NASAA Notes: March 2019

March
2019

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March 6, 2019

Iowa: Creative Aging in Rural Libraries

Judy Franzmeier shows off a landscape she painted at the Palmer Public Library. Photo courtesy of Ramona Miller/Palmer Public Library

In Iowa, where three-quarters of the state’s 544 public libraries serve communities with fewer than 2,500 residents, there is a new initiative to support creative aging in rural areas. Iowa Arts Learning in Libraries is a collaborative effort of the State Library of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council (IAC) to offer free arts classes for adults 55 and older in rural public libraries. The program began as a pilot in 2018 with a $25,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and continues this year with additional IMLS funding as well as $25,000 from IAC. Last year, 19 libraries participated, and 35 are taking part this year. Collectively, these libraries have worked with 23 different artists and arts organizations, who each receive a flat rate to lead four 90- to 120-minute classes. The program is open only to libraries located in counties that have not received IAC support in the previous two fiscal years. IAC and the State Library of Iowa have begun discussing the next phase of the project, which may include training for teaching artists and librarians focused on engaging older adults in creative activities. For more information, contact IAC Arts Learning Manager Jennie Knoebel.

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