Dec 2, 2020
How can we find connection? How can we engage with our loved ones during this time? Angela Burton, founder of Feet to the Fire Writers' Workshops® brings us through how to create purposeful experiences with our families and also ourselves. We also talk about the journey of Feet to the Fire Writers' Workshops®, the benefits of writing, and the powerful ways that writing and sharing our lives brings us together.
Angela Burton is the Founder & Chief Writing Motivator of Feet to the Fire Writers' Workshops®, a creative program that inspires older adults to challenge themselves through expressive writing. Started in Louisville, KY in 2014, Feet to the Fire has expanded to develop a licensed train-the-facilitator program for senior living communities and wellness organizations. The program currently operates in seven U.S. states; in 2020, amidst the COVID pandemic, Feet to the Fire pivoted to launch a consumer version – writer’s kits and virtual groups for those who are socially isolated by the pandemic, a needed way for people to fill up their days, writing the stories of their lives, finding purpose along the way. She landed a spot in 2018 Louisville's WILD Accelerator for Female Founders program and has gained national attention since. Feet to the Fire was recognized as Next Avenue’s Editor’s Picks for 2018 and has been featured in McKnight’s Senior Living (2019), MarketWatch, Forbes, and other publications. When COVID19 restricted senior living communities from having even small-group activities, Burton decided to keep their voices alive by starting a podcast, Feet to the Fire Writers’ Workshops® OUTLOUD, featuring interviews with and stories read by the writers themselves. Currently, the podcast is being listened to in the U.S. and abroad – from Canada to the UK to Ireland and India! Burton was recently named a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging, sharing the spotlight with such greats as Dr. Vivek Murthy and Michael J. Fox, among others.
Burton says, “We are driven by our social mission - to provide a meaningful way for people to express themselves through writing. The research tells us that writing is a useful tool for improving social/emotional and cognitive wellbeing. With the tragedy of a global pandemic, we know that people need resources such as ours to help them feel connected and heard, to bring them self-awareness and purpose, and to support their mental wellbeing as they age. We simply could not give up, rather move forward at a time when what we do is sorely needed.”
Burton holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from the University of Louisville.
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Nicole Will is our host and founder of willGather.