do not go gently -- the power of imagination in aging

Community Engagement

“This documentary challenges the outdated notion that people who reach a certain age have nothing left to contribute. America’s seniors, like those highlighted in Do Not Go Gently, have had decades to master skills and garner accomplishments, often rendering them our best leaders and innovators. The film also emphasizes how mutually beneficial it is for seniors to continue exercising their creative force—both to the society that reaps the benefits of their creations, and to the elderly whose quality of life is maintained.”
—U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (WI).
Chairman of the Senate
Special Committee on Aging


Seeds are sprouting. Legacies Arts Project, serving older adults in the Green Bay, Wisc. area with memory impairment, is becoming a reality! This new opportunity spun off from a series of pilot training workshops presented by Arts for the Aging and the Alzheimer's Association at the launch of Go Not Go Gently. Read more.


WQED Pittsburgh and The Press Club lunched with former CEO of the AARP, Bill Novelli, September 18, 2009. They screened part of Do Not Go Gently and discussed how older adults are portrayed in the media, the changing face of AARP, and health care policies. Kick off National Healthy Aging Month. The Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, 337 Fourth Avenue, Pittsburgh.

Thanks to the Helen Bader Foundation, six stations were awarded mini-grants for community engagement around creative aging. The stations are: KNPB-Reno, WGTE-Toledo, WPBT-Miami, WQED-Pittsburgh, WSIU-Carbondale, and WVPT-Harrisonburg. These stations actively engaged older adults in their communities as they explored new experiences in the arts.

WSIU Public Broadcasting in Carbondale, Illinois and Southern Illinois Hospital Services initiated a new partnership called The Second Act. This program offered art workshops over a period of three months to older adults led by professional artists who are themselves over 50. Sessions included drawing, painting, and writing. A celebration July 25, 2009 included an art fair featuring 43 older adult artists.

Mental Health & Aging Coalition Annual Meeting, Frankfort, Kentucky, June 9, 2009 100 Fair Oaks Lane.

WPBT2, PBS station of Miami, Florida participated in Boomers & Beyond, an event held at NOVA Southeastern University. The event included a senior band group and dancing followed by a screening of Do Not Go Gently and promotion for the station's May 26 broadcast.

First Annual International Film Festival on Aging, San Francisco, Feb. 22, 2009 AMC Van Ness 14.

Media Festival of the 2008 Joint Conference of the National Council on Aging and American Society on Aging, March 28. Do Not Go Gently was honored with the American Society on Aging's 2008 National Media Award for Best Electronic Media. Community Engagement Workshop co-presented with Arts for the Aging. This session showed footage from a pilot creative aging outreach project done in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Effective uses of Do Not Go Gently for community engagement was explored.

New York Festivals Film & Video Awards, Jan. 31, 2008 Screening at the Tribeca Rooftop. Frederic Franklin accepted a Gold World Medal in Humanities for Do Not Go Gently.

Mickey Jarson Kaplan Performance Space, Cincinnati Ballet, Jan. 27, 2008 Screening with the Cincinnati MacDowell Society. Group dialogue followed moderated by the dance scholar/advisor for the film and President of the Cincinnati MacDowell Society, Janet Light.

American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C., Jan. 14, 2008 Screening for the National Coalition for Mental Health and Aging with Dr. Gene Cohen.

Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL, Jan. 19 & 20, 2008 Screening and discussion in a visionary art museum with the film's director, Melissa Godoy.

Eckerd College , St. Petersburg, Florida, Dec. 7, 2007

Evening theatrical screening of Do Not Go Gently at the National Positive Aging Conference ¨Beyond the Cutting Edge.¨ Filmmakers and outreach partners from AFTA and the National Center for Creative Aging in attendance.

Walter Cronkite, Joanna Simon, and Frederic Franklin at the National Arts Club, New York, April 12.

Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary, Alberta, Nov. 2, 2007

The Canadian premiere of Do Not Go Gently kicked off at the Canadian Association on Gerontology´s annual conference. Combined with a photography exhibit by artists from Calgary and a buffet dinner and cash bar, this energizing evening symposium was sponsored by the Kerby Centre of Excellence and PAL-Calgary.

Reeve Memorial Union Theatre, Oshkosh, Wisc., Oct. 12, 2007

Theatrical screening of Do Not Go Gently sponsored by the Winnebago County Artists for Arc at the Earth Charter Summit at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Talkback followed with Mary Bouche, Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Wisconsin and Jo Mellen, Director of NEWIST.

Brown Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky, August 26, 2007

Screening and discussion with the planning committee for the annual meeting of the Older Persons Division of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. Participants included representatives from state mental health authorities who are the contacts for older adult services in their agencies andfederal agencies.

Dr. Gene Cohen at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Milwaukee Art Museum, June 22, 2007

Presented by the Helen Bader Foundation, a film premiere and symposium on creativity and aging with filmmakers and subjects, including special guests Dr. Gene Cohen, Adekola Adedapo, Maria Antonietta, and Edith Valentine, daughter of late composer Leo Ornstein. Moderated by Anne Basting.

Anthony Hyatt and Julia Burger from Arts for the Aging lead workshops in Green Bay.

Meyer Theatre, Green Bay, Wisconsin, June 14, 2007

Arts for the Aging came to Wisconsin to train area caregivers and staff of nursing homes, senior centers and dementia centers in the use of dance, poetry, writing and music. In cooperation with the Area Agency on Aging, Alzheimer's Association of Northeastern Wisconsin, Arts Council of Northeastern Wisconsin, Senior Center of Green Bay, AARP, Green Bay Film Society and other volunteers. Event capped off by a screening of Do Not Go Gently at the Meyer Theatre. Funded by the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, Wisconsin Arts Board, Northeastern Wisconsin Arts Council, and the Helen Bader Foundation.

Mary Lee Bendolph at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Ornstein biographers Michael Broyles and Denise VonGlahn.

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., May 10, 2007

A film premiere event in collaboration with Arts for the Aging, Inc. This pre-broadcast screening was followed by a panel discussion and reception with artists, guests, and biographers from the film.

Indianapolis International Film Festival, April 29 & 30, 2007

Talkback after the screening with the filmmakers and Kathy Segrist, from the Community Center for Vital Aging.

Dr. Anne Basting leads a discussion.

Madison, Wisconsin, April 15, 2007

Do Not Go Gently at the Wisconsin Film Festival Bartell Theatre. A talkback followed with the filmmakers and Anne Basting, Director of the Center on Age and Community at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

LaGuardia Community College, April 12, 2007

To celebrate the power of imagination on the aging process, LaGuardia Community College hosted a conference on creativity and aging that featured an advance screening of Do Not Go Gently.

The event at LaGuardia was intergenerational. Dianne Kevelier-Smith, Instructor of American Sign Language with her mother, Fay Kevelier.

Minia Moszenberg with her daughter, event leader Professor Paula Nesoff.

Other activities scheduled included a meeting with the filmmakers, a panel discussion led by experts in the field and a distinguished group of artists and writers, and experiential intergenerational activities.

The panel discussion featured Susan Perlstein, National Center for Creative Aging; Judith Zangwill, Sunnyside Community Services; Melissa Godoy, filmmaker; Eileen Littig, filmmaker; Constance Maltese, artist; Ellen Stewart, author; and Khosrow Moradian, architect, artist, and teacher. Read More

Montclair Art Museum, April 11, 2007

Susan Perlstein, Eileen Littig, Frederic Franklin, Melissa Godoy and Jerry Caracciolo, Montclair Arts Council.

The Montclair Art Council’s Senior Initiative in collaboration with the Montclair Art Museum hosted a special film screening of Do Not Go Gently .

The program was introduced by Susan Perlstein, Director of the National Center for Creative Aging. A talkback with the filmmakers followed. After the Q &A, Susan Perlstein facilitated a discussion with service providers, arts, cultural and educational organizations on Community Models for Enhancing Creativity in Senior Citizens. Read More

Cincinnati Art Museum, March 3 & 4, 2007

Film premiere presented by Cincinnati World Cinema with talkback by Frederic Franklin, Cincinnati Ballet principal dancers Kristi Capps and Dmitri Trubchanov, cinematographer Mike Bizzarri, and Melissa Godoy. Resource tables represented by the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati, and CET. Read More


Community Engagement ideas for Do Not Go Gently at the National Center for Outreach


Please see the website of our national outreach partner, the National Center for Creative Aging.

Find creative aging resources in your community through the National Directory of the National Center for Creative Aging Network.

Innovative creative storytelling technique for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

Training from leaders across North America on using the arts and imagination to improve the quality of life for people with memory loss.



Official Selection Mendocino Film Festival 2007Official Selection Memphis International Film Festival 2007Official Selection Indianapolis International Film Festival 2007official Selection Wisconsin Film Festival 2007

© 2007 NEWIST/CESA 7. All rights reserved.