Celebrating our elders: For You's community events in June

  • by David-Elijah Nahmod
  • Tuesday June 4, 2024
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Janey, Ryan Tacata and Tom.  (photo: For You)
Janey, Ryan Tacata and Tom. (photo: For You)

Throughout June, a performance and social practice group in San Francisco called For You, will present a series of four events which will celebrate isolated elders who live in the city.

The events are collectively titled "Party On! Party People." The parties are being produced in collaboration with Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (LBFE), whose mission is to reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults in San Francisco, many of whom are low income.

"The entire process of getting to know new friends, bringing them to a large social event, and following up with them after is often quite life-changing," said choreographer and theater director Erika Chong Shuch. "We do this work because our skills as theater artists and performance makers can be tapped to create so many different ways for people to come together."

The partying will commence on June 9 from 2pm to 4pm with The Harry Party. Harry is an elder from Chinatown who grew up in a large working-class family. Harry spent a lot of his younger years helping his parents out with their restaurant work and helping out with his seven siblings.

The June 9 event will be a surprise party for Harry which will feature games and photo ops with featured guest artist Bijun Liang, an interactive media and installation artist also based in Chinatown.

One of the goals of this party is to help Harry make new friends, both in person and through social media. The Harry Party will take place at Taishan Restaurant, 622 Jackson Street. Sliding scale donation $5-$20.

Travis Santell Rowland and Janey (photo: For You)  

Just two days later, on June 11, For You will offer The Tom Party. Tom is a gay elder from Milwaukee who came to San Francisco in 1991. Tom hopes to connect with like-minded people who want to have fun in the city.

Tom's party will commence with an invitation only meal in the Tenderloin, where Tom lives. The meal will take place at the former location of the Turk Street Baths, which opened in the 1930s. At 10:30 pm everyone will walk across the street to the legendary working class gay bar Aunt Charlie's Lounge at 133 Turk Street.

For You will be joined by Brittany Newell and Maria Silk, the co-hosts of "Angels," a monthly drag and dance show at the bar. Tom will be honored by a number inspired by the things he loves, such as the Netflix drama "Young Royals." Join For You for a cocktail to celebrate Tom and cap off the evening. Admission at the door to Aunt Charlie's is $5. 21+ only.

Eight LBFE elders will be celebrated on June 15 at The 4 O'Clock Party at Ruth's Table, 3160 21st Street. There will be snacks and drinks, and a live set by DJ Lamont. The public is invited to engage with these eight individuals and even to bring an elder friend of their own. The goal of The 4 O'Clock Party is to develop intergenerational friendships. There is a sliding scale donation of $5-$20.

RSVP for The 4 O'Clock Party at the For You website.

Come celebrate The Janey Party, also at Ruth's Table, on June 22 from 4pm-6pm. Janey is a 91 year old San Francisco native who worked as a director of San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department. Prior to that Janey was a social worker in the foster care system, later working in a preschool program with special needs students after the Reagan administration deinstitutionalized community mental health clinics.

Janey will be honored with an afternoon concert during which guest artist Elijah Rock will perform songs from The Great American Songbook while sharing stories and conversation.

The Harry Party, June 9, 2pm, Taishan Restaurant, 622 Jackson Street, $5-$20.
The Tom Party, June 11, 10:30pm, Aunt Charlie's Lounge, 133 Turk Street, $5, 21+
The 4 O'Clock Party, June 15, 4pm, Ruth's Table, 3160 21st Street, $5-$20
The Janey Party, June 22, 4pm, Ruth's Table, 3160 21st Street, $5-$20
RSVP: www.foryou.productions

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