As pioneers in participatory art and the creative arts and aging movement, we challenge the status quo and seek innovative ways to enrich the lives of participants and create vibrant communities. Our research-based, award winning arts programs actively engage older adults through the artistic expression of dance, music, and story participation led by professional artists.
This enthusiastic dancer, musician, puppeteer, storyteller and theater artist is long associated with Ethnic Dance Theater and Heart of the Beast Theater in Minneapolis. He was an environmental educator on Pete Seeger’s Hudson River Sloop Clearwater in Beacon, NY; was music director at St. Elizabeth Seton School, Minneapolis; taught dance at the Twin Cities Waldorf School, and grade 5-12 social studies in Minneapolis Public Schools. He taught creative arts to children on the Red Lake Nation, and conversational English through music and improvisation as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Graz, Austria. He is a participant in the Creative Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis.
In 2001, Maria developed The Dancing Heart™, a nationally recognized, evidence-based program which engages older adults of all abilities in weekly, interactive arts participation and health education. It was featured in the 2012 PBS documentary, Arts & the Mind, and is recognized as a model arts involvement program by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), and winner of awards for program innovation by the American Public Health Association, American Society on Aging, and others.
Romeo is recognized for his affability, and capacity to receive pats, scratches and rubs.
He was born in 1975 in Detroit, Michigan to musicians and music scholars Donald and Faye Washington. His musical career began at the age of five with his first performances at the Detroit jazz festival. As a young performer he also played at jazz festivals in Chicago, Alabama, and Connecticut.
After first moving to Minneapolis at the age of thirteen, Kevin went on to New York City in 1996 to study jazz at the New School for Social Research. During his stay in New York he taught rhythm section fundamentals at the Harlem School of the Arts.
Mike Nichols is an award winning video producer, caregiver and disability program developer. He developed and managed the Hope Services Community Membership and Media Program in Santa Cruz, CA in 2009 and helped implement his program model in 7 cities throughout central and northern California. Mike trained with Elaine Hall, The Miracle Project founder and author of “Seven Keys to Autism,” in 2012. Soon after, he founded Miracles Santa Cruz, an all ages and all abilities theatre group comprised of children and adults with autism, college students and retired theatre professionals. Mike was recognized by the San Andreas Regional Center in San Jose, CA with a Service Above Self award in 2015 for his contributions to the community.
Vladimir Garrido-Biagetti was born in South America in the city of Arica-Chile. He is a music performer, folk dancer, and community activist living in the Twins Cities since 2005. Vladimir produces, engineers, and directs musical projects and studio recordings as well as live sound events and multicultural festivals. He was born in Arica-Chile and came to live to the United States when he was 18 years old. Folk music from the Andes Mountains and “La Nueva Canción Latinoamericana” influenced Vladimir’s first musical creations back in his home land and still shape the music he creates now days. Vladimir currently directs the Latina band Alma Andina and the mother and son singing duet Ina-Yukka. He is also a folk dancer from the group Chile Sin Fronteras, sound technician at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, and Teaching Artist at Kairos Alive!
Board of Directors
Gary Oftedahl, M.D., Board Chair, Consultant/Chief Knowledge Officer, Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (Ret.)
Maria Genné, Founder, Director, Kairos Alive!
Brenna Galvin, Attorney, Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, PA
Joan Semmer, President, Semmer Group
Leni de Mik, PhD, Consultant/Retired Psychologist
National Advisory Board
Stuart Kandell, Ph.D., Consultant/Founder, Stagebridge Theater, San Francisco
Rick Moody, Editor/Consultant, Human Values in Aging Newsletter
David O’Fallon, President and CEO, Minnesota Humanities Center
Susan Perlstein, Founder Emeritus of the National Center for Creative Aging, Washington, D.C. and Elders Share the Arts, NYC
Kathy Sykes, Senior Advisor, Environmental Protection Agency Aging Initiative
Peter Whitehouse, M.D., Professor of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University