Feinstein joins The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights senior community as director of the People, Arts & Culture Team

June 16, 2020 - Front Section

Brooklyn, NY Aaron Feinstein, a film and theater director and arts educator, has joined The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, a 275-unit seniors housing residence at 21 Clark St., opening this summer, as director of the People, Arts & Culture Team.

The $330 million Watermark at Brooklyn Heights is one of five properties managed by Watermark Retirement Communities in their Élan Collection. This brand of properties offers service with amenities. An extensive renovation and redevelopment of the historic Clark St. property  is nearing completion. A partnership of the majority owner Kayne Anderson and minority owners Watermark Retirement Communities/The Freshwater Group and Tishman Speyer own The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights.

“Watermark is a leader in the development of transformative senior living residences offering an extraordinary lifestyle by supporting not only physical and intellectual health but also emotional and spiritual well-being. The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights will provide seniors in the New York City market with access to world class arts and culture through programs specifically curated to meet their interests. We are delighted to welcome Aaron Feinstein to manage the People, Arts & Culture Team at our newest property,” said The Watermark at Brooklyn Height’s executive director Rocco Bertini. 

“My passion is the development of programs specifically tailored to provide all audiences, regardless of their abilities, with access to arts and culture, and I look forward to creating stimulating content for the members of The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights,” said Feinstein. “Our in-house programming combined with the world-class cultural options available in the New York City area will create extraordinary experiences for our members.”

Feinstein will lead the People, Arts & Culture Team in providing warm, welcoming, and enriching experiences for the members of The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights. The People, Arts, & Culture program will provide inclusive programming that will build the community and support the engagement of all of our members, according to Feinstein. The team will curate content from the thought-leaders, performers, and influencers in and around the city, and will connect to the international knowledge, events, programs, and flavors that make NYC center-stage of the world. On-site live music events and theatrical performances open to members and their families will be supplemented by arts and music classes adapted to meet the needs of every resident. A full schedule of stimulating outings will include visits to museums, Broadway and local theater performances, cultural events, and natural settings throughout the NYC area. 

Feinstein is the founder and president of Actionplay, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing equal access for children, teens and adults with autism and related conditions and disabilities to experience arts, education, and culture. As director of culture, he developed and supervised all staff for the inclusive AIMS (Actionplay Improvisational Musical Sundays) Program, developed the (ACT) training series curriculum, and supervised all administrative staff, therapists, and volunteers. The Actionplay Chorus from the AIMS program was featured on the HBO and Comedy Central Broadcast of Night of Too Many Stars. 

The Watermark Talks and Events program will feature experiences that will also engage audiences from around the world as members can watch via live stream, or via the Watermark Brooklyn Heights Social Media Channel, with video and audio that all can access. TEDx Talk-esque lectures, Experiential Learning, and Community based learning experiences through Watermark University classes will provide members with opportunities to learn, grow, and achieve wellness. And a full roster of recreational activities, including VR experiences, classic games, and videogame experiences that teach new skills, will create an environment with inclusive social opportunities for everyone. The content of the Arts & Culture program will be crowd-sourced through digital or analog questionnaires to ensure that the preferences of the members are always heard, and that there is continuous engagement between Watermark members and the People, Arts & Culture Team.

Feinstein has already developed a roster of virtual events to appeal to a wide range of interests. The first offering, “Cocktails and Conversation,” has inaugurated the program with a tour of the historic Watermark at Brooklyn Heights building led by Bertini and moderated by Feinstein. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions as they were led on a virtual tour through the breathtaking property. The virtual introduction to the property continued recently with a wine appreciation demonstration by director of dining services Vince Stewart and master sommelier Fred Dexheimer, and home Israeli cooking with executive chef Kfir Kertes. Additional upcoming offerings include a lighthearted look at the evolution of our species with noted primatologist Natalia Reagan; a history of Fleet Week and other past naval displays in New York Harbor with local historians Cindy and Andrew of Turnstile Tours; and group discussions offering support and guidance to face the challenges of social distancing.

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