Create/Change: AZ is now at attendance capacity. We are no longer accepting new registrants. 

If you would like to be added to a waiting list, please fill out the form located on the Create/Change: AZ page. Should additional space become available, those on the list will be offered an opportunity to register in the order in which their names were submitted.

Create/Change is a 3-day intensive institute developed by Anne Basting and the TimeSlips team, which focuses on transforming care for elders through creative engagement. Since 2012 the institute has been held every other year in Milwaukee; Create/Change: AZ brings this exciting learning opportunity to Arizona!


Create/Change: AZ will feature presentations and workshops led by leaders in the field of creative aging, including two MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipients.

Anne Basting, is the Founder and CEO of TimeSlips, 2016 MacArthur Fellow, and author. Basting is a theater artist and educator who developed an alternative concept of aging, one that focuses on its possibilities as well as its challenges and views sustained emotional connections as critical to our well-being as we age. Her breakthrough project, TimeSlips, uses the art of improvisation to engage older adults with cognitive impairment in imagining stories, poems, and other forms of creative expression in response to inspiring cues. Basting’s perspective on aging and the power of stories is changing the perceptions of caregivers, family members, and policy makers around the artistic and creative capabilities of older adults, regardless of age or cognitive status. Anne Basting received a B.A. from Colorado College (1987), an M.A. (1990) from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. (1995) from the University of Minnesota. She is currently a professor of theater in the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin
at Milwaukee

Melita Belgrave, Ph.D. MT-BC is an associate professor of music therapy at ASU. She has presented her research on older adults and intergenerational programming at regional, national, and international conferences. Prior to her appointment at Arizona State University, Belgrave taught in the music therapy program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. While at ASU, Belgrave currently teaches undergraduate and graduate music therapy courses, serves as the advisor for the music therapy student organization, and has been appointed as the administrator of the Arizona State University Music Therapy Clinic.

Kirsten M. Jacobs, MSW, began working in aging services more than fifteen years ago. She credits her four amazing grandparents for her passion for the field. Her undergraduate thesis project, which was dedicated to sharing art with older adults, set the stage for an ongoing interest in holistic wellbeing. Kirsten has held various positions in senior living and long-term care management. Currently, she serves as Associate Director, Dementia and Wellness Education, at LeadingAge (, a national aging services organization. Kirsten earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in the field of Arts Administration with a minor in Studio Art from Scripps College (Claremont, CA), and a Master of Social Work (MSW) and gerontology certificate from Portland State University (Portland, OR).

Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” and a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance. A key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics from shipbuilders to physicists, resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and led it until 2011. Her most recent work, Healing Wars, toured across the US in 2014-15. Liz conducts residencies on Critical Response Process, creative research, the intersection of art and science, and the building of narrative within dance performance at such institutions as Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Wesleyan University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the National Theatre Studio among others. Her third book, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, was published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press. As of 2016 she is an Institute Professor at Arizona State University. (Photo by Lise Metzger)

Angelina Ramirez began studying Flamenco at the age of nine with Deanna Pierce and Olivia Rojo in Tucson, Arizona. At sixteen, she became a member of Rojo’s company, Flamenco y Mas and toured the US as a featured artist with the National Theater Company. She continued her studies at the National Institute of Flamenco Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico studying with Eva Encinias, Omayra Amaya and Marisol Encinias, and became an original member of Yjastros, the American Flamenco Repertory Company under the direction of Joaquin Encinias. In 2009, returning to Arizona, Angelina founded Flamenco Por La Vida, a performance company that has been continually performing throughout the Valley for the past eight years, and was the recipient of the 2014 Phoenix Mayor’s Arts Award for Best Dance Organization. Angelina produces two festivals in the Phoenix Community: Lluvia Flamenca in collaboration with Stateside Presents and The Phoenix Festival de España with The Phoenix Center for the Arts, and also tours with world-renowned, New York based company Noche Flamenca in their production of Antigone. Angelina was one of ten teaching artists to be selected to participate in the inaugural AZ Creative Aging Teaching Artist Institute, and she teaches flamenco to students ages 3-103 throughout the valley. 

Robin Rio is Associate Professor of Music Therapy at Arizona State University and coordinator of the program. She is the author of Connecting through Music with People with Dementia: A Guide for Caregivers, born out of a research project that worked with individuals with AD and their care partner, and a music therapist facilitator, to provide sustainable client-centered music care. This program allowed the care provider to continue providing music care after 6-8 weeks of experiential learning.  Ms. Rio has developed and implemented a music therapy community engagement program, Making Music, Making Memories in collaboration with Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and the City of Tempe, providing interactive music experiences for the people with Alzheimer’s Disease and their loved ones, facilitated by university students and board-certified music therapists. Ms. Rio’s clinical work has focused on a variety of issues common to members of the Alzheimer’s community, using creative music making to facilitate opportunities for strengthening social, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.  Rio’s other interests include ethics, with a term of service on the American Music Therapy Association Ethics Board.  She is a founding member of the inspirational chant group Daughters of Harriet.

Michael Rohd is a theater artist whose output includes site specific productions, community-based workshops, national capacity building efforts at the intersection of the arts, community development and creative placemaking fields, and facilitation & process design.  He’s the founding artistic director of 17 year-old ensemble-based Sojourn Theatre. He leads the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, where current collaborators include Metro Arts in Nashville, Artplace, LISC,Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Commission, Cook Inlet Housing Authority in Alaska, Skirball Museum in Los Angeles and The Goodman Theater in Chicago.  He recently accepted a Professorship at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design & Art, where, at the invitation of Herberger Dean Steven Tepper, Rohd, Liz Lerman and Daniel Bernard Roumain are launching a think tank/action space called the The Ensemble Lab. In 2015, he received an Otto Rene Castillo award for Political Theater and The Robert Gard Foundation Award for Excellence. He was the 2013-2016 Doris Duke Artist-in-Residence at Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago. He is author of the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue.   

Visual artist Tessa Windt has worked with individuals aged 55 to 103, from active independent recent retirees to individuals facing physical and cognitive challenges, in settings as broad as senior centers, adult day programs, long-term care facilities, and arts venues; exploring the opportunities found within moments of creative engagement to build connection and address the isolation faced by many older adults. Windt has worked with the Mesa Arts Center on their Creative Aging Engagement program since 2011, developing and coordinating visual arts projects with older adults at several sites in Mesa. Projects commissioned by the Mesa Arts Center reconsider formal abstraction in relation to layering of material, creative process and the stories elicited by the process of making. Since 2015 Windt has been the Artist-in-Residence for the Phoenix Art Museum’s Arts Engagement Program, a program for older adults with memory loss and their care partners. In 2016 she served as a mentor artist to the Teaching Artist Institute for the Arizona Commission on the Arts’ AZ Creative Aging Initiative.

Who should attend?

  • Long term care professionals and board members (social workers, activity professionals, administrators, clinical staff, and occupational recreation, physical and creative arts therapists)
  • Artists (performing and visual)
  • Students (social work, art, theatre, music, dance, psychology, nursing)
  • Ideal for artists, students, and care workers of all stripes

What will you learn?

  • To design and evaluate your own creative engagement project
  • To turn stories into art
  • The link between person-centered care and creative engagement
  • The varieties and potential of partnerships
  • That long-term care is a time and place for growth


Create/Change: AZ Institute registration includes:

  • 2 and a half days of intensive learning
  • 3 pre-webinars
  • Access to TimeSlips online training materials (a $249 value!)
  • Breakfast and lunch each conference day
  • Validated parking at ASU (if needed)


Early Registration Rates

Register by March 27, 2017, and save!

Save even more when your register more than one member of your organization.



$370 after March 27

Team of 2


$340 after March 27

Team of 3+


$330 after March 27



$225 after March 27

Learn more and register at


Organization/Company: Arizona Commission on the Arts
Location: Tempe, AZ
Deadline: Register by March 27 and Save!
How to Apply: Register at