Drop a pebble in a pond, and the ripples extend to wider and wider circles. This is our goal when we seed new Creative Aging programs, provide technical assistance and guidance to manage these programs, professionally develop teaching artists, and demonstrate the impact of our work at conferences across the country.
As we come to the end of our eighth year, we see that our work has rippled across the country. Our circles have widened and new programs are taking hold – with many more older adults discovering or re-discovering their creative capacity and making new social connections in the process.
Our most recent “pebbles” were dropped in the almost 70 libraries across 13 states that participated in our Creative Aging in America’s Libraries program. We provided the resources that enabled the participating libraries to run instructional arts programs and trained the librarians and their teaching artist partners to develop, design, and sustain these programs.
As Creative Aging in America’s Libraries comes to a close, we’re gratified that many of the library systems across the country are putting our instruction to good use and capitalizing on our seed grants by continuing these programs. Here are just a few examples:
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Ohio) They had such a great response to their first five Creative Aging programs seeded by Lifetime Arts that they instituted Arts4Life. In addition, this past fall they hired us to help them run 10 programs in 10 additional branch libraries, and they’re running 6 more Creative Aging programs in an additional 6 branches in 2017.
Queens Public Library (New York) With a combination of government, foundation, and private funding, the library will be launching 10 new programs in various branches, including sculpture, memoir, mask-making and watercolor.
Sacramento Public Library (California) As a result of their Creative Aging program, In Creative Company, five additional branches have offered arts programming for older adults. The library system has received several grants from the Sacramento Arts Commission to sustain these programs, as well as funding from the Friends of the Sacramento Library.
Many of our partnering libraries see the value in sustaining Creative Aging programs just as CCPL, Queens, and Sacramento have done.
This has been the most well-received program I’ve ever offered. The participants can’t say enough positive things about it. After the two hours I usually go down to the meeting room to straighten up and every week the participants are still there talking and stay for quite a while. They told me they don’t want the program to end.”
-Jane Bouchard, Program Coordinator, Clinton Essex Franklin Library System
In order to provide opportunities for lifelong learning and to meet the needs of older adult patrons they are thinking outside the box to continue delivering these programs for their communities.
‘The ripple effect’ extends to the older adults who take part in these programs. Here’s a small sampling of what participants had to say:
Give the Gift of Creativity
We are aiming for nothing less than a new vision of aging – one that is inclusive, affirming and transformative.
Help Lifetime Arts continue to make ripples and improve the lives of older adults through Arts Education! Your tax exempt donation will help us redefine aging as we expand our work across America.