The 2018 IG Symposium took place on Friday, September 28th, at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts. The sold out event welcomed nearly 100 IG experts to a day of great success. Andrea J. Fonte Weaver, Bridges Together’s executive director, welcomed the crowd and set the stage for the day by diving into the importance of intergenerational engagement across all domains in all communities. She focused on the Age-Integrated Community using 5 pillars as a pivotal piece to identify ways to create age-integration in a community, workplace, school, etc.
After introducing the 5-pillar model, Andrea introduced the keynote speaker, David Stevens, MCOA‘s executive director. Dave spoke to the importance of moving the IG field forward and urged the movement be recognized as necessary to continue in a society where generations can unite. He implored everyone to recognize and remember that “intergenerational programs are a vaccination against ageism and a prescription for longevity”.
Upon Dave’s closing, Joann Montepare, Director of RoseMary B. Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies and Professor of Psychology at Lasell College, announced this year’s Fran Pratt Award winners. This inaugural celebration of the Fran Pratt Award was greatly celebrated with wonderful submissions and the announcement of Barbara Johnson with the Stagebridge’s Storybridge program from Oakland, CA as the 2018 winner followed by Barbara Friedman a leader in Boston Bridge from Boston, MA and Karen Sheehan with the Bethany Community Services from Haverhill, MA.
The winning entry of the 2017 Kraemer IG Story Contest was read. People are encouraged to submit their nominations by October 31. Cash prizes will be given.
The next part of the symposium focused on a discussion group exercise where attendees in affinity groups (education, aging, IG programs, community and business) gathered to discuss their current IG environments using the 5 pillars of the Age-Integrated Community graphic.
After lunch, Bridges Together’s summer intern, Andrea “Dree” Hutter discussed some key findings of the white paper “Intergenerational Programs: The Missing Link in Today’s Aging Initiatives” which will be released to the public in the upcoming month.
The final activity of the day was a town hall-style discussion where folks clustered based on the priority they would like to focus on to continue to move this field forward. If you did not attend the event, but would like to be involved in that movement, please contact SarahATBridgesTogether.org.
Thank you to all of our attendees, presenters and sponsors for making the 2018 IG Symposium a success and we look forward to continuing the conversation and planning for the next symposium in 2019!