Positive Aging Through Arts Education

 Lifetime Arts Calls upon All New York Arts and Cultural Organizations to Join the Creative Aging

Program planning for LifeTime Arts Training

Program planning for Lifetime Arts Training

I was so pleased to learn about the Lifetime Arts Training Institute. Today’s older adults are “beyond BINGO” and are looking for things to do that engages them intellectually, creatively and socially. Arts and cultural organizations can incorporate Creative Aging programming into their educational offerings.  Lifetime Arts envisions a network of teaching artists and arts organizations trained to create and deliver meaningful programming for and with older adults in a variety of settings. Which means programs at senior centers, programs thru office for the aging, libraries, at senior residences and wherever else one can imagine.

This is a terrific idea and I hope every community will take advantage of the many resources that Lifetime Arts has to offer. There is a Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries (http://creativeagingtoolkit.org/). The Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries is a free, online resource for librarians. It offers access to information about aging and libraries, creative aging research, and best practices in the field. The toolkit contains insights, tips, tools and templates to be used when planning, implementing and sustaining successful programs.

Lifetime Arts is intended to increase the expertise of those who direct existing community arts and aging programs and to give others in the community the tools to take the first step—and keep going. Check out their website as there is a lot of information and videos. www.lifetimearts.org Their home base is in New Rochelle and the phone number is 914-355-2304 • info@lifetimearts.org

Co-founded in 2008 by Maura O’Malley and Ed Friedman, Lifetime Arts is a nonprofit arts service organization that serves, inspires and engages America’s growing population of older adults by promoting the inclusion of professional arts programs in organizations that serve older adults and to foster lifelong learning in and through the arts by increasing opportunities for participation in community based programming.

Dance is one of the many programs from LifeTime Arts

Dance at Grove Hall Library, one of the many programs via Lifetime Arts

With his 2006 landmark publication “The Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults,” Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated that participation in activities that foster creative engagement and skills mastery in a social environment has positive psychological, physical and emotional health benefits for older adults. We always knew that The Arts are Good for You……

I am excited about this program because it is stimulating people who haven’t had time during their working lives to express their creativity. We’ve all heard some elder say “Oh I never had time to pursue my love of……” For the dancers, artists, actors, musicians and other Creatives it provides an outlet for their experience as performers and teachers to stimulate a new population of Arts participants and supporters.

2 thoughts on “Positive Aging Through Arts Education

  1. What a wonderful organization. Thank you for highlighting them. As Baby Boomers age, we have to reconfigure how we understand growing older. Here’s to the arts performing a major role in that!

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