"When I tell people I live in a retirement community, I get a lot of mixed reactions," says 26-year-old violinist Tiffany Tieu. "Some people don't believe me."

“When I tell people I live in a retirement community, I get a lot of mixed reactions,” says Tiffany Tieu, 26, in a video produced by Great Big Story. “Some people don’t believe me. Some people think it’s a wonderful idea.”

A violinist and graduate student, Tiffany is part of the artist-in-residence program at Judson Manor, an assisted living community in Cleveland. Instead of paying rent, the artists perform concerts for their older adult neighbors.

But the program isn’t just about music.


Tiffany has made many close friends at Judson, including 80-year-old Laura Berick. “Laura to me is like a grandma, and also a friend and a confidante,” Tiffany says. “I don’t think the age difference is something that I am constantly thinking about or that I’m aware of.”

“We’ll talk about art, we talk about clothes,” says Laura. “I don’t wear fashionable shoes anymore but Tiffany does, and we talk about shoes.”