Centrum’s Creative Aging conference goes online

Two-day event features many speakers

Carol Kummet

Carol Kummet

PORT TOWNSEND — Back in early March, Centrum’s Creative Aging Conference — a public event at Fort Worden State Park — was one of the first to bow out due to the coronavirus.

Now the conference is back and open to a larger group of participants, as in the globe. The all-online event this Thursday and Friday is about artmaking, storytelling, love for the natural world — and ways to create a legacy for future generations.

Centrum and Seattle’s Frye Art Museum will host the set of workshops from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

“I’m excited by the diversity of speakers and their unique life experiences,” said Mary Jane Knecht, manager of creative aging programs at the Frye.

She’s come to Port Townsend many times for “Meet Me at the Movies,” a Rose Theatre program for the public, including people with memory loss.

The nonprofit Centrum foundation’s invitation to register, at Centrum.org, notes this week’s conference is for social and healthcare professionals, artists, educators and anyone else who wants to make a difference in the world.

Continuing education units are available, while admission is $75 general or $50 for Centrum donors; scholarships are available by phoning 360-385-3102, ext. 117.

Katie Schlenker

Katie Schlenker

Carol Kummet, a University of Washington Medical Center social worker, is among Friday morning’s workshop presenters. In “Leaving a Trace: Our Legacy Stories,” she and Dr. Katie Schlenker, a UW professor of medicine, will guide people through a discussion of the many things legacy can mean.

“Our presentation includes journaling prompts to get participants started,” Kummet said.

Through 20 years of hospice social work and counseling, she’s learned legacy isn’t just the material things we leave behind. It’s also the intangible stuff we give our loved ones.

It’s about “what you leave in their hearts,” Kummet said, noting family stories, especially those known only to you, and your hopes and dreams for the future.

Kummet and Schlenker join five others with their own inspirational sessions to present. They include:

Eddie Gonzalez

Eddie Gonzalez

• Eddie Gonzalez of the “On Being” project and formerly of NPR’s Storycorps, whose Thursday keynote talk is “Leaving a Mark: The Healing Art of Remembering Forward.”

Tom Ikeda

Tom Ikeda

• Tom Ikeda of Densho, an organization preserving the history of the Japanese-American incarceration, whose Thursday morning session is “Keeping Alive the Stories of a Community.”

Sonnet K. Coggins

Sonnet K. Coggins

• Merwin Conservancy Executive Director Sonnet K. Coggins, on Thursday morning, discussing “An Imagination Fully Inhabited: The Living Legacy of W.S. Merwin.”

Sarah Fetterman

Sarah Fetterman

• Seattle sculptor Sarah Fetterman, whose Thursday afternoon session is titled “Past Selves.”

Pam McClusky

Pam McClusky

• Pam McClusky, the Seattle Art Museum’s curator of African and Oceanic Art, whose Friday morning session is “Imagine Nutopia.”

The Creative Aging Conference’s two days bring together a variety of ideas and speakers, Knecht said, people with “interesting lives, based in decades of work in storytelling and spiritual care.”

Centrum.org has more about the presenters, while information about the Frye’s ongoing creative aging and art programs can be found at fryemuseum.org.


Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected].

More in Entertainment

A construction crew works on the glass face of the new Field Arts & Events Hall on Thursday near the Port Angeles waterfront. The hall is expected to be put on hold when the exterior is complete pending additional fundraising to finish the approximately $50 million project, which will include a 1,000-square-foot art gallery, 500-seat performance hall, 300-seat conference area and a coffee shop. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Glass installed on events hall in Port Angeles

Glass installed on events hall in Port Angeles A construction crew works… Continue reading

Vivian Elvis Hansen, marketing representative for the Peninsula Daily News, center, accepts a check for the Peninsula Home Fund from Jim’s Pharmacy chief financial officer Anna Shields, left, and Jim’s owner, Joe Cammick, on Tuesday in Port Angeles. The Home Fund received $885.65 as the pharmacy’s charity of the month. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Jim’s Pharmacy donates to Home Fund

Jim’s Pharmacy donates to Home Fund Vivian Elvis Hansen, marketing representative for… Continue reading

Peninsula College instructor to offer free improv workshop

A weekly improvisational theater workshop is set to begin tonight, free and… Continue reading

Clallam County public libraries have expanded curbside service hours.
North Olympic Library System to expand curbside service hours

Public libraries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam… Continue reading

Photos of the first 16 weeks of pandemic lockdown in Port Angeles  will be the topic of a lecture by photographer Amy McIntyre, executive director of the North Olympic History Center. (Amy McIntyre/ North Olympic History Center)
North Olympic History Center to present free lecture series

The North Olympic History Center, formerly the Clallam County… Continue reading

Twenty-two portraits of dogs are part of a display for the Read to Rover program. (Kim Pratt)
Portraits of dogs in Chimacum reading program on display

Artist learned to paint for the project

Haida-Tlingit artist Robert Davidson is the subject of "Haida Modern," the first selection in the year-round PTFF Pics series. Photo by Tina Schliessler
New series to feature film, interviews with directors

New series begins with ‘Haida Modern’

ronald thom
Future of oceans topic of lecture

Ronald Thom will present “What Eelgrass and Other Marine… Continue reading

Necklace over bronze sculpture is by Katie Jablonski.
Abstracts, jewelry, portraits exhibited by Port Ludlow Art League

The Port Ludlow Art League presents this month exhibits… Continue reading

Native plant webinars set

The Clallam Conservation District will host two free webinars… Continue reading

Logan Laxson and Mia Underwood move their Sequim Acrobatics rehearsals outdoors, using the Dungeness Railroad Bridge as a stage for a Dec. 19 photo shoot. Submitted photo
Holiday performance on pause

After delays, Sequim Acrobatics team looks to perform in January

Vocal Masters instructor Elaine Gardner-Morales, also a bass player, has created an online Peninsula College course for singers to explore jazz, country and pop music.   (Philip D. Lusk/For Peninsula Daily News)
Vocalists still singing online despite it all

Vocal Masters Series class welcomes students, guest coaches