Local Artist Wins Award

Brooklyn Magician, Gary Dreifus, was selected by Brooklyn Arts Council, New York City Department for the Aging and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs to be an artist-in-residence with SPARC: Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide.

January - June 2012

Brooklyn Magician, Gary Dreifus was selected by Brooklyn Arts Council, New York City Department for the Aging and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs to be an artist-in-residence with SPARC: Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide.

Gary will be in residence at Surf Solomon Senior Center, located in Coney Island, teaching his course entitled: Magic for Mature Adults. The weekly workshop is a systematic approach by which students will learn to focus and accomplish specific goals by learning magic effects - simple at first and then more complex tricks as they progress - and then exploring the benefits of each.

The movements required to learn simple magic tricks help members acquire difficult physical skills while increasing motivational levels and self-esteem. People who are labeled "old" take great delight in being able to do something that most people cannot do. They can do magic, and that is a great morale booster!

Most importantly, Magic for Mature Adults is fun! Activities combine education and imagination to help people improve their abilities in planning, sequencing, organizing tasks and movements, fine motor skills, gross motor function/coordination, concentration, memory skills, communication, social behaviors, and so much more.

At the conclusion of the Magic for Mature Adults program, all students will participate in a magic performance, demonstrating the skills they have acquired. This performance will be open to the community, with local elected officials and businesses invited.

Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide (SPARC) is a community arts engagement program that places artists-in-residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. The program provides selected artists with access to workspace in senior centers and a stipend in exchange for the creation and delivery of arts programming for seniors. Participating seniors will be engaged in an art project or series of cultural programs over the course of the residency, which will also include a public program component - a series of exhibits, open houses and other cultural interactions open to the surrounding community. This initiative seeks to connect artists with seniors in senior centers and positively impact the well-being of seniors through arts-based activities.

SPARC is a collaboration among the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department for the Aging and the City's five local arts councils situated in each borough - Brooklyn Arts Council, Bronx Council on the Arts, Council on the Arts and Humanities of Staten Island, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Queens Council on the Arts. It was developed as part of Age-Friendly NYC, a citywide effort to make the City more livable for seniors, and previously ran as a successful pilot called Space for Art. The program is supported, in part, by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Gary will begin teaching magic at Surf Solomon Senior Center in two different classes: One class for beginners and one for more advanced students who have some prior knowledge of magic. The classes will begin January 10th and continue through June.

The Surf Solomon Senior Center offers an impressive array of recreational and educational activities to older adults living in and around Coney Island. Director Grace Brandi works hard to ensure that the seniors who attend Surf Solomon are able to experience days that are full of fun, companionship and exciting activities. While basic physical needs are certainly well taken care of - two hot and nutritious meals are served daily - the center has earned an excellent reputation for its diverse and stimulating programs.

These include:

· Computer Classes
· Tai Chi
· Yoga
· Dancercise
· Dance Instruction
· Ping Pong/Billiards
· Arts & Crafts and Ceramics Classes
· Painting Classes
· Sing-Alongs
· Chess Games
· Live Entertainment
· Monthly Trips
· Parties to Celebrate Special Occasions

And now MAGIC Classes!

Located at 3001 West 37th Street, corner Surf Avenue, Surf Solomon Senior Center lights up the lives of numerous senior citizens with engrossing activities and a warm, friendly atmosphere. Surf Solomon Senior Center is a project of Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, Inc. and is funded by the New York City Department for the Aging.

The program is open to ALL individuals, 60 years of age and older.

For further information, contact the Surf Solomon Senior Center at:
718 - 449 - 6363.