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Creative Aging

Creative aging is high-quality arts education for older adults, led by professional teaching artists. This evidence-based workshop approach utilizes the arts to enhance the well-being, social connection, and quality of life of older adults. Creative Aging is not just about painting or music; it’s about unlocking potential, fostering community, and combating social isolation.  

What artistic disciplines can be taught?
Creative aging workshops can take many forms. Host organizations might choose to offer music such as choir or percussion; visual arts such as watercolor or photography; literary arts including poetry, memoir, or storytelling; or performing arts like dance or theater. A great first step for organizations is to survey older adult patrons to learn about their artistic aspirations.

What is a teaching artist?
A teaching artist is both a professional artist and an arts educator. Teaching artists are paid a living wage commensurate with their expertise for curriculum planning and teaching work.

The arts are good for you!
With his 2006 landmark publication “The Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults,” Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated that participation in activities that foster creative engagement and skills mastery in a social environment has positive psychological, physical and emotional health benefits for older adults.

Creative Aging for Idaho’s Veterans

The Idaho Commission on the Arts, in partnership with the Idaho Division of Veterans Services, is pleased to present a series of creative workshops in Idaho’s four Veterans Homes. These workshops are designed and led by a professional teaching artist in an artistic discipline chosen by the veterans and the staff who support them.

Together with Veterans Home activities staff, we aim to create workshops that foster art learning, creative community, beauty, and joy.

Artist Kelsey Grafton leads a drawing lesson at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston.
Saddlemaker Shelley Ensley teaches leather tooling in the Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston.

Arts Learning Services Director Laura Roghaar is happy to consult with you about bringing creative aging to your organization: laura.roghaar@arts.idaho.org