When she’s not focused on caring for her 8-month-old son, NECTAR organizer Cybil Gilbertson spends a lot of time thinking about themes for her quarterly art salon. Gilbertson is a dancer who launched the series in 2009 with the goal of providing a space where artists across disciplines could reflect on challenging topics and inspire dialogue. War, suicide, birth, relationships, and homelessness have been among the themes she’s tackled thus far, and each evening has drawn a new group of actors, dancers, visual artists, writers, musicians, and audience members from the community. This month’s NECTAR will take a look at the elders in our lives and the impact they have on us. Gilbertson’s calling it Golden.

Misa Kelly, part of NECTAR's "Paint My Wrinkles Red" piece.

Though old age is the subject of the evening, it’s not a requirement for participation. Among the artists offering their reflections is a group of 2nd and 3rd graders from Open Alternative School who will contribute an art project that contrasts the hands of children with the hands of elders. During the show, audience members will have a chance to interact with this project and offer their own reflections on age and aging.

“We can learn from each other at every age,” Gilbertson noted, adding that becoming a mother has drawn her attention to the other end of the life cycle and to her own mortality.

As in months past, part of the proceeds of Golden will go to a nonprofit, the work of which addresses the topic of focus. The benefiting organization this time is Friendship Center, which provides day services for elders in the Santa Barbara community. Justine Sutton, grants and development coordinator for Friendship Center, has attended NECTAR since its inception and encouraged Gilbertson to consider the theme.

“It’s really important as a society that we respect and honor our elders,” Sutton explained, “but unfortunately, the way our society is structured, we seem to have lost a lot of that. I find it really heartening that NECTAR is addressing this theme.”

You can catch NECTAR Golden at Yoga Soup (28 Parker Wy.) on Saturday, May 12, at 8 p.m. Visit NECTAR’s Facebook page for info.


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