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Creative Aging

Older adults have vital contributions to make to society as creators and community members. Abundant evidence shows that arts participation improves the emotional well-being of older adults, supports good health, strengthens social bonds, and brings a heightened experience of purpose and joy to our lives as we mature. However, older adults all too often experience the effects of ageism, isolation and limited access to meaningful arts learning experiences. State arts agencies can help to address these gaps by facilitating creative aging programming as an antidote to isolation, an affirmation of life and a pathway to flourishing for older adults.

State Arts Agency Program Examples

Recommended Resources

Grant Funding

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As part of our Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging initiative with Aroha Philanthropies, NASAA is offering grant funding to state and jurisdictional arts agencies to grow their creative aging programs, practices and partnerships. Funding is available to support up to 41 grants of $20,000 or $60,000.

Grant Guidelines

Grant Guidelines FAQs

Application materials (password required)

Only the 56 designated state and jurisdictional arts agencies are eligible to apply for these funds. Application materials are password protected. Contact NASAA Arts Learning Project Director Susan Oetgen for assistance.

NASAA will be hosting webinars and virtual office hours to help applicants prepare their materials.  Details are at the Application materials link.

Applications are due on Friday, December 18, 2020. Funding determinations will be made in February 2021, with projects eligible to begin in March 2021.

Professional Development

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In the summers of 2021 and 2022, NASAA will host virtual Creative Aging Institutes to equip state arts agencies to be leaders and champions of creative aging. In the meantime, explore these great self-directed learning opportunities:

Lifetime Arts Creative Aging 101

Shifting Policy and Practice: New Opportunities for Creative Aging

Creative Aging during COVID

Aroha Philanthropies Vitality Arts Videos

With Gratitude

NASAA expresses sincere appreciation to Aroha Philanthropies for its partnership as well as financial support of the Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging initiative. We salute Aroha Philanthropies’s visionary advocacy on behalf of the creative capacity of adults 55 and better. NASAA also thanks Lifetime Arts for its leadership and expertise in propagating exemplary creative aging practices nationwide.

Photos, top to bottom: Young@Heart Chorus, photo courtesy of Young@Heart, explore their concert footage on YouTube; Participants in Create/Change AZ, photo by Alonso Parra, courtesy of Arizona Commission on the Arts; Students celebrate a successful performance at the Littleton Area Senior Center, photo by Chris Finer, courtesy of New Hampshire State Council on the Arts; A creative aging design class at ARCHbeta, photo by Ryan Leighton, courtesy of Maine Arts Commission; Delaware Art Museum’s adult education program, photo courtesy of Delaware Division of the Arts