An Inspirational Artist: Active Adult

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woman in independent retirement communityMs. Kay Brown is a well-known African American artist whose artwork, a mixed-media collage entitled The Black Soldier, was on display in Washington, D.C. for two months. It was also included in the The Spirit of Martin published last year.

During the early days of her career, Ms. Brown became involved with a group known as the Weusi Artists. Their artistic focus was identifying with their African Ancestry and the socio-political issues of the time. Ms. Brown became the only female member of this illustrious group.

She then co-founded the “Where We At” Black Women Artists collective that incorporated the artistic philosophy she’d experienced as a member of the Weusi. Ms. Brown also has two published novels, including Willy’s Summer Dream, which is based on her youngest son’s experiences.

Ms. Brown eventually purchased a row house in Northeast D.C. Although she loved the home, when her friend passed away there was no one to help her with the necessary maintenance. The dynamic of the neighborhood had also changed dramatically. Many of her old friends had moved away.

Mrs. Brown relates, “Everyone in the neighborhood was moving, and it really changed my spirit. A friend suggested that that I consider selling my house and moving to a retirement community. She even suggested Friendship Terrace, so I looked into it.”

Since moving to Friendship Terrace, an independent living community in Northwest D.C., Ms. Brown says she is much more comfortable. “I feel very safe here. I didn’t know this area very well before, but it is a very nice neighborhood. We are one block from a drugstore, four blocks from the grocery store, and two-and-a-half blocks from the Metro.”

In addition to taking advantage of the convenient location, Ms. Brown is also pleased with the community grounds and the interior of her apartment. “The entire front wall of my apartment is a window, and there are trees right outside the window. I love waking up and seeing the sunlight coming through the branches. The property is very well kept.”

Becoming involved in her new community has really helped Ms. Brown to adjust to the move. She did a presentation on Martin Luther King for her fellow residents for Black History Month. She also organized a trip to the Smithsonian to show and explain her artwork to the other residents. “I’ve always wanted to do everything I can to improve my community, and people always need more activities to inspire them,” attests Mrs. Brown, a woman whose life continues to be inspirational.

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