PMMA® celebrates signature Art is Ageless® program with visit from Kansas Governor Laura Kelly
Wichita, Kan. – It’s been 42 years since the Art is Ageless® program first began as a fundraiser and it’s not only going strong, it’s proving that art and creativity cannot be stifled despite challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.
PMMA (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America®) celebrated the 42nd anniversary of its signature program on April 19, 2022 with a visit from Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, and state and local dignitaries, as well as PMMA staff who were also celebrating the 73rd anniversary of Founder’s Day.
“Today we’re not only here to honor our residents who are at the core of Art is Ageless, but also our staff who annually recommit to serve seniors throughout our system,” said Bruce Shogren, president and CEO of PMMA.
Art is Ageless showcases the artistry of PMMA residents and other area seniors by entering their original pieces in an exhibit and competition. Winning pieces are then compiled into the Art is Ageless calendar which raises funds for PMMA’s Good Samaritan Program, that provides funding to assist residents who outlive their resources through no fault of their own.
“I’m really glad to be here to see first hand the excellent work that’s being done,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “I’m very impressed by the artists. There’s no way, even after I’m retired, that I can do this,” she joked.
Governor Kelly met with three previous winning artists of the Art is Ageless program, Mark Ward, Skip Kreibach, and Marie Robinson who displayed their original pieces during the event.
“I think the thing I like most about art is to be able to please other people with it, and to experience their emotions,” said Kreibach who displayed his painting titled Lamp and Tea Kettle, featured in the 2020 calendar.
“I know that these last couple of years have been challenging for everybody but particularly older folks,” said Governor Kelly. “Programs like Art is Ageless is a tailor-made way for people to stay connected, to create, to share, to capture memories, to reduce stress.”
Governor Kelly also addressed other challenges faced by senior living communities, including staffing shortages. “We recognize the critical services our direct care workers provide and we want to build a sustainable model to recruit, retain and reward them,” she said.
To celebrate Founder’s Day, PMMA staff signed promise boards recommitting to PMMA’s mission to “provide quality senior services guided by Christian values.”
Also, in attendance for today’s celebrations were Kansas Treasurer Lynn Rogers, State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, State Representative Gail Finney, Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacey Cruse, architect Charles McAfee, and other local dignitaries.