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Arts & Culture ... and aging

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Getting creative

Bihl Haus Arts

Bihl Haus Arts

image to create a dropshadow

The “graying” of America promises dramatic change in every aspect of American life. One of the most profound changes is our culture’s very perception of older adults: we are moving from a “deficit” approach that stresses losses to an “asset” approach that emphasizes strengths, potential, and achievements.

Arts participation is proven to increase the health and well-being of older adults; however, few organizations offer quality professional arts programs aimed at this age group. After decades of pioneering work in the research, policy, and practice of arts and aging, efforts to provide improved arts services for this population are gaining momentum.  

Community-based arts, aging, and health care organizations are poised to benefit from this tremendous need for high-quality, cost-effective creative activities, which provide lifelong learning, meaningful community building, and respite to caregivers. Many of these arts programs are research-based and will provide technical assistance for replication in other communities.

Explore the different ways that you, as a grantmaker, can become a part of the creative aging movement.

Getting started
Explore the benefits of these programs
What does success look like?
How the arts improve health and wellness
Lifelong learning and the arts
Community engagement and the arts


While problems certainly accompany aging, what has been universally denied is the potential. The ultimate expression of potential is creativity.

Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., The Creative Age


The content in this section was provided by Alecia Torres de Valdez, Operations & Development Manager, National Center for Creative Aging.


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