NASAA Leadership Grants to Advance Creative Aging in Nine States

July 10, 2023

Utah artists at Sunshine Terrace. Photo by Maria Ellen Huebner

In collaboration with E.A. Michelson Philanthropy, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is proud to announce the award of $855,000 in creative aging grant funding to nine state arts agencies. Part of NASAA’s new States Leading Creative Aging initiative, these grants will help state arts agencies promote creativity, learning, well-being and social engagement for older adults.

Building on the successes and lessons learned from the Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging initiative, NASAA recognizes an important opportunity to help state arts agencies do more of what they do best, which is to provide the public benefit of arts and creativity to all in America, especially those in under-resourced communities.

“Arts engagement helps older adults to thrive and is a powerful antidote to isolation. But too many older adults still lack access to these benefits,” said NASAA President and CEO Pam Breaux. “Our state leadership grants—combined with free professional development programs for all 56 states and jurisdictions—will help to expand creative aging programs to make them more accessible nationwide. NASAA is thrilled to continue this important work in collaboration with state arts agencies and E.A. Michelson Philanthropy.”

“E.A. Michelson Philanthropy is proud to partner with NASAA through our continued support of creative aging within our state and jurisdictional arts agencies,” said Ellen Michelson, founder and president. “We are delighted to see this leadership initiative strengthening existing creative aging programs and amplifying the creativity of older adults across the country.”

The cohort of nine state arts agencies receiving funds includes every region of the country. $95,000 grants have been awarded to the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Delaware Division of the Arts, Indiana Arts Commission, New York State Council on the Arts, Nebraska Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council, Tennessee Arts Commission, Vermont Arts Council and Wyoming Arts Council.

With this funding, each state will build on existing creative aging programs to gain significant ground in meeting the needs of older adults in underserved communities throughout their state. Activities tailored to the unique needs of each state’s constituents will include bolstering existing creative aging programs, supporting 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 States Leading Creative Aging initiative, contact NASAA Arts Learning Projects Director Susan Oetgen at