Photo exhibition is a “positive portrayal of aging”
Morgan M. Hurley | Downtown Editor
Downtown’s Senior Community Centers (SCC), a nonprofit that focuses on the health and safety of San Diego’s elderly, haven’t held a fundraiser for a number of years, but this October 11, they’ve decided to do it in style.
Called “Notes to our Sons & Daughters,” the event will center on a stylish photographic exhibition, which is comprised of 30 diverse portraits of aging area leaders and clients of the SCC facility located in Downtown San Diego.
The black and white portraits were taken by Escondido photographer Philipp Scholz Rittermann, who had met one of the organizers a year prior to joining the project last December.
The exhibition is meant to combat “ageism” by bringing out the “wisdom” of each subject, and celebrate their beauty, talents and accomplishments.
“Notes to Our Sons and Daughters” will be held on Thurs., Oct. 11 starting at 6 p.m. at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, located at 1000 N. Harbor Dr., Downtown. Wine and a sampling of local cuisine will be served. Individual tickets are $150 and $250 for VIP. Honorary Chair of the event is Ms. Darlene Shiley.
The project was conceptualized by Alexis Dixon, according to Brent Wakefield, SCC’s vice president of development.
“Through his work in mediation and community volunteering, [Dixon] has been developing the concept over the last several years,” Wakefield said.
“He met Philipp Scholz Rittermann and things started to take shape. When he finally met with Paul Downey [SCC’s CEO and president], he realized that Senior Community Centers would be the perfect partner because of who we are and because of the seniors we serve.”
Wakefield said a great deal of thought was put into the selection process.
“We first started to look at seniors in San Diego [referred to as VIPs] who give back and who are known for their connection either to the arts or human services areas,” he said. “We applied the same criteria to the seniors we serve. They give back and are leaders in our community of seniors.”
Also included with each photograph at the exhibition will be a 90-second video of the “note” shared by each subject at the photo session, Wakefield said, identifying the life lessons the subjects have learned and wish to pass on to “our collective children.”
“Happy Days” sitcom-legend Marion Ross is not only the “mistress of ceremonies” for the event, but also one of the photographic subjects. Ross jumped on board in February after meeting with Wakefield and educating herself about SCC’s mission.
“She felt that nutrition of seniors is one of the most vital pieces, and when she heard that ‘food is medicine’ in our world and [about] our emphasis on nutrition, she was sold,” Wakefield said.
Ritterman will direct the “Notes” reception and the unveiling of the photographs. He will also be on hand – along with each of the exhibition’s subjects – to mingle with the evening’s attendees.
“Notes to our Sons & Daughters” has been made into a coffee table-style book, which will be available for purchase at the event. The 30 photographs will then also become a traveling exhibit throughout San Diego County after the event on Oct. 11.
Senior Community Centers was founded in 1970 with a mission to “end senior poverty and hunger through innovative solutions.”
Through its 10 dining and program sites around the county, it offers a plethora of resources to those it serves, in areas of nutrition, health, mental health, and patient and senior advocacy. It also provides transitional housing for homeless seniors and even permanent supportive housing when necessary.
For more information about SCC or “Note to Our Sons & Daughters,” visit servingseniors.org or call 619-487-0605.