Lifelong learning in the arts educates and engages older adults as teachers, learners and as creators, thereby contributing to individual, community and public life. The National Endowment for the Arts seeks to involve older Americans in on-going, excellent, participatory arts experiences. This includes increasing the sensitivity of professionals and practitioners, both in the fields of aging and the arts, to the need and value of quality arts experiences for, by and with older persons.
Convened on May 18-19, 2005 to develop recommendations for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging concerning the importance and value of professional arts programming for, by and with older Americans.
Creativity & Aging Study
Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults. This landmark studyreveals how on-going, community-based arts programs improve the quality of life for older Americans. It is the first study of its kind to examine the impact of professionally conducted arts programs on the physical health, mental health, and social functioning of older adults. The Arts Endowment initiated the four-year Study and developed a public/ private partnership to support and oversee it. It was conducted and coordinated by George Washington University under the direction of Dr. Gene Cohen who is the primary investigator. Download PDF
The National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) works to foster an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and the quality of life of older people. The organization also maintains a Directory of Creative Aging Programs.