The Libraries Project

The Creative Aging Public Libraries Project

One of the Italian-speaking men said he "couldn't elaborate in writing" how he felt about the program, but wanted me to know that he loved the class because "Sometimes you're afraid that your mind may be slipping down. Drawing pulls you back up … you feel alive and you know your brain is working."

- From Fordham's Ravazzin Center on Aging: 2010 NYPL Creative Aging Project, Post Program Survey.

Libraries, the most universal and most democratic of America's cultural institutions, are "age neutral" and so appeal to older adults who are reluctant to go to senior centers. Increasingly important as community centers for learning and cultural access, libraries are ideally positioned to evolve as centers for creative aging.

Now in its fourth year, Lifetime Arts' LIBRARIES PROJECT is based on a vision for mobilizing the trusted, neutral, information-rich public space of the library to deliver arts education for and with older adults. That vision includes building effective collaborations between teaching artists and librarians and building the capacity of different library systems to carry out and sustain creative aging programs. Our work to date affirms this vision. Teaching artists and librarians find that they share a vision for positive aging and bring complementary strengths to designing and implementing meaningful programs for older adults.

This nationally recognized program provides incentive grants, access to great teaching artists and on-going technical assistance for public libraries. Led by professional teaching artists, libraries implement skill-building workshop series which foster mastery and promote meaningful social engagement - two key ingredients for positive aging. These FREE programs (in all arts disciplines) help improve the quality of life for participants. At each library, culminating events celebrate the achievements of every participant.

Partnering Library Systems:

  • Boston Public Library
  • Brooklyn Public Library
  • Clinton Essex Franklin Library System
  • Dallas Public Library
  • Miami-Dade Public Library
  • New York Public Library
  • Westchester Library System

Our generous funders include:

  • AARP Foundation
  • Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation
  • Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation
  • Laura Jane Musser Trust
  • Institute for Museums and Library Services
  • MetLife Foundation
  • New York State Council on the Arts

Library Projects 2013

MetLife Funded Projects: MetLife Foundation Supports Lifetime Arts Creative Aging Programs in Boston, Dallas and Miami-Dade Public Libraries

IMLS Funded Projects: Libraries Across the State of New York Implement Creative Aging Programs

Library Projects 2012

IMLS Funded Projects: Libraries Across the State of New York Implement Creative Aging Programs

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