The recording industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) announced Sept. 3 the fund has doubled the number of live MusicianFest performances they will support in senior centers throughout the US and Canada this year. The fund will invest more than $200,000 in over 1,000 events, which will be coordinated and implemented by local AFM offices.
Aligned with September’s National Senior Center Month, MusicianFest events and film, MusicianFest: Never Too Old, will promote awareness of and access to free musical performances serving vulnerable populations such as those who are homeless or have disabilities. As the older adult population grows, communities recognize they must offer creative, age-friendly activities in safe environments to help them remain active and maintain connections in their communities.
“Live music stimulates our emotions and gets people up and moving, reconnecting with joyful memories and interacting with each other,” says Dan Beck, the MPTF trustee. “The enthusiasm we experience when bringing together professional musicians with older populations has only fueled our desire to preserve and grow MusicianFest.”
The documentary, MusicianFest: Never Too Old, spotlights the experience live music creates as older adults come together at senior centers in New York City, Long Beach, and New Orleans.
Available as a free community resource on the trust’s website, the 27-minute film explores the paths that led the featured musicians to perform for older audiences. Senior center directors provide perspectives of the impact these shows have on the well-being of those they serve, and the need for quality lifestyle programming for older adults.
The film highlights how music draws seniors together who might not otherwise feel comfortable sharing their issues with others. “At least 40% of our population is homeless or semi-homeless,” says Elyse Nordholm Garcia, director of the Long Beach Senior Center in Long Beach, California. “They come here, relax, and escape into the entertainment, then we get to know what’s happening in their lives.”