Kendal Senior Living Community at Granville opened in April 2005, one mile west of the Village of Granville and Denison University. This not-for-profit housing center “provides a unique option to older adults who seek a place of community and collaboration,” according to its website, and that sense of community is bolstered by its Artist-in-Residence program: For the past four years, the center has hosted a student over the summer to connect with the seniors and provide an artistic outlet.

Larry Murdock, a Denison Registrar Emeritus and passionate weaver at Kendal, explained that the chosen Artist-in-Residence is able to pursue whatever medium he desires.

“Each artist in residence has been different and he or she is allowed to take whatever direction their artistry allows them to go,” he said. “A budget is provided for the artist in residence to bring in other artists to contribute to the summer program and artistic vision.”

This artist then connects with the seniors at Kendal, creating personal activities (concerts, demonstrations, lectures) that allow both the student and the seniors to benefit from the experience.

“The 2019 artists in residence contributed much of their time in one-on-one activities with residents who have not been as active as the mainstream independent residents. The [senior] residents enjoy both the programming but also the youthful energy and vitality. It is a very intelligent community with many educators and other professionals,” he said.

Vail Series Director Michael Morris Sr. mirrored that the collaboration between Denison and Kendal is a symbiotic one, saying that the experience of the seniors combined with the eagerness of the Artist-in-Residence offers an intergenerational experience that cannot be replicated.

“The students and Kendal community members, in fact, all of us, benefit from intergenerational experiences like the ones that this program offers. And from a career development standpoint for students, this gives the student a powerful resume builder. They can point to their experience designing and executing a series of events, to the ability to work cooperatively with the Kendal mentoring committee that oversees this program, and demonstrate the ability to form working relationships,” he said.

Alumni Teddy Reedy ‘21 was a member of the American Roots band who applied to be the summer 2021 Artist-in-Residence and performed many duties during his time at Kendal.

How did you learn about the Kendal Artist-in-Residence program? What made you apply?

I applied for the Artist in Residence position solely because of my senior recital. To elaborate, my senior recital, which consisted of original music and student art, caught the attention of Marla Krak, Fine Arts Community Engagement and Vail Series Assistant, and the Director of The Vail Series, Michael Morris. They approached me after seeing my concert, asking if I would be interested in applying for this role at Kendal. So, I went ahead and applied, which was one of the best decisions of my life!

What did the position entail?

At Kendal, I worked three different jobs at the community: Artist in Residence, part-time Wait Staff, and third shift maintenance worker. Staying specific to the Artist-in-Residence position, my roles consisted of playing my guitar each meal in the dining room for the residents, preparing demonstrations for the residents, preparing concerts for the residents, and participating in meals and community events. Another important note, the program offered me housing and two meals a day which was AMAZING. This means I got to live and eat with other residents of the Kendal community.

What was your favorite part of the residency program? How did it benefit you, and how do you feel the seniors benefitted from you?

My favorite part of the residency program was playing in the dining room. This became the foundation for my occupation, because I got to know a large number of residents through playing for them, I was able to practice my playing skills, which helped me for the concerts and demos, and I got to overhear residents speaking, which helped me shape my programs accordingly. Working at Kendal benefitted me to a point that cannot be put into words, but for simplicity, it helped me learn how to be CONFIDENT with my music skills. I feel that the residents benefitted from my presence because I offered them nightly and daily music, a variety of concerts and music demos, and, simply, I offered them a young spirit!

Has this position shaped future music/job plans at all? What are you up to now, as a Denison alumnus?

This experience GREATLY shaped my future goals. First, I have decided, through working at Kendal, that I would love to work in the hospitality industry. This ranges from retirement communities to hotels. I am currently working at the Renaissance Hotel, and plan on furthering my career in the hotel industry. As far as music goes, I hope to play in the hotels that I work for, and I am hoping to record my second album that I wrote while at Kendal!

Kendal at Granville thanked Reedy in a Facebook post.

“A BIG thank you goes out to Teddy Reedy, our Artist-in-Residence this year, for all of his contributions to the community during his stay. Teddy provided many musical events for the residents and staff. He also helped work as a Waitstaff and Maintenance Team member. Thank you, Teddy, for everything you have done this year, and we wish you nothing but success in the future!”

October 27, 2021