Cohort 
2018

Rowena Richie, MFA

Artist

Through evidence-based activism, advocacy and outreach we can promote aging preparedness and a dementia-inclusive society.

Current Work

Rowena is a San Francisco-based freelance dance theater-maker, performer, writer, movement educator, and certified senior fitness instructor.

Personal Hero

Caregivers and those living with dementia

Words of Strength

Curiosity and creativity

Vision

Through evidence-based activism, advocacy and outreach we can promote aging preparedness and a dementia-inclusive society. If we can educate more people about aging and dementia stigma we can break down stereotypes that lead to a diminishment of dignity.

Strategy

Rowena is co-developing a customized creative engagement practice to support dementia caregivers, and allow those living with dementia to be celebrated and experienced as complex, important, and vibrant individuals beyond the stigma of dementia.

Impact

An interdisciplinary, international cohort of Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health helped her develop her voice as an advocate for the use of art and creative practices to counter the isolation that is endemic in the dementia community.

Motivation

Through her work as a movement educator and performance maker, Rowena wants to reduce the stigma associated with dementia, and create perceptions, play, and practices that illuminate and celebrate what older people and people with dementia can teach us.

Education & Experience

Rowena Richie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Michigan and California State University, Long Beach. Rowena received her Masters’ of Fine Arts in Creative Inquiry from New College of California. For the last 20 years Rowena has been creating unique programs for movement and self-expression with some of the most vulnerable members of the San Francisco older adult population.

Awards & Honors

For You is a performance-making collective founded in 2015 by Erika Chong Shuch, Ryan Tacata and Rowena Richie. We bring strangers together for shared, intimate encounters and devise performance gifts based on and for specific individuals. Our work has been supported by commissions from Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF) and The Momentary (AR) and grants from national programs such as Creative Capital and New England Center for the Arts. Our new Artist and Elder project has garnered national attention (in the form of grants and commissions) as an innovative and crucial response to the global pandemic.

University of Michigan and California State University, Long Beach.
Dance
Bachelor of Fine Arts
New College of California
Creative Inquiry
Master of Fine Arts

Podcasts

Cover art for KQED's radio program, Forum.

KQED's Forum

‘Artists & Elders’ Project Inspires Art and Friendship Across Generations

November 17, 2021