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PHOTOGRAPHY & STORYTELLING

Photographs tell the stories of our lives and the moments that matter to us. By sharing them, we share pieces of ourselves and create a collective memory. These two elements– art & storytelling– create opportunities for meaningful intergenerational connections.

 

Participant Outcomes

Participant Outcomes:

  • Reflect on life and lessons

  • Side-by-side learning around a shared passion

  • Creative engagement

Program Success

Photography & Storytelling Impact: 2018-2023

5+
TOTAL PROGRAMS- ONLINE/HYBRID/INPERSON
Nonprofits for social impact: Connecting generations to drive positive change and address societal challenges.
Older adults report genuinely connecting with young adults.
Government agencies for community development: Enhancing community resilience through intergenerational initiatives.
160+
Intergenerational participants
Loneliness and social isolation prevention: Combating isolation through intergenerational programs and shared passions.

Timeline

2018

First Photography & Memory Program with 18-pairs University of Denver students and Kavod Senior Life residents.

  • They answer the question: "What is your most treasured photograph?"

  • Pairs take formal portraits

explore the power of photography and storytelling to unite hearts and minds across generations

2019

 Photography & Storytelling Program pairs University of Denver students with older adults to share treasured photographs. They successfully pivot to an online class format and keep people connected through COVID.

Loneliness and social isolation prevention: Combating isolation through intergenerational programs and shared passions.

2021

Program design shifts to a photography class. Participants learn side-by-side how to take photographs.

Decreasing ageism: Challenging stereotypes and promoting intergenerational understanding.

2023

University of Denver students and older adults take to the botanical gardens to learn how to take nature photography!

Social clubs and groups for seniors

“I felt a bit anxious/nervous and reluctant about being able to make a

connection. After today’s session, I feel so absolutely incorrect! The conversation was so at ease

and flowed incredibly -- we had more connections than I can count. I feel like she is a wiser

version of myself. I cannot wait to keep in touch and continue to learn from her."

- College Participant

Take a Closer Look

Bob & Tiffany had no idea that when they signed up for a photography class at the University of Denver that they would be forming a meaningful friendship with a total stranger. Their friendship sustained them both through the highs and lows of life- the COVID-19 pandemic, tragic loss, graduation, and moves. They continue to build on their friendship today. This is the power of intergenerational connections.

Frozen Moments: Where Photography and Memory Meet was directed and edited by University of Denver (DU) students: Norah Schroder, Kabe Aberle, and Anna Marlow. The spectacular film is in and of itself a work of art, evocative in its interviews and the way it communicates a medium that is so intimate. If you’ve been curious about participating in one of DU & the Denver Public Library’s renditions of their Photography & Storytelling class, this will give you great insight into what you can expect to experience.

Program Designers / Facilitators 

Photography & Storytelling is an ever-evolving intergenerational program. It was originally created by the facilitators below, representing the University of Denver and the Denver Public Library. The facilitators worked closely together to design, recruit, facilitate, evaluate, and iterate on 5+ versions of the intergenerational program.

 

LinkAGES provides funding, evaluation, and educational content creation. We are proud to have been involved along the way and to bear witness to this impactful program.

Continuing education and lifelong learning programs

Roddy MacInnes (he/him)

Photography Professor,

University of Denver

Roddy has been teaching photography at the University of Denver since 2001. He considers himself to be an autobiographical photographer, and in that capacity, has been documenting his life through photography for over five decades. He received an MFA in photography from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a BA in photography from Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh. His latest community engaged photography projects were inspired by an album of photographs he discovered in an antiques mall in Denver, Colorado. A North Dakota woman made the photographs in 1917. Through these projects Roddy explores issues surrounding the relationships between family photography and the construction of identity.

Technology and digital skills training for seniors

Anne Walker (she/her)

Dept. of Communications, 

University of Denver

Dr. Anne Walker’s professional and research interests include the overlap of art, communication, and storytelling across differences. Her dissertation study at the University of Denver’s department of Communication Studies focused on the grief experiences of older women during the pandemic through an arts-based method of narrative and photography. As a graduate teaching instructor at DU, she taught various communication courses focused on communication skills such as listening, reflecting on other people’s experiences, and collaborating across differences through dialogue. She designed and taught an intergenerational communication course that connected college students with older adults in the community through photography and storytelling. 

Gardening and nature-related activities

Amy Delpo (she/her)

Manager of Older Adult Services, Denver Public Library

Amy holds a law degree and a masters degree in library science. She has been a librarian for over 12 years and oversees all aspects of library service for people aged 50+ in the Denver metro area. She has spearheaded a positive aging approach that views age as a gift and a time of great growth and importance. At the same time, she recognizes the hard realities of aging, which can include Alzheimer's/dementia, loss and grief, declining health, and caregiving. Amy provides information, resources, services, and programs to this age group, and she supports other organizations in their efforts. For her innovative approach to older adult services, Amy has received a Metro Vision Award from the Denver Regional Council of Government and a Movers & Shakers award from Library Journal.

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