Legacies: Youth/Elder Story Art Project


Legacies is a home town, national model and an inter-generational project that honors the important role Elders hold in our culture by celebrating them through Youth-generated story art works, culminating in an invaluable community legacy to be exhibited throughout a local region.


It is the great task of Elders in any society to pass on the fruits of their cumulated life lessons, embedded within their life stories, to the younger generation. Therefore a mature society always honors its Elders, by establising a way for them to share their wisdom. Without this rite of passage we continue to stumble again and again over ordinary obstacles life presents to us, as well as waste our foreparents' hard-earned knowing without even noticing we are doing so.

Story Art Readings and Exhibits are designed especially to bring Youth and Elders together to pass on the Elders' life stories through story art works. By doing this, not only can we prevent losing our Elders' accumulated wisdom, a social tragedy, we can actually provide a way to preserve and invest our older citizen's rich life experiences in our Youth's budding creativity.


Legacies: The Encinitas Youth/Elder Story Art Project brought together 23 Youth and 26 Elders in a series of meetings and workshops in Encinitas. In the fall of 2004, Youth between the ages of 12 and 20 interviewed Elders in the their homes. These interviews were transcribed and the Youth also collected old photos and documents from their partners. Using these material the Youth met in four Saturday book art workshops in which they each created a collage art book of their Elder's life stories. These art works were then the basis of celebratory local and regional community Readings and Exhibits. The first Reading and Exhibit was held at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center on Sunday, May 22, 2005.