Otterbein Granville senior living community hosted two Denison students summer interns to help create programming for the residents at this senior life community. Each year, two Otterbein Granville internships are split into two six-week programs, centered on fine arts. Interns are expected to create activities and programming around the arts as a stimulus to the community.

Intern Kt Amrine ’24, has had experience with organizing and performing as an English creative writing major and a music composition minor. She works as the editor and chief for the Denison literary magazine, Exile, and plays violin for the Denison Orchestra. During their time at Otterbein Granville, they focused their attention on music and writing, providing workshops and concerts for the residents.

“I did weekly poetry workshops on Fridays where I either provided prompts for residents to write and workshop pieces or led discussions and readings about poetry that attendees enjoyed,” Amrine elaborated. “I also held impromptu violin concerts where I would play my violin in the lobby, especially during mealtimes.”

Lily Thomas’ 24, a studio art major and art department Step Up mentor group organizer, provided another artistic outlook for the residents. During their internship, they provided opportunities for arts and crafts, introducing different hands-on activities, such as painting and calligraphy.

“I tried to do a mix of getting the residents involved in art… they liked to do things that were applicable to everyday life,” said Thomas.

Thomas was drawn to this internship for its unrestricted access for program planning and execution. She has experienced similar activity planning through her Step Up group involvement, and was intrigued by the ability to create artistic opportunities that were autonomous projects.

Amrine was similarly interested, following music faculty Zachery Meier’s encouragement, and found that this was a “unique opportunity to create my own fine art enrichment program for older adults, a demographic I hadn’t had a lot of experience with.”

Some challenges came with the job description. Amrine candidly stated that “I definitely experienced a learning curve figuring out how to advertise my events.”

Even though Thomas also found a learning curve with tailoring events for the residents, as her job was new and all the supplies had yet to be purchased, she said that “It was very rewarding to work with the same people over and over again, because I tended to have returners to events… just watching them get excited about their work at the end and encouraging them.”

October 27, 2022