The Summit on Creative Aging in America

Choral group of older women performing

Photo courtesy of Giving Voice Chorus of MacPhail Center for Music

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The Summit on Creative Aging in America: A Pre-Conference to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging was held on May 18, 2015, to help develop recommendations for the larger White House Conference on Aging, held on July 13, 2015. The Summit was co-hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA). It was an invitation-only event. However, the public was able to listen in and contribute to parts of the day’s conversation through a webcast and curated twitter conversation, using the twitter hashtag #CreativeAgeSummit.
 
The summit brought together individuals from the fields of aging, the arts, and design to identify not only needs and barriers but also possible solutions to the issues surrounding healthy aging and age-friendly community design. The following vital areas of concern were discussed:

Lifelong Learning and Engagement and the Arts: This track focused on policy recommendations that promote greater cognition and creativity among older adults by means of arts engagement. Topics included: the arts as a conduit of intergenerational learning; the role of older artists as social entrepreneurs; and how the arts (especially through media) contribute to or refashion society’s understanding of what it means to age in the 21st century.
 
Health and Wellness and the Arts: This track focused on policy recommendations that promote arts interventions to improve health and well-being outcomes among older Americans. Topics included: the contributions that specific art forms make to older adults’ health and well-being; how arts practitioners serving these populations can partner more effectively with researchers to build evidence around these interventions; and, besides more evidence, what policy levers must be exerted to bring these interventions to older Americans from all socio-demographic backgrounds.
 
Age-Friendly Community Design: This track focused on policy recommendations that promote excellently-designed and built environments for aging populations in the U.S. Topics included: design concerns for overall community design (including walkability, transit, access to green space and community resources) and for different housing typologies (including single family, urban mixed use, and retirement facilities).

Introductions and Opening Remarks

Video | Transcript

Opening performance
"Journey" by Dance Exchange

Welcome and greetings
Jane Chu, Chairman, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Edwin Walker, Executive Director, 2015 White House Conference on Aging

Overview
Beth Bienvenu, Accessibility Director, National Endowment for the Arts
Gay Hanna, Executive Director, National Center for Creative Aging

Presentation of the three tracks survey responses and goals for the day
Bill Benson, National Center for Creative Aging

Reports from Breakout Session 1

Video | Transcript

Discussion question: What are the three biggest issues/needs related to your issue area?

Reports from Breakout Session 2

Video | Transcript

Discussion question: What are the three biggest barriers to addressing these needs?

Reports from Breakout 3 and Conclusions

Video | Transcript

Discussion question: What are the three most viable solutions that the federal government can help with?

Conclusions and summary of the day.