Link to tickets:



9.00 - 9.30 Registration, Coffee and informal introductions.


Setting the Scene: What makes contemporary aging unique?

Symposia hosts Dominic Campbell and Theo Edmonds introduce global perspective and local context.

 10.00 – 12.00 SESSION 2 (CREATIVITY)

Awe is All Around: Aging and Innovation

MacArthur Fellow and founder of Timeslips Anne Bastings introduces the ground breaking Kentucky project “I Won’t Grow Up”. Developed across Signature Health’s residential care sites to transform the lives of residents, caregivers, directors of nursing and quality of life directors, staff, family, and community who we’ve invited to share from their experience 

12.00 - 1.00pm SESSION 3 (CURIOSITY)

Host: Josh Miller, IDEAS xLab

Aging longer is a global phenomenon, aging better a global challenge, but aging shrinks geography and solutions are always local.

What unique exceptional local innovations are emerging from the cultural area?


  • Angela Burton - Founder of Feet to the Fire Writers’ Workshops®,

  • Tony Dingman - Teaching artist, Frazier Museum

  • Shannon Karol - Director of Education, The Speed Art Museum

  • Eva Nyerges - Kentucky Refugee Ministries

1.00pm TO 2pm LUNCH.

Please note: the event is free, teas and coffees are available, but lunch is not provided.

Food is available in The Speed Museum or nearby to suit all price points.

2.00pm – 3.00pm SESSION 4 (COMMERCE & COMMUNITY)

Opportunity: Local, National, International

Aging at scale is perceived as a challenge while age related sector growth in Louisville indicates opportunity.  A panel discussion encourages attendees to reflect on and map existing opportunities in Louisville.  

Panellists include:

  • From Government: Grace Simrall and Sarah Teeters – engaged with various elder related city initiatives including Age-Friendly Louisville Plan 2019-21

  • From Research and Academic: Anna Faul and Joe D’Ambrosio of - The Trager Institute

  • From Technology and Gerontology : Dr Beth Quinn and Dr Brosky - Bellarmine University, Board of Thrive

Where does aging well at scale and how? What could inspire or apply here?

What local assets and opportunities can be built on?

Why do community and cultural connections suggest Culture, Capital, and Talent can be developed in Louisville?


To There From Here: Mapping the move for healthier longevity.

Assets, connections, and pathways, an interactive session


9.00 – 9.15

Coffee and informal introductions

9.15– 9.30

Reintroduction and Reflection (CULTURAL WELLBEING)

Hosts reopen the symposia with learnings from day one

Does cultural wellbeing indicate harmony as the ambition of a society that is aging well?

9.30 to 10.30 Session 1 (CREATING A BIGGER US)

Opportunity in Aging.  “If X then Y? What must be true to move beyond potential?”

Nat Irvin, Futurist, on creating the conditions for successfully aging better.

How can the strengths of people, process and place align and combine?

What types of translation, across the creative, scientific and entrepreneurial fields are required for effective collaboration to be delivered?

How can successful aging industry and cohesive aging communities occur at the same time?.

10.45 – 12.00 Session 2  (CELEBRATING A BIGGER US)

Opportunity in Aging; Celebration and Strategy – Joining It All Together

Dominic Campbell, Creative Aging International and Next Avenue key influencer on Aging

Why is celebration key to strategy?

Hosts bring the two days to a close with a design charrette exploring with attendees how festival platforms can be used to display, celebrate and collaborate for long lasting benefit of all.

What would you want to see?

What might success might look like?

What clear and actionable tasks are required and possible?



Anne Basting – Professor of Theatre, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Founder, CEO of TimeSlips Creative Storytelling

Anne Basting (Ph.D.) is Professor of Theatre at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Her work focuses on the potential for the arts and humanities to improve our quality of life as communities and individuals. For over 20 years, Basting has developed and researched methods for embedding the arts into long-term care, with a particular focus on people with cognitive disabilities like dementia. Basting is author of numerous articles and three books, Forget Memory: Creating better lives for people with dementia (2009) and The Stages of Age: Performing Age in Contemporary American Culture. Named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, Basting is also the recipient of a Rockefeller Fellowship, a Brookdale National Fellowship, and numerous major grants, including the MAP Fund and NEA Artworks. She is author and/or producer of nearly a dozen plays and public performances, including Slightly Bigger Women (2015) and Finding Penelope (2011), a play inspired by a year of intergenerational conversations about the myth of Penelope from Homer’s Odyssey, and professionally staged at a long term care facility. Her latest book —The Penelope Project: An Arts-based Odyssey to Change Elder-care (University of Iowa Press, 2016) co-edited with Maureen Towey and Ellie Rose — tells the story of that remarkable collaboration.


Prof Tony Brosky, PT, DHS, SCS  - Professor and Dean of the School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences, Bellamaine University

Dr. Brosky is board certified in Sports Physical Therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. His primary teaching responsibilities are in the musculoskeletal track and service-learning components of the curriculum. His clinical research interests are in the examination and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions of the lower extremity and in the development and impact of community engagement activities on students and faculty in the health professions.


Angela Burton – Founder, Feet to the Fire

Angela Burton, Founder of Feet to the Fire Writers’ Workshops®, was inspired by her father, Joe Kirtley, who left a legacy of stories, essays and poems when he died. He needed connection to the world he’d once found comfort in, a “voice” and purpose to be heard as he aged. Feet to the Fire provides meaning for many, through the act of expressive writing. It works because it’s built around the human need to belong. It’s all about PURPOSE. Burton holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has been inspiring writers for more than 25 years.


Dominic Campbell – Creative Aging International

Dominic Campbell is co-founder of Creative Aging International currently producing "Creating A New Old” events in the USA, which respond to ageing at scale by connecting the research and innovation of artists, scientists and strategists.

Previously he directed the Bealtaine Festival, the world’s first nationwide arts festival celebrating creativity and ageing, was Artistic Director of Ireland’s St Patrick’s Festival raising its global profile. He went on to mentor similar initiatives in the UK, Europe and Australia. An inaugural Atlantic Fellow for Equity and Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute, he promotes celebration as integral to transformational social strategies and was named a Next Avenue Key Influencer on Aging.


Dr Joseph d’Ambrosio – Director of Health Innovation & Sustainability, The University of Louisville Trager Institute.

Dr d’Ambrosio work with the Trager Institute at the University of Louisville includes research, community engagement, grant writing, compassion work, student supervision, philanthropy and identifying new research, business and community opportunities. Dr. D’Ambrosio also directs the innovative and sustainability efforts at the Institute and ensures that team dialogue is focused on improving meta-cognitive self-regulatory capacity so that innovative solutions are developed. He has conducted teaching activities that included a transdisciplinary focus where gerontology, mental health, medical family therapy and care coordination formed a part of the curriculum housed within the Institute. He has provided seminar/workshop training in mental health for medical and dental students as requested and has been the lead supervisor and small group facilitator to students doing placements and internships at the Institute.

Dr. D’Ambrosio has also performed clinical services such as leading the behavioral health grant mental health team for patient care, as well as care of the team and performing community services that include leading and executing outreach efforts, developing, managing and actively participating in strategic community outreach plans in the Institute’s Kentucky Coalition for a Health Kentucky. He has worked with University, community and business leaders to develop transdisciplinary research and innovative teams.


Tony Dingman – Project Specialist and Teaching artist, Frazier Museum

Tony is a Project Specialist and Teaching Artist at the Frazier Museum.  He holds a BA in theatre from Northern Kentucky University.  He was a Co- Artistic Director of LePetomane Theatre Ensemble for 10 years and Co-Artistic Director of Think Tank Theatre.  Presently he is working towards an MFA in playwriting at Spalding University.  He has been telling stories with elders at Nazareth Home in Louisville for two years. 



Theodore Edmonds - Director of the Center for Creative Placehealing at the University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences and co-founder of IDEAS xLAB. 

Born and raised in the Appalachian mountain town of Jackson, Kentucky -- same community that is the focus of NY Times Best-seller, Hillbilly Elegy -- Theo is an artist, innovator and culture evangelist who was named one of "50 People Changing the Face of the South" by Southern Living Magazine. He is a faculty member of the University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Science where he leads the Center for Creative Placehealing – a 21st Century entrepreneurship program at the intersection of public health and the creative industries. His research is focused on using cultural analytics to measure and predict innovation capacity while introducing an entrepreneurial model that moves systems beyond diversity toward full inclusion.

Theo guides the next-gen entrepreneurship program for the Derby Diversity & Business Summit, serves as the founding Vice-Chair of Civitas, Louisville’s new LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce and co-chairs the Louisville Health Advisory Board's Cultural/Social Impact Committee. He is the co-founder of IDEAS xLab, an arts-based nonprofit focused on civic innovation, activism and health, and was co-leader for Louisville's successful 2016 bid to be named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winner.


Dr Anna Faul – Executive Director, The University of Louisville Trager Institute.

Dr. Faul's research agenda focuses on five critical needs in the field of aging and chronic disease management:

·         The high prevalence and disproportionate impact of diabetes and cancer on marginalized people in our society;

·         The lack of health self-management and prevention programs that address cultural influences and the influences of the complex systems in which people function on people’s health;

·         The need for sophisticated multilevel explanatory, methodologies in social work and health research to analyze pathways to effective health behavior;

·         The need for social work researchers and practitioners to help fill the workforce gap for our aging society; and

·         The need for reforming long-term care.


Prof Nat Irvin - Assistant Dean of Thought Leadership and Civic Engagement, University of Louisville College of Business. 

Author, innovator, futurist, teacher, composer and former radio and television commentator, Nat Irvin, II, serves as Assistant Dean of Thought Leadership and Civic Engagement, and Woodrow M. Strickler Chair, Professor of Management Practice, University of Louisville, College of Business. He teaches graduate courses in the future of management, leadership, and team dynamics.

Irvin has engaged the leadership and management teams of several groups and organizations, including Fortune 100 companies in strategic conversations focused on the significant social, political, economic, technological and environmental trends and events that will drive the mid-to-long term future.

He serves as futurist for the National Black MBA Association and the Executive Leadership Council (ELC). He most recently authored “The Chase for 2042” the concluding chapter for “Celebrating a Legacy, Empowering the Future,” The National Black MBA Association, 2015. He is the recipient of the H. Naylor Fitzhugh Award of Relevance, awarded by National Black MBA, which recognizes exceptional contributions and a demonstrated involvement in various businesses, educational and professional organizations within the African American community. In 2016, he received the Faculty Service Award, College of Business, University of Louisville. Irvin is a former member of the Board of Directors of the World Future Society, and chaired the Annual Conference, Washington, DC, 2008.

From 1996-2007, Irvin led Future Focus 2020, a think tank dedicated to providing leadership in bringing futurist thinking to urban communities. In 2000, Future Focus 2020 became a center of the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where Dr. Irvin served as Executive Professor of Future Studies and as Assistant Dean for MBA Student Development.

Dr. Irvin is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Media Arts. An accomplished composer, he also holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Music Composition from the University of North Texas and is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management, Harvard University Graduate School of Education.


Shannon Karol - Director of Education, The Speed Art Museum

Shannon Karol is the Director of the Education at the Speed Art Museum, a position she has held since June 2018. In this role, Shannon oversees a range of gallery, studio, and community outreach programs that provide opportunities for guests to “Grow Up at the Speed.” Prior to her appointment as Director of Education, Shannon served as the Teaching and Engagement Manager at the Speed from 2015-2018. She has also held positions at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Dallas Museum of Art, and has a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Iowa.

Angie McAllister -  Director of Cultural Transformation at Signature Healthcare Hometown

Angie has served Elders living in long term care communities since 1995 when she entered the industry as a nursing assistant. During the past 23 years she has worked in many roles including most currently as Director of Cultural Transformation at Signature HealthCare-Hometown.  Over the past five years, Angie has worked with a team of individuals to create and sustain organizational change to improve the well-being of Elders living within the organization.


Josh Miller – Co-Founder and CEO, IDEAS xLab

Josh Miller is the co-founder and CEO of IDEAS xLab an artist-led organization leveraging the power of community creativity and culture to transform people’s lives in support of a more healthy, just, and hopeful society.

He has a background in entrepreneurship, art and business administration, and editorial production, and explores the world through photography (and a lot of running), documenting his journey through In addition to his outdoor explorations, Josh celebrates the brilliance and strength of marginalized people including LGBTQ+ and Black communities through photography and collaborative storytelling. 

Josh was selected for Louisville Business First's Forty under 40 in 2018, and is the Co-Chair of the Louisville Health Advisory Board's Communications Committee, a TEDx speaker, a founding board member of Civitas, a regional LGBTQ chamber of commerce based in Louisville, and an advisor for the Derby Diversity & Business Summit.


Eva Nyerges – Services to Elder Refugees Coordinator, Kentucky Refugee Ministries


Dr Beth Quinn- Instructor, Associate Director of Clinical Education, Bellarmine University

Dr Quinn is board certified as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. She is the Associate Director of Education and involved in the Service Learning Clinic. Professional interests include clinical learning experiences, geriatrics and acute care.


Grace Simrall - Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology for Louisville Metro Government

Grace Simrall was named Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology for Louisville Metro Government in August 2016. She is responsible for advising the Mayor and leading the city’s Smart City initiative, transforming the resident experience of digital government, and facilitating co-creation of breakthrough civic innovations. Under her leadership, the city has received national recognition for their innovation work including 2017 Center for Digital Government - Most Innovative City, 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge Champion City, and 2018 Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge awardee. Prior to this role, Simrall served as Executive Director of Innovation at Care Innovations, a joint venture between Intel and GE Healthcare, where she was responsible for the company’s innovation and analytics initiatives. In 2010, she founded iGlass Analytics, a startup focused on delivering data management and analytics solutions in the healthcare technology space.


Sarah Teeters – Louisville Metro Office for Aging and Disabled Citizens

Sarah Teeters began her career with the Office for Aging & Disabled Citizens for Louisville Metro Government in February 2016. In her role, Sarah focuses on providing leadership to and participating in community activities, advocating for rights, policies and funding that can enhance the lives and independence of older adults and individuals with disabilities. 

Sarah actively participates community initiatives, including TRIAD, AARP’s Age Friendly City, the Mayor’s ADA Roundtable, KIPDA’s Aging and Disability Advisory Council, Regional Mobility Council, Mental Health and Aging Coalition, Americorp’s Senior Advisory Board, and the local Elder Abuse Coordinating Committee to sustain and improve services to citizens and/or their care partners.

Sarah graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in Health & Human performance. She took special interest in Aging Studies when she became a family caregiver for her grandfather who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease while she was attending school. Her entire career this far has been dedicated to serving older adults and persons with both cognitive and physical disabilities to improve their quality of life.

National headliner announced for Derby Diversity & Business Summit’s new Derby event focusing on next generation entrepreneurs!

Arlan Fast Company Cover (high res).jpg

Derby Diversity & Business Summit and University of Louisville School of Public Health’s Center for Creative Placehealing, are collaborating on ways to develop venture capital/private equity access for next generation entrepreneurs, especially GenZ, who are people of color, women, disabled and/or LGBT from the Ohio River Valley region.

The event is being hosted by Tawana Bain (Derby Diversity & Business Summit Founder) and Theo Edmonds. Curated with support from Story Louisville. The event headliner will be ARLAN HAMILTON, founder of Backstage Capital.

Sponsored by Pure Path Capital, whose CFO Michael Markiewicz is a member of the LGBT community, the event will focus at the intersection of health sciences and the creative industries. The event will take place on May 1, 2019 from 3p-6p at the UofL Health Sciences Campus.

More exciting announcements about this inclusive approach to entrepreneurship in the Ohio River Valley are forthcoming.

To learn more why this event matters and how Arlan/Backstage are making change happen, continue reading below.

In a 2017 Medium article Zebras Fix What Unicorns Break - authors Jennifer, Mara, Astrid & Aniyia wrote:

The current technology and venture capital structure is broken. It rewards quantity over quality, consumption over creation, quick exits over sustainable growth, and shareholder profit over shared prosperity. It chases after “unicorn” companies bent on “disruption” rather than supporting businesses that repair, cultivate, and connect.

A group of Zebras is called a dazzle. That’s why we started thinking of the event as a dazzle lab.

Jump to Fast Company, 03.08.19:

“When venture firm Backstage Capital announced last fall that it would be launching a four-city accelerator program for underrepresented founders, more than 1,800 applications poured in. Today, after six months of vetting, Backstage is naming the 25 startups selected to participate in the accelerator’s inaugural cohort. In keeping with Backstage’s mission, each one is led by at least one woman, person of color, or LGBTQ entrepreneur.”

Backstage was founded by Arlan Hamilton.

Arlan is a remarkable entrepreneur who built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT.

Started in 2015, Backstage has now invested nearly $5M into 100 startups led by underestimated founders and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Quartz. Arlan made history by making the cover of Fast Company as the first Black woman who is not an entertainer or athlete. She and Backstage Studio were also the subjects of Season 7 of the popular Gimlet Media podcast, StartUp.

Arlan entered the venture investing world from an unconventional path. Before launching Backstage Capital, she authored the groundbreaking blog "Your Daily Lesbian Moment", which she grew to a monthly readership of 50,000 fans worldwide. She has written for AOL, SuicideGirls, and Curve Magazine, and founded and published the internationally distributed indie magazine Interlude. Arlan was also a live music production professional, having served as a tour coordinator to numerous international artists including Toni Braxton, and Jason Derulo.

In 2018, Arlan co-founded, along with Investment Partner Christie Pitts, Backstage Studio, a new venture studio designed to build products, services, and initiatives that serve the mission of eliminating underrepresentation in tech by empowering founders and their teams to succeed. Also in 2018, Backstage announced the launch of

Backstage Accelerator, a 3-month program designed to give founders the support they need to reach their next critical milestone. Backstage is a fully-remote team that has quickly scaled to 20 employees working together with an ever-expanding roster of world-class mentors and partners.

More announcements about will be coming before April 1, 2019!

Learn more about the vision for Derby Diversity & Business Summit from its founder, Tawana Bain.

💯Kentucky! Culture is shaping health innovation and the world is noticing.

💯Kentucky! Culture is shaping health innovation and the world is noticing.

Culture – in the physical and digital places where we work, live, learn and play – impacts our health. Creative Placehealing is an evolutionary approach to population health research and development, that centers innovation on creativity and culture as the foundations for building positive change. Get the latest insights into the Center for Creative Placehealing at the University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences.