Certified Facilitator Spotlight: Lisa Hort

As part of our “Certified Facilitator Spotlight” series, TimeSlips is excited to introduce and connect you to individuals doing work in the field of creative aging from many walks of life, different places around the globe and myriad vocations to highlight the breadth of work being done. This week, we are introducing you to Lisa Hort! She has an extensive background in the arts and creative engagement, especially in the fields of creative ageing and creative recovery. Lisa has been the recipient of the ACAH Creative Ageing Award, was a nominated national finalist for HESTA Arts in Health Award, and was officially recognized in Dementia Awareness Week by the New South Wales Parliament.

TimeSlips: How and when did you find out about TimeSlips? 

Lisa: It was back in 2013: I was working in a regional art gallery coordinating and facilitating the ‘Access for All’ Alzheimer’s Art Appreciation tours, a project modeled after the Meet Me at MoMA Alzheimer’s Project. Each week, I would see the positive benefits older adults received engaging with the arts, and how creative engagement ignited joy and conversation within the group. Wanting to learn more about creative engagement, I started researching online and came across the TimeSlips website and the work of Anne Basting. From there, I completed the online TimeSlips training and soon after started my journey as a TimeSlips Certified Facilitator in Australia, and what a rewarding journey it has been so far.

TimeSlips: What inspires you in your daily creative engagement work?

Lisa: People! Connecting individuals and communities through the joys of creative engagement and meaningful activities. Watching how the arts in all its forms can stimulate conversation, positive social interactions, friendships and take participants on a journey of creative exploration and wellbeing. 

I often say ‘Creativity is my tool of Engagement,’ and it really is. Creativity is my go-to tool no matter if I’m working with young people, older adults, people living with dementia, or in my current role working in the field of creative recovery with people affected by the 19/20 Black Summer Bushfire and/or recent floods that have impacted many communities throughout Australia.

TimeSlips: What is the greatest gift you received from other generations, elder or otherwise?

Lisa: It has been the arts that have given me the avenue to connect across multiple generations, especially with people living with dementia. The greatest gift given to me has been those shared creative moments together where my life has been enriched by other’s wisdom, insightful historical stories, creative imagination, and the lesson of living in the moment.

TimeSlips: You get one million dollars from a surprise lottery: what would you do with that money?

Lisa: I have always dreamed of opening a creative space where all ages can gather, connect, and create together. An inclusive space where intergenerational connection can be grown. It would be a space driven by creative connections, inclusiveness of all, and where there is no right and no wrong, just creative joy. 

Outside of this, I would buy a motorhome and take 12 months off to travel Australia, soaking up all that this beautiful country has to offer.

TimeSlips: Humor is a gift you use well in your work. How do you find that humor draws others in? 

Lisa: By using humour in my work, it brings smiles, laughter, and joy to people. Laughter is infectious: it can lighten a moment, lift the spirits, and open a space for connections to happen. The combination of humour, storytelling, and creativity opens opportunities for participants to freely tap into their imagination and to create stories, which can take us on a fun imaginative journey.

TimeSlips: What are some of the most inspirational projects you have done that still resonate with you today? 

Lisa: When I look back over the years and the collection of creative ageing projects I have done, there have been so many inspirational projects and amazing people I have had the joy to work with.

The three international collaborative projects that resonate with me would have to be Postal Art Swap, a joint project with Bruce Devereux from Canada; the online project called Treasured Stories, Poetry and Song and having Gary Glazner Zoom in from Brooklyn NY; followed by Yoko Hayashi’s invitation to be involved in her tri-continental TimeSlips-inspired groups project Tales from Three Countries, a collaborative project between Japan, Italy, and Australia.

Then there are the local community projects I have been involved in like, Sunday Afternoon Animation that was screened at the Port Macquarie ArtWalk, the Spirit of the Hands Totem Project which I specially designed for a residential age care home, and my recent project working in the creative recovery space, the Women’s Stories from the Black Summer Bushfires 2019/2020 film.

If you like to read more about these projects, the following are the links to projects:

Postal Art Swap

Sunday Afternoon Animation
Sunday Afternoon Animation Br | Unique Collaborations

Treasured Stories, Poetry, and Song

Tale from Three Countries

Spirit of the Hands Totem

Women’s Stories of the Black Summer Bushfires 2019/2020