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Building Vermont's Creative Aging Capacity


Residents at a senior center in Greensboro take part in a music workshop. Photo by Ceilidh Galloway-Kane, 2019.

Arts participation improves the emotional well-being of older adults, supports good health, strengthens social engagement, and brings purpose and joy to our lives as we mature. More than 9 percent of Vermonters are at least 65-years of age, and Vermont is on track to be the oldest state in the nation (65+) by 2032. Older adults in Vermont are and will continue to be vital members of our communities. A recent report from the American Alliance of Museums shows how cultural institutions can promote lifelong learning, joy and social connection for older adults.

The Creative Aging Initiative seeks to address challenges that many older Vermonters face such as isolation and limited access to meaningful arts learning experiences. In addition, older adults all too often experience the effects of ageism. The initiative seeks to develop the capacity of the state to support older adults while promoting health and wellness and social engagement through the arts. Key to this work is the development of a network that includes artists, local arts organizations, Vermont's area agencies on aging, and service providers for older adults in the state.

The initiative was born from a partnership between the Central Vermont Council on Aging and the Vermont Arts Council, and it received initial funding from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in partnership with Aroha Philanthropies. Learn more about support for the initiative.

Professional development and program implementation support

Lifetime Arts logoThe Council has partnered with Lifetime Arts, a national leader in creative aging program development, to offer trainings and program support for the initiative. In July 2021, Lifetime Arts will train Vermont-based teaching artists to design and deliver creative aging programs that will support older adult participants in connecting meaningfully and building relationships. Additionally, Lifetime Arts will deliver an informational webinar for area agencies on aging, arts agency staff and volunteer services.

Training dates and details

Creative Aging Informational Webinar for Area Agencies on Aging, Arts Agency Staff and Volunteer Services

July 8 from 2-3 p.m.

In this one-hour informational webinar, area agencies on aging, arts agency staff and volunteer services will learn about the history and background of the creative aging field, different areas of practice, the cross-sector nature of the work, and the first steps they can take to begin envisioning creative aging opportunities in their state.

Register in advance

Creative Aging Design and Development for Teaching Artists

July 19-21 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

This training will provide an overview of Creative Aging Foundations and will highlight approaches to the development of skill-based, sequential instructional lessons for older adults. In addition, this course will focus on the importance of embedding intentional social engagement activities into programming and curricula. Participants will explore the subject of ageism and its impact on creative aging programming design and delivery. Teaching artists will be introduced to best practices in both in-person and remote programming.

Space is limited. Apply by June 21.

More creative aging events

NASAA's Creative Aging Institute | July 20, 21, 27, 28

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies’ inaugural Creative Aging Institute takes place online via Zoom video conference between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 20 and 21, and Tuesday and Wednesday, July 27 and 28, 2021. All state and jurisdictional arts agency and regional arts organization staff and council members are invited to participate, as are state and national partner organizations with an interest in creative aging.

NASAA is waiving registration fees for this event, to make information on current trends and best practices in creative aging widely accessible to all. Please register for all Creative Aging Institute sessions. You will receive a link to join each session via the e-mail address you provide in the registration form.

The Museum Summit on Creative Aging | July 29

Join American Alliance of Museums, Aroha Philanthropies, and museum professionals across the country on July 29, 2021 from 1-6 pm ET for the Museum Summit on Creative Aging. This free, highly interactive virtual summit will provide museum professionals with inspiration, tools, and connections to help them serve the growing and underserved population of people who are “55 or better.” The event is free and space is limited.

The Creative Aging Initiative is made possible by a grant provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in partnership with Aroha Philanthropies.

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies logoAroha Philanthropies logo