New Lunchtime Music & Conversation Program Shines Spotlight on Art & Community

July 1, 2019

How does art relate to community, loneliness, and mental well-being? That was the topic of discussion during Iona’s most recent Lunchtime Music and Conversation series, part of the new Around Town DC program.

On April 23rd, community members gathered for a live performance of popular Latin American romantic favorites, arranged and performed by Michelle Kim (violin) and José Sacin (baritone and guitar).

You can enjoy short clips from previous performances:


After the performance, we had a thoughtful discussion and reflection about art and community.

Here’s what your neighbors had to say:

  • Listening to songs from Latin America and sung in Spanish allowed us to connect to Latin American culture in a different way than what’s in the news.
  • The fact that the word ‘idiot’ in ancient Greece meant a person who separates or isolates himself from the community.
  • Art therapy and how art helps people to develop emotionally and break barriers.
  • How to expand the impact of the arts.
  • How the arts improve our neighborhoods.
  • Different languages separate people, but the arts unite them.
  • Movies, probably most popular form of art, are experienced alone—though they often tell stories, and people connect through stories.
  • Whether art is more important than math and science.
  • Art communicates thoughts and emotions that can transform personalities.
  • People are lonely when disconnected; art connects people, brings them together, and even connects them to previous centuries.
  • Formal vs. informal arts and the role of criticism in our society.
  • Who is allowed to ‘do’ the arts.
  • Whether the arts can divide people and alienate them.
  • How practicing the arts to hone your artistic skills can be a lonely experience.
  • The divisiveness of political art.
  • How the arts increase understanding and connection among people.

What do you think? Share your ideas!

We plan on continuing to explore these and other topics at our next discussion. We’d love to see you there and hear your ideas.

If you have thoughts to add to the conversation—or simply want to enjoy live music and social time with your neighbors—please join us at our Lunchtime Music and Conversation Series. A boxed lunch is provided. Please note that this program is for DC residents age 60+.

Visit the event page to register now

We hope to see you at our program in June and July!

Around Town DC is Iona’s new online directory of programs and activities happening in Northwest DC for older adults. It’s also a place to learn about and enroll in NEW programs—from fitness to music—happening regularly. It is supported by the Department of Aging and Community Living. Lunchtime Music and Conversation Series is supported by Culture Saves, D.C. Public Library, Around Town DC, Iona Senior Services, and the Interactivity Foundation.

For more information about Around Town DC, please contact Lena Frumin at or (202) 459-9634.