Rowena Richie

Atlantic Fellow at GBHI
UCsf Memory and aging center

Home Country: USA
Field of Employment: Artist and Teacher

Rowena Richie has been creating and performing dance theater works that examine corners of the culture she lives in. Two recent projects she collaborated on are For You, a series of customized performances for audiences of twelve, intended to foster intimacy between strangers, and Dearly Gathered, an original evening length piece that explores the connection between longing and consumerism. By day she teaches exercise classes for seniors of all stripes through City College of San Francisco. Rowena’s passion is movement. Her motto: “Feel free!”

I believe we need to reframe our approach to dementia care and destigmatize those with dementia. In my artistic work I layer personal experiences with research, to question our current culture and draw fresh connections. As an Atlantic Fellow at GBHI I’m going to need to push the envelope further, not only illuminating the times we live in, but also envisioning the future. To create this vision of the future - one where aging people are thriving and dementia is fading - I hope to pick the brains of other Atlantic Fellows, as well as gather insights and ideas from GBHI faculty. I also want to develop interdisciplinary research of my own. All too often I see people trapped in assisted-living facilities; I plan to explore and advocate for innovative ‘free-range’ dementia care facilities, and to develop an inclusive, holistic, invigorating, joyful movement practice that promotes joy, soulfulness and creativity. Beyond work, I garden, hike with my family, and do yoga.

Bio: Rowena Richie received her early dance training at the Midland Community Center in Midland, Michigan, USA. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Michigan and California State University, Long Beach. She completed her Master’s degree in Creative Inquiry at New College of California. Rowena holds a Senior Fitness certification from the American Senior Fitness Association. She is a faculty member in the Older Adults Department at City College of San Francisco and a freelance dance theater artist.

Links: www.foryou.productions