Creative Aging Foundations Toolkit

Why Should Your Organization Learn to Deliver and Sustain Best-in-Class Creative Aging Programming?

Providing opportunities for older adults to learning something new, express themselves creatively, and make new like-minded friends in a socially supportive environment is what creative aging programming is all about. This program model is a direct route to enhanced social, mental, and physical wellbeing for most people.

The Lifetime Arts’ Creative Aging Foundations Toolkit will help individuals and organizations shed outdated, ageist frameworks, and provide a new lens through which to serve and support adults ages 55 “and better” in your community.

The toolkit features 6 hours of content, which you may access sequentially or as you see fit. Let us know what you think, and please share this resource with your colleagues and partners.

New to creative aging? Before jumping in, watch this brief video designed to highlight the wellness, social, and artistic benefits of this innovative program model.

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Ageism is the #1 Barrier to Delivering Impactful Programming for Older Adults

Connecting Ageism, Wellness, and the Program Model

How old do YOU feel? Taking time to gain a solid understanding of the creative aging field, the creative aging arts education program model, and to hear what people of all generations think about aging, motivation, and ability will set you up for success. Thinking differently about older people will “future proof” your offerings and open up new funding streams. We invite you to start here.

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How is Teaching Older Adults Different?

Designing Arts Education Programs for Older Adults

When teaching artmaking to older adults, there are some key things to keep in mind, but they might not be the things that you think. True, some adjustments may need to be made to accommodate a variety of abilities, but that is true in any classroom setting. Older adults are “serious” about learning, and also very quick to connect and have fun. Many of these topics are aimed at teaching artists, but it is critical and helpful for programmers and leaders to have a basic understanding of what they are hiring teaching artists to execute.

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The 'Nuts and Bolts' of Program Planning and Delivery

Program Implementation Toolkit

Any excellent program requires cross-departmental coordination (or a serious amount of time for a programmer working on their own), and creative aging programing is no different. That said, it doesn’t have to be difficult, and we have laid out the steps and best practices for you here to eliminate guesswork and ensure a smooth process for all.

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A One-on-One with a Creative Aging Leader and Fundraising Expert

A Masterclass in Sustainability Strategies

We sat down with co-founder/CEO, Maura O’Malley, to capture insights, lessons learned, recommendations, and strategies that have worked for her in her career in arts education, and specifically, the creative aging work she has done since 2008 with Lifetime Arts. Watch these 4 short, informative vignettes to understand how to integrate creative aging into your organizational mission and long-term fundraising strategies.

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Remote and Hybrid Learning Will Continue

Adapting In-Person Curricula for Remote Delivery

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a revolution in program delivery for older adults. With so many organizations working diligently to ensure that older, isolated people have access to meaningful, purposeful, social programming, both programmers and older adults realized that this was a viable option for continued engagement. This section will spell-out best practices in remote program delivery, which will be useful indefinitely as your organization succeeds in reaching people who were challenged by transportation and those beyond the borders of your local area.

Need Help?

If you have a question about the course, or if you require our assistance for any reason, please contact Lifetime Arts at Our team is available Monday-Friday, from 8:30am-6pm ET.

About Lifetime Arts

Founded in 2008, Lifetime Arts is a nonprofit arts service organization that offers a positive, modern, artistic and social lens through which to serve, inspire and engage America’s growing population of older adults. 

About E.A. Michelson Philanthropy

E.A. Michelson Philanthropy supports the development of artistic and creative opportunities—and the personal discoveries that go with them—for everyone. E.A. Michelson Philanthropy fulfills its mission to awaken creative expression and build communities through its three program branches, each with a different area of focus: Discovery Arts: Sparking wonder through creativity for children and youth; Vitality Arts®: Inspiring creativity for ages 55 and better; Humanity Arts: Enhancing homes and empowering creativity for adults with mental illness. E.A. Michelson Philanthropies is a private foundation based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

About the NY State Council on the Arts

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York’s citizens.