Proving the notion that whether it’s cheese or the human spirit, there is a fine art to aging.
More than 10,000 people gathered in sunny and sultry Miami, Florida to celebrate AARP’s Life@50+ National Event on May 14 – 16. The destination, as vibrant as the attendees, drew AARP members, both new and old, from around the country. The event combined education, entertainment, networking, and just plain fun.
AARP and the Miami Convention Center hosted a plethora of brands, businesses, speakers, and performers from around the country, eager to reach one of the world’s most involved and interesting demographics – well-seasoned consumers aged 50 and up.
Proving the notion that whether it’s cheese or the human spirit, there is a fine art to aging. @AARPevents #Lifeat50 http://ow.ly/NBLiH
There was plenty of great fun at the Cabot booth, meeting conference-goers and sampling The World’s Best Cheddar. After all, attending a conference as vast as this one can be hungry work.
Cabot’s expanded participation at the event reinforced the idea that aging well is an art form. The farm families who own Cabot, along with their partners at Create the Good, participated in this celebration of life after 50 by creating Cabot’s Art of Aging stage for a full 3-day program of inspiring performances, presentations, and audience participation demonstrations.
Partnering with The National Center for Creative Aging and The NAMM Foundation, Cabot’s Art of Aging programming involved audience members in storytelling, music, and dance, as well as practical guidance on social media strategies for parents and grandparents.
Each performer or speaker brought a unique approach to the art of aging. Storyteller Thelma Ruffin Thomas, from ESTA – Elders Share the Arts – demonstrated how personal stories can transform memory into art. Thelma’s ability to create pictures with words and preserve personal history encouraged her audience to do the same with their own stories.
Singer-Songwriter Cathy DeWitt is a certified Artist Trainer for the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA). Cathy believes that “the arts are not just a luxury, but are absolutely necessary to express the inexpressible, to give voice to the voiceless, to illuminate the inner landscape and soundscape beyond what we merely see with our eyes and hear with our ears.” Her performances on the Cabot stage encouraged the audience to participate by writing and singing along with her.
Nationally recognized, nutrition consultant, author and speaker Georgia Kostas asked her audience the compelling question: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” In her presentation she explored health and nutrition issues specific to people 50 and older, helping them make choices that will allow them to take charge of their nutritional needs in all the decades of their lives.
As a member of Cabot’s social media team and an expert on the use of social media, both for personal and professional applications, Candace Karu knows the power and pitfalls of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Her presentation: Families Connecting in the Digital World helped audience members navigate the often rough waters of the social media world.
Music took to the Cabot Art of Aging stage many times throughout the conference. From New Horizons Music and its founder, Dr. Roy Ernst, three different bands from around Florida performed and encouraged audience members to do so too. New Horizons is based on the idea that everyone can and should invite music into their lives. Dr Ernst explained the many benefits of playing an instrument, whether you are a beginner or are picking up from where you left off in high school band!
The non-profit National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) provided instruments for a rollicking good time in both the Drum Circle and the Ukulele Circle, where members with and without musical skills were able to unleash their inner performer and play along with the experts. The smiles were non-stop and the circles made some beautiful music.
Did you know that learning the Argentine Tango has benefits far beyond dance? The Argentine Tango Society presented a series of demonstrations of Argentine Tango dancing as well as Tango lessons for all who cared to try this dance with a rich history and proven health benefits, especially as we age. Here are just a few:
- Tango is good for cardiovascular health, as well as mobility, balance, stride length and core strength.
- Tango encourages social interaction
- Tango induces a state of flow and spirituality.
- Tango improves specific cognitive skills.
- Tango provides an avenue for learning new skills.
In addition to the performances, instruction, and demonstrations, visitors to the Art of Aging stage learned about a tool tailor-made for those who give their time to make their communities better. Cabot created Reward Volunteers, a free, web-based program that allows volunteers track the time they spend volunteering, making both volunteers and the organizations they serve eligible for prizes and cash awards.
If we are lucky enough to age, it’s important to master the Art of Aging, becoming our best, truest, and most authentic selves. With the help of these inspiring presenters on the Cabot Art of Aging stage, it got a little easier – and a lot more fun – at the AARP Life@50+ Conference.
Candace Karu reports on all there is to discover and love about food and farming as well as communicating Cabot’s mission to support community, volunteerism, and sustainability. Whether online, on air, or in person, her job is to amplify the passion and commitment of the 1200 farm families who own Cabot. When Candace is not representing Cabot, she lives, cooks, and works out in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.