10 Arts Organizations Receive Seed Grants To Launch New Creative Aging Programs

By Editorial Team on August 6, 2019

The National Guild for Community Arts Education and Lifetime Arts are pleased to announce that ART WORKS NOW has been selected as one of 10 nonprofit arts education organizations across the country to receive seed grants of $7,000 each to support the launch of new, innovative arts education programming for older adults in their communities.

The population of older adults in the U.S. is projected to double by 2060, making up a larger percentage of the total population than today. Our current generation of elders is living longer lives and looking for meaningful ways to stay active and engaged. Research shows that participation in activities that foster creative engagement and skills mastery in a social environment has positive psychological, physical and emotional health benefits for older adults. The National Guild and Lifetime Arts are committed to preparing organizations to support healthy aging in adults of diverse backgrounds through the arts.

The recipients of the seed grants are listed below, along with the artistic focus of each creative aging program.

The new programs will provide their communities with much-needed opportunities and services for older adults that honor their wisdom, life experience, and creativity. The programs will also serve as case studies for the wider field, demonstrating that high-quality participatory arts programs for older adults can be developed with little more than effective professional development, organizational commitment, and a monetary investment that is achievable for many community arts education organizations.

“We are proud to represent our region in this national movement to provide greater access to creative activities for our older community members,” said Art Works Now Founder and Executive Director Barbara Johnson. “We are committed to reducing barriers to creativity and this program has provided us several new tools for doing this work with older adults.”

“We are excited to see another cohort of creative aging organizations equipped to begin their new programs,” said National Guild executive director Jonathan Herman. “The recipients will become part of a growing movement that is reimagining what aging looks and feels like in our communities.”

The 10 seed grant recipients were chosen from a larger group of 20 organizations who were selected to participate in the multi-phase Catalyzing Creative Aging program, provided in partnership with Lifetime Arts. Between November 2018 and June 2019, staff and faculty from these organizations received training and coaching via a series of workshops, webinars, and consultations (online and in person) designed to increase each organization’s capacity to serve older adults through skill-based, participatory arts programs. The final phase of the program includes ongoing coaching for seed grantees as they launch their programs.

The goals of the Catalyzing Creative Aging Program are to:

  • Increase organizational capacity to serve older adults through skill-based, participatory programs
  • Provide models of high-quality creative aging programs to the field
  • Raise public awareness about the benefits of creative aging programs

“Our long-term partnership with the Guild is making its mark across the country as more and more arts education organizations join creative aging stakeholders like museums, libraries and senior service organizations,” said Lifetime Arts CEO Maura O’Malley. “We’re thrilled to see the positive results of our training and coaching as each Guild cohort successfully designs innovative, responsive and effective programs for older adults.”

The 2018-2019 Catalyzing Creative Aging Program, led by the National Guild for Community Arts Education in partnership with Lifetime Arts, is made possible with support from Aroha Philanthropies and the Moca Foundation. The training phase of Catalyzing Creative Aging was supported by the NAMM Foundation.

The National Guild for Community Arts Education ensures all people have opportunities to maximize their creative potential by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and advocating for community arts education. Through these strategies, the Guild aims to address our country’s widening opportunity gap which leaves millions of individuals with little or no access to the creative resources they need to reach their full potential. Together, the Guild’s national network of 400+ members serves 2.5 million students annually, employs 16,000 teaching artists, and reaches 8 million people through performances and exhibits. www.nationalguild.org

Lifetime Arts, Inc. was founded in 2008 as a service organization with a singular goal: to enrich the lives of older adults through arts education. Lifetime Arts works nationally to build the capacity of organizations, agencies, and individuals to initiate, develop, implement, and sustain professionally conducted Creative Aging programs for the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. www.lifetimearts.org

Read the full descriptions of funded programs.

(via Art Works Now, National Guild for Community Arts Education, and Lifetime Arts, Inc. Photo courtesy of Art Works Now.)