Senior Center Fall Term to Be Virtual Via Zoom

The fall term of the Masters Series presented by the Pasadena Senior Center will be virtual via Zoom Tuesdays, Sept. 22, to Oct. 13, from 2-4 p.m. and will be titled “The Power of Theater.”
The four sessions of the series, which embraces lifelong learning, will explore topics from adaptations and playwrights to Greek origins, socially relevant musicals and plays based on fact.
Beverly Olevin, director, playwright, teacher and award-winning novelist, will present the weekly, interactive classes, which will include scenes from plays that explore the conflicts, joys and journeys of our lives and reveal what makes us laugh, touches our hearts and helps us live richer lives.
• Sept. 22: Novels Turned Into Stage Plays — A great novel does not necessarily make a great play. They are two very different art forms. Explore examples of successful adaptations from novel to stage, including “Crime and Punishment,” “Moby Dick,” “Lord of the Flies” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
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Civil Rights Documentary at Senior Center Aug. 27

Photo courtesy Getty Images
Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Jackson Gray and Annie Devine reading a telegram at the U.S. Capitol Building in 1965 from Speaker of the House granting them permission to be seated on the House floor during the debate about the newly elected representatives from Mississippi.

An award-winning documentary “Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders” will be shown for free Thursday, Aug. 27, at 2 p.m. online via Zoom, presented by the Pasadena Senior Center as part of its Cultural Thursdays series. It chronicles the vital role played by women in the Mississippi Civil Rights movement from the point of view of the women who lived it and changed history in the face of a hostile and violent segregated society.
In Civil Rights history, national leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, John Lewis and Julian Bond rose to prominence and captured the public’s attention.
But in Mississippi, the success and power behind the movement was a grass roots base of ordinary black women whose acts of defiance and courage were able to make great headway in that state. Yet most people have never heard of Victoria Gray Adams, Unita Blackwell, Mae Bertha Carter, Annie Devine, Fannie Lou Hamer, and so many other women who saw an opportunity to emerge as activists in Mississippi’s Civil Rights movement.
Members as well as nonmembers of the Pasadena Senior Center are invited to participate. Residence in Pasadena is not required.

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Older Adulthood Should Be Embraced, Celebrated

By Sandy Greenstein
Special to The Outlook

Photo courtesy Pasadena Senior Center
Sandy Greenstein, president of the Pasadena Senior Center board, is pictured with the organization’s executive director, Akila Gibbs.

Myths, assumptions and stereotypes about older adults abound, even two decades into the 21st century: Most are disconnected from the mainstream, stuck in the past, a crotchety and feeble bunch, no longer bring value to the workplace … and the list goes on. The fact is that older Americans today in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond are leading longer, healthier lives than their parents and grandparents ever could have hoped for.
Even the terminology has changed: Terms such as “elderly” and “senior citizens” now bear the stigma of dependence and being pushed aside. These terms have been largely replaced by “older adults,” which translates to independence, experience and wisdom. Language matters.
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Local Agencies Share $50K Grant From Literary Alliance

Members of the Pasadena Literary Alliance’s Open Book Series committee include Julie Daniels (front row, from left), Teresa Payton, Liz White, Shelley Thompson and Carmie Rodriguez. Back: Katie Poole, Kathleen Waller, Peggy Gregerson, Jennifer Bigelow, Sarah Hunter, Emily Vitan and Georgia Jeffries.
Photos courtesy Pasadena Literary Alliance
Members of the Pasadena Literary Alliance’s Open Book Series committee include Julie Daniels (front row, from left), Teresa Payton, Liz White, Shelley Thompson and Carmie Rodriguez. Back: Katie Poole, Kathleen Waller, Peggy Gregerson, Jennifer Bigelow, Sarah Hunter, Emily Vitan and Georgia Jeffries.

Celebrating its mission to support literary programs, the Pasadena Literary Alliance recently announced $50,000 in grants awarded in keeping with its mission of supporting literary programs.
The group awarded one $10,000 grant each to Pasadena City College (for writers in residence and its summer creative writing academy), Pasadena Senior Center (for its Masters Series lifelong learning program), Pasadena Public Library (for its One City, One Story program), PEN America (for its Emerging Voices Fellowship stipend) and WriteGirl (for its high school student writing seminars). Continue reading “Local Agencies Share $50K Grant From Literary Alliance”

Pasadena Senior Center’s Activities Re-Energize Retirees

Akila Gibbs
Akila Gibbs, Pasadena Senior Center Executive Director

When Juliette Wheal, 83, first considered giving up her lifelong home in London to join her son and his family in Altadena, the idea of moving countries and leaving behind all she’d ever known was, in short, daunting.
But she wasn’t getting any younger, and her only son had made sunny California his permanent home for nearly 30 years already. She longed to be closer to him and her beautiful grandchildren. Although she ultimately jumped the pond, she was determined upon arrival to keep a sense of independence.
“I didn’t want to be a burden,” she recalled.
Shortly after arriving, she read about the Pasadena Senior Center and its events in one of the free local newspapers, and decided to give it a try. Continue reading “Pasadena Senior Center’s Activities Re-Energize Retirees”

After Years of Giving Back, Simmons Receives Honors

In recognition of her lifetime of charitable work through the Greater Pasadena area, longtime San Marino resident Rary Simmons will be the guest of honor at the Pasadena Senior Center’s annual Zest Gala this weekend.

Rary Simmons
Rary Simmons

“Being selected as a Zest honoree was a great honor and surprise,” Simmons said in a phone interview. “It’s hard to say no to them. They have something for everybody and they do a good job. It’s a privilege to be able to help.”
Simmons, who raised five children in San Marino, has lived in the community for 65 years, 62 of them in the same home. (“Can’t move,” she quipped. “The closets are too full. It’s too much trouble to clean them out.”) Growing up in the small, affluent community is what inspired her to give so much back, Simmons said.
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