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Revisiting the Summit on Creativity and Aging in America

Category: Alliance Blog
Empty conference room
Prepare for this November's convening on museums and creative aging with these resources from the 2015 Summit on Creativity and Aging in America. Photo credit: Chuttersnap on Unsplash

The 2015 Summit on Creativity and Aging in America represented a key turning point in our country’s conversation about creative aging.

Co-presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Center for Creative Aging, the summit made significant progress, particularly in the commitments it established:

  • To work to eliminate ageism across all federal policies in the arts, healthcare, education and community design
  • To increase federal funding of interdisciplinary research and collaborations to expand evidence and in turn support funding and more informed policy
  • To provide more federal incentives for the private sector to encourage the creation of high-quality programs
  • To encourage public and private leadership among arts, aging, health, and community service organizations

Some key literature also emerged from the initiative. Here is a sample list of resources provided by NEA in support of the summit:

  • Creativity and the Brain” (2015): This report encourages neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, artists, and arts educators to work together to build the field of neuroscience by integrating research on the arts and creativity.
  • A Matter of Choice? Arts Participation Patterns of Disabled Americans” (2015): 45 percent of people with disabilities are older adults (sixty-five and older). This report offers the first nationally representative analysis of arts participation patterns among people with disabilities.
  • The Arts and Aging: Building the Science” (2013): Calls for a research framework on the arts and aging that may inform decisions about future NIH research funding
  • Creativity and Aging Study” (2006):  This landmark study reveals how ongoing community-based arts programs improve the quality of life for older Americans. The NEA initiated the study, directed by the late Dr. Gene Cohen.

We are planning to build upon the good foundation set by this convening when we ourselves convene in Atlanta in November 4-6 at the High Museum of Art. Our AAM national convening on creative aging will address various pertinent topics: ageism, introducing creative aging initiatives at our museums, funding them, evaluating them, and taking a close look at some exemplary programs that have resulted from Aroha Philanthropies’ support “cohort” group of museums. Please watch our blogs for upcoming announcements and news about the convening.

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