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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

Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging Grants

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As part of our Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging initiative with E.A. Michelson Philanthropy, NASAA has awarded $1,457,000 in grant funding to state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the country to grow their creative aging programs, practices and partnerships. State and jurisdictional arts agencies share a public mandate to make the social, educational, economic and health benefits of the arts available to all residents, especially underserved populations. Older Americans are an essential part of this commitment.

Our cohort of 36 grantees comprises 64% of all state and jurisdictional arts agencies, and includes every region of the country, five out of six jurisdictions, and state arts agencies of every budget size. Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging grant funded activities will take place between March 1, 2021 – August 31, 2022.

$60,000 and $23,000 Grant Awards

Grant Guidelines

Grant Guidelines FAQs

Grantee Information (password required)

For more information, contact NASAA Arts Learning Projects Director Susan Oetgen.

Professional Development

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NASAA’s Creative Aging Institute provides online professional development focused on trends and topics in creative aging for all 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies.

For more self-directed learning opportunities, please explore:

Lifetime Arts Creative Aging 101

Shifting Policy and Practice: New Opportunities for Creative Aging

Creative Aging during COVID

E.A. Michelson Philanthropy Vitality Arts

With Gratitude

NASAA expresses sincere appreciation to E.A. Michelson Philanthropy for its partnership as well as financial support of the Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging initiative. We salute E.A. Michelson Philanthropy’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