Thanks for making inaugural Creative Age Festival a success | Letter

May 19, 2016

Editor, The Beacon:

Our first annual Creative Age Festival of Edmonds, or CAFE, has received wide acclaim from attendees, including Laura Daniali in her editorial column in the May 5 edition of The Beacon. Over 280 people attended all or some of the three parts of our April 15 and 16 festival.

On April 15, Dr. Pepper Schwartz gave the keynote speech at the Edmonds Center for the Arts and was given a standing ovation at the end of her presentation titled, “Love and Intimacy in Midlife and Beyond.”

That evening a large crowd attended a lively performance by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra featuring “the composer’s composer,” Bill Holman. He directed the SRJO in many of his well-known jazz compositions.

April 16 featured 30 separate breakout classes on diverse topics, such as “Travel Skills for Savvy Adults,” “Exploring Mindfulness Practices,” “Basic Photography and Composition” and “Life Reimagined,” which was reviewed at length in The Beacon editor’s May 5 column.

The festival had an enormous amount of support from the Edmonds community, including the City of Edmonds, the Edmonds Arts Festival, Cascadia Art Museum, the Cascade Symphony Orchestra and the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Dave Earling headed a discussion on community volunteerism, and Dr. Jean Hernandez, president of Edmonds Community College, facilitated a panel on lifelong learning.

This event would have been impossible without financial support from local merchants and community organizations. We are especially grateful that so many contributed in our inaugural year.

The most important test of any event is “What did the attendees say?”

One woman commented, “I was delighted to find out that the festival was as fun and meaningful for me, as a 50 year old, as it was for a person of retirement age.”

A couple commented, “Thank you so much. It was a wonderful way to spend our weekend.”

A newly retired woman commented, “This class was so enlightening. The instructor was well informed and very funny.”

A recently widowed gentleman commented, “This class exceeded my expectations and was a truly life-altering experience.”

We are already looking forward to next year’s CAFE and pledge to make registration easier, build a powerhouse group of presenters, and make the Creative Age Festival of Edmonds an experience that you will not want to miss whether you are in your mid-40s or well into your retirement years.

Remember: STAY CAFE – Creative, Active, Fulfilled and Engaged!



Jerry Fireman,

Trish Feaster and

Dick Van Hollebeke,

Cofounders of Creative Age Festival of Edmonds




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