10 Arts Organizations Receive Seed Grants to Launch New, Innovative Creative Aging Programs

The National Guild for Community Arts Education is pleased to announce that 10 nonprofit arts education organizations from 9 states have been selected to receive seed grants of $7,000 each to support the launch of new, innovative arts education programming for older adults in their communities.

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 (generally defined as those aged 55+). By creating arts learning opportunities for this population, the 10 seed grant recipients have the opportunity to transform the experience of getting older for members of their communities. Additionally, these programs will serve the wider field as proof that high quality 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.

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 Nov. 2017 and June 2018, staff and faculty from these organizations received sequential training and technical assistance 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 continued technical support for seed grantees as they launch their programs.

The goals of the Catalyzing Creative Aging Program are to:

  • Increase 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.

“We are very proud of the work these 10 organizations are doing,” said National Guild executive director Jonathan Herman. “The programs they develop will both enrich the lives of older adults in their local communities and will serve as guide stars for other community arts education organizations seeking to ensure the vitality and happiness of this important and growing group of Americans.”

The population of older adults in the U.S. is projected to double by 2060 and will be significantly more racially and ethnically diverse than it is today. The National Guild is committed to preparing its membership to support healthy aging as part of its ongoing Creative Aging Initiative.

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

Read the full descriptions of funded programs.

The 2017-2018 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, Music Man Foundation, and the Moca Foundation. For more information, visit www.nationalguild.org or call (212) 268-3337 ext. 10.

The National Guild for Community Arts Education strives to ensure all people have opportunities to maximize their creative potential by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and advocating for community arts education.

Lifetime Arts works nationally to connect the people, funding, ideas and strategies necessary to increase the number and quality of professionally led instructional arts programs for older adults. By helping to develop policy, sharing best practices and providing expert training and technical assistance in the design, funding, and implementation of creative aging programs, they help organizations and individuals build livable communities for all ages.

Photo: 2017 Conference for Community Arts Education

Published: June 26, 2018