Innovation Fellow

Marc Freedman Portrait



Artist & Teacher, For You
Launching a creative movement of art making as gift giving between artists and elders
“Our project asks elders to engage with questions such as: What gives you joy? What are your hopes for the future? We are not trying to identify people by their disease, cognitive status, or even histories. Instead we are celebrating each elder’s dreams for the future.”

Rowena Richie is an artist, writer and teacher based in San Francisco. For the last 20 years, she has created programs for movement and self-expression with vulnerable populations.

As a City College of San Francisco faculty member, Rowena taught older people with diverse physical and cognitive abilities. In 2019, Rowena completed a year-long Atlantic Fellowship for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She earned a Global Brain Health Leaders Award to apply her creative research practices to work with dementia care partners and their loved ones living with dementia.

Rowena also is involved in a number of creative projects that promote positive aging. These include co-designing an intergenerational creative movement program based at UCSF, co-producing an Older Women Artists at Work film series, and co-developing Artists & Elders, a project of her performance-making collective For You that connects artists and elders remotely for one-on-one creative engagement.