Was it a jazz set, a networking event or a conversation about entrepreneurship? It was all three as AARP DC recently presented “Life Reimagined for Work” at Takoma Station Tavern in northwest Washington, DC. More than 200 people heard holiday jazz from DC native Marcus Johnson, a Grammy-nominated musician, composer, and entrepreneur. Marcus blended his music with motivational advice for rethinking how individuals can approach work. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE were co-sponsors for this unique evening of jazz and networking.
This was the second time that AARP DC engaged Marcus for a Life Reimagined event. He did a similar “jazz meets work” presentation in March 2013 at AARP Headquarters.
At the Takoma Station holiday event, Marcus encouraged attendees to visit AARP’s Life Reimagined website and to use social media tools like LinkedIn to build an entrepreneurial network.
“In the life and times we now live in, the concept of retirement on a pension is basically nonexistent,” says Johnson. “AARP’s Life Reimagined at Takoma Station demonstrated that AARP has a clear understanding of its member’s needs. It also illustrated the diverse mix of demographic and psychographic characteristics that make up its membership.”
Attending the Life Reimagined event last March and on hand again at the recent holiday jazz event, was Leslie Nettleford, Associate General Counsel in AARP’s Office of General Counsel. By day, Leslie is an attorney, but she also is a talented composer and vocalist. She said Marcus helped her to realize that she was standing in the way of her own dreams.
“As a result of Marcus’ encouragement, I am pursing my passion,” Leslie told the Takoma Station audience. “I’ve written and produced several compositions and will come out with a CD in the spring.”
Leslie is not giving up her AARP work, but she has found a way to blend the two areas in her life that bring her the most pleasure. She can’t wait to premiere her CD which will be titled, “A Place Called Home.”
“Life Reimagined for Work” is an AARP initiative that target’s Gen X’ers and Boomers. Education, information and activities are designed to get people thinking about what they might want to do in the next chapter of their lives. Shuraie L. Mackin, Lead Economic Development Specialist at SBA, felt the event at Takoma Station helped to reach one of the target groups for the federal agency.
“‘Life Reimagined for Work’ at Takoma Station provided a unique outlet for SBA, SCORE and AARP to reach the communities we serve. The high level of engagement from the attendees far surpassed expectations and we were able to educate a large community of potential entrepreneurs.”
Marcus continued to praise the event of jazz by giving it a special name.
“To create a lifestyle event such as the Life Reimagined ‘Sips and Sounds’ at Takoma Station was true genius that should be duplicated worldwide in concept and action.”