NASAA Notes: December 2022

December 6, 2022

Pennsylvania and Utah: Creative Aging

NASAA, in partnership with E.A. Michelson Philanthropy, granted nearly $1.5 million to 36 state arts agencies (SAAs) to support creative aging initiatives. The wide variety of programming across all 36 SAAs acknowledged the impactful role arts and creativity can play in supporting a higher quality of life and healthier living for older adults. Two grantees, Pennsylvania and Utah, illustrate the range of distinctive approaches SAAs have taken to elevate the importance of creative aging statewide.


An older adult woman striking a creative movement pose with the guidance of a younger adult.

An older adult receives instruction on creative physical movement. Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has launched the Academy for Creative Aging. The academy provides a two-track model that meets the needs of teaching artists and provides on-demand videos for older adults. The Professional Development track for teaching artists is a free certification program designed by industry experts. The certification covers the science behind the health benefits of creative programming, guidance on teaching pedagogy and methods specifically attuned to working with older adults. Artists can complete its seven modules at their own pace. Four example lessons are available in the second track as Lessons on Demand. These modules cover Indian classical dance, self-portraiture, storytelling and jazz singing and can be used by individuals and groups seeking accessible creative aging experiences. Both the professional development track and lessons on demand are available free online, increasing their accessibility to rural and low-income individuals. For more information, contact Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Chief of Creative Catalysts & Lifelong Learning Jamie Dunlap.


Four adults work on arts activities.

This creative aging workshop is supported by Utah Division of Arts & Museums. Photo courtesy of Utah Division of Arts & Museums

The Utah Division of Art and Museums (UA&M) used its grant funding and an additional $48,699 in state funding to host the A Lifetime of Arts Elevated initiative. UA&M hired Lifetime Arts, a national leader in creative aging programs, to provide four training sessions on creative aging for artists, cultural institutions and older-adult service organizations. As UA&M’s Creative Aging Impact Report details, 99 participants from 45 different organizations took ”Creative Aging 101”; independent teaching artists who attended the training were compensated for their participation. UA&M gave 27 grants to cultural institutions to host sequential arts learning classes following the Lifetime Arts model. More than 300 older adults participated in these classes. Ninety-seven percent of older adult survey participants said their participation helped to enhance their feelings of social connections with their community, and 99% indicated that they deepened their learning about the arts.

In collaboration with the Utah Commision on Aging, UA&M created a new Arts & Aging webpage that serves as a hub for creative aging programming, features resources for professionals working with older adults and hosts a roster of teaching artists who have completed creative aging coursework. UA&M also sponsored the 2022 Creative Aging Conference, which brought creative aging practitioners to St. George. Recently, UA&M offered two additional training sessions with Lifetime Arts for libraries and teaching artists. Currently, it is offering an additional grant to support creative aging projects for those participants who have attended the Lifetime Arts training. To learn more, contact Jason Bowcutt or Tracy Hansford on the Community Programs team.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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