Taking Aging by Storm

April 10, 2017

Chair Yoga class at Art of Aging 2016

Celebrate aging at the Institute of Gerontology’s 18th Art of Aging Successfully Conference. Keynote Andrew Humphrey, weathercaster for WDIV-4 news, kicks-off the day-long event with a call to “storm through aging” with vigor and purpose. Older adults have the time and experience to serve as role models, he said, and build a safe, nurturing community that all ages can enjoy.

The Art of Aging Successfully conference sets itself apart from typical senior fairs. Workshops are interactive and creativity is king. A hot, sit-down lunch is served to encourage friendship and discussion. “Our conference is completely organized and run by older adult volunteers,” said Donna MacDonald, director of outreach for the Institute of Gerontology. “It reflects what they want to see: positive, creative aging

Handmade bags, Art of Aging 2016

that empowers. Other groups talk about what is lost as we age. We celebrate all that is found when we finally have enough time to look.”

The event is sold out with more than 400 older adults registered and 52 displaying art work or writings. The day is an energetic blend of gallery time to survey the art and a choice of two out of nine unique workshops. Workshops include “Rightsize your Life,” “Spiffy Devices,” “Life Writing,” and “Snap to It Fitness.” Types of creative expression include jewelry, paintings, wood work, photography and quilting. 

Doug and Janet Whitaker from Dearborn have been involved with the conference for more than a decade. They are members of the committee that organizes Art of Aging and find it an effective antidote to “doom-and-gloom” news that often surrounds aging. “We always learn something,” Janet said. “It’s a happy and friendly event. It emphasizes the best parts of growing older.”

The conference is held April 27, from 9 am – 1:30 pm in Detroit’s Fellowship         Chapel, 7707 W. Outer Drive.  Brochure


Woodwork display, Art of Aging 2016

The Institute of Gerontology researches aging, educates students in gerontology, and presents programs on aging issues relevant to professionals, caregivers and older adults in the community ( The Institute is part of the Division of Research at Wayne State University, one of the nation’s preeminent public research institutions in an urban setting. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit