No shortage of talent

Amy Greenwood and her fellow Riderwood neighbors bring zest to community life

Created date

February 24th, 2020
Amy Greenwood stands next to a life-size cutout of herself. Amy is wearing a black t shirt saying "Black Lives Matter" with white pants. Her cutout is wearing a brown suit and a scarf.

A life-size cutout of Riderwood resident Amy Greenwood was displayed on campus with different messages about civility as part of a campaign put on by the community living committee. 

In 2014, Amy Greenwood and her husband Glenn decided to relocate from Chicago to the Baltimore area to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. They took the search for a retirement community seriously and did their research before settling on Riderwood, an Erickson Living-managed community in Silver Spring, Md. 

“My daughter and I are the types to look at everything first—we made a spreadsheet and must have looked at 12 other communities,” Amy says. “Riderwood just felt right—it felt like home, it is beautiful, the grounds are great, and there are so many opportunities here.”

Amy and Glenn selected a Lancaster-style apartment home, a spacious corner unit with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a sunroom. Amy uses the sunroom to work on her art, which is a lifelong passion.

She taught art in a high school and then worked for 30 years for a nonprofit organization that brought artists into Chicago public schools. Since retiring, Amy has had more time to work on her art, which includes painting, watercolors, collages, and other mediums. At Riderwood, Amy has had the opportunity to connect with many other talented retirees who share her interest in art.

“We have such wonderful artists here,” she says.

Amy is also a member of the Riderwood Arts Council, which puts on three juried art shows each year. The exhibits rotate among the residence buildings, giving all community members a chance to enjoy them. Amy serves on the committee that organizes the shows and has also had her art selected for the exhibits.

“I work so I can have something new for each jurying,” she says. 

Active pursuits

In addition to the juried art shows, Amy also serves on Riderwood’s performing arts committee and is a member of the Actors’ Studio Players, which puts on a popular variety show twice a year. The performers range from singers and dancers to magicians and people delivering monologues. The acts are often comedic, resulting in lots of laughs for the performers and the audiences.

“We have a lot of talent here, and there are so many activities and opportunities to express ourselves,” Amy says.

Amy is not new to performing. She played the granddaughter on the radio show Ma Perkins. But she has had the opportunity to try her hand at new types of performance at Riderwood, including improv classes.

“The teacher is wonderful,” Amy says of the on-campus classes. “It’s anywhere from 12 to 20 people, and it’s totally spontaneous, but she gives you methods and ways to do it. It’s so much fun.”

Amy is also a member of two resident book clubs, serves on the welcoming committee for new residents and volunteers as an ambassador to introduce prospective community members to Riderwood. She takes yoga classes and during the warmer months tends to her garden, where she grows perennials, tomatoes, peppers, and basil.

Strong friendships

One of the best things about living at Riderwood, Amy says, is the other people who live there. Whether through the many activities she participates in or simply over leisurely dinners at the on-site restaurants, Amy says getting to know people is easy at Riderwood.

“It’s a wonderful place to make friends, and I’ve made such dear friends here,” she says. “They are interesting and caring, and they are fun.”

Early on, Amy and Glenn connected with a group of residents who all moved to Riderwood around the same time in 2014. The group gathers for dinner twice a year to celebrate their friendships. 

“We’ve gotten to know each other well over the years, and it’s been really fun,” Amy says. 

Most people who live and work at Riderwood recognize Amy’s face, and not only because she is such an active member of several clubs and committees. Amy got involved with a civility campaign put on by the community living committee, which works to promote harmonious living at Riderwood and models its work after a civility program in Howard County. Amy did public service announcements about the principles of civility on Riderwood’s in-house television station, and a life-size cutout of her with signs stating those principles was displayed in various locations around campus. 

“That was a lot of fun,” Amy says. “People would come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I saw you in Arbor Ridge or I saw you in Village Square.”