Partnership Spotlight: Aurora on France

On a rainy April day, teaching artist Claire O’Connor visited Aurora on France, Vibrant Senior Living and Care Center, in Edina for a clay session. Claire brought a decorated 3D flower dish project to brighten up this gloomy spring day.

These clay classes meet every other week and participants are able to create and decorate a project during each session! One of the residents has been coming to clay classes since she moved into Aurora on France. Clay classes with a Northern Clay Center teaching artist have allowed her to experience clay for the first time in her life.

Another resident, J, has enjoyed her class time, noting that Claire is funny and sincere, and makes her feel creative. During class, Claire said, “You didn’t mess it up, you just have another chance at it.” Claire’s positivity has encouraged participants to express themselves creatively with their new skills. J often takes her projects in a different direction from the initial project demonstrated, showing her desire to create and discover through clay. Claire encourages this kind of exploration and finds that there is “no hesitation from participants with projects; they are up for the challenge.”

NCC has been partnering with Aurora on France since 2018. The partnership between NCC and Aurora on France began with the active living residents, taught by Claire O’Connor, and has expanded to include another class with the memory care wing, taught by Elizabeth Coleman. The Lifelong Learning and Intergenerational Director at Ebenezer Ridges Campus in Burnsville, Ann Schrempp, recommended NCC partner with Aurora on France for clay classes and it has been a fruitful collaboration. Ebenezer Ridges Campus is a long-time partner that NCC has been bringing clay classes to since 2009. NCC staff and teaching artists look forward to seeing participants grow in their clay knowledge and creative expression at Aurora on France!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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