NASAA Announces $1.46 Million in Grants to Advance Creative Aging

March 4, 2021

In collaboration with E.A. Michelson Philanthropy, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is proud to announce the award of $1,457,000 in grant funding to 36 state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Part of NASAA’s Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging initiative, these grants will expand opportunities for creative aging across the nation, facilitating lifelong learning, joy, social engagement and improved well-being for older adults.

State and jurisdictional arts agencies share a public mandate to make the social, educational and health benefits of the arts accessible to everyone, especially underserved populations. Older adults—who often must contend with ageism and isolation and have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19—are an essential part of this commitment.

“This timely investment lifts up the creative capacity of older adults,” says NASAA President and CEO Pam Breaux. “By working through state arts agencies, this initiative marks a major national expansion in programs and services designed to improve quality of life and nurture meaningful community connections for older adults.”

“E.A. Michelson Philanthropy is proud to partner with NASAA to support creative aging through our state and jurisdictional arts agencies,” said Ellen Michelson, founder and president. “This initiative marks an important step toward broadened awareness, adoption and funding of creative aging programs across the country.”

The cohort of 36 state arts agencies receiving funds includes every region of the country and five U.S. jurisdictions. $60,000 grants have been awarded to the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Delaware Division of the Arts, Kentucky Arts Council, Maine Arts Commission, Maryland State Arts Council, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Nebraska Arts Council, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Northern Marianas Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture, Ohio Arts Council, Oklahoma Arts Council, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, South Dakota Arts Council, Tennessee Arts Commission, Utah Division of Arts & Museums, and Wyoming Arts Council. $23,000 grants have been awarded to the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Colorado Creative Industries, Connecticut Office of the Arts, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Guam Council on the Arts & Humanities Agency, Idaho Commission on the Arts, Indiana Arts Commission, Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Montana Arts Council, Nevada Arts Council, North Carolina Arts Council, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, Vermont Arts Council, Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission, West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and Wisconsin Arts Board.

With this funding, each state will conduct creative aging activities tailored to the unique needs of its constituents. Activities will include bolstering existing creative aging programs, supporting artist residencies, providing professional development for teaching artists, developing creative aging communities of practice, providing direct programming to older adult audiences, cultivating creative aging partnerships and more.

For information about activities taking place in each state, see NASAA’s summary of grant awards or contact your state arts agency. For more information about NASAA’s Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging initiative, contact NASAA Arts Learning Projects Director Susan Oetgen at

Pam Breaux
President and CEO
Teresa Bonner
Executive Director
E.A. Michelson Philanthropy