Museums and Creative Aging
“Discrimination on the basis of age is as unacceptable as discrimination on the basis of any other aspect of ourselves that we cannot change.”
― Ashton Applewhite, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism
By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older in the US (compared to 76.4 million under the age of 18). This demographic shift makes it more important than ever that we change the cultural norm of marginalizing older members of society. We need to combat the loneliness and isolation that often cripple aging individuals, and find ways to harness the knowledge, experience, and creativity of this growing population.
While the aging of America presents museums with challenges of retention and access, museums are positioned to play a major role in building social connections, nurturing creative expression; providing opportunities for meaningful work; and enhancing health, wellbeing, and lifelong learning.
The Alliance’s creative aging initiative helps museums:
- Combat ageism through all areas of organizational operations, including programming, marketing, accessibility, and hiring
- Study the latest research on the transformative power of creativity and arts programming
- Form lasting connections with organizations working in the creative aging sector
- Start new initiatives, programs, services, and partnerships in support of creative aging
You can engage with this work via the following projects:
A National Convening
Mark your calendar for November 5 & 6, 2020, and plan to join us for a national convening to explore how museums can play a vital role in creative aging. This conference will bring together people working in museums and in sectors supporting aging populations, academics, and creatives. This two-day conference is filled with inspiring keynote speakers, lively panel discussions, interactive sessions, and networking events. Practitioners from across these sectors will learn about each other’s work, share information on the latest research and best practices, and lay the foundations for future partnerships and projects. Join us in Atlanta to create the future of creative aging!
Schedule: November 5 & 6, 2020
Location: High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
Watch this page for more information starting in April. Early bird registration opens June 1, 2020.
Ad Summa: A vibrant blog on museums, arts and aging
This series of posts on the Alliance blog aims for the highest and best exploration of arts and aging, with a focus on museum practice. Ad Summa features essays by luminaries in the field of creative aging, shares examples of museums working with communities “fifty-five and better,” and summarize current research in the field.
Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums
The Alliance is collaborating with Aroha Philanthropies and Lifetime Arts to usher a museum cohort through their creative aging program, Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums. This program has been designed and tested over the years with a variety of cultural organizations; now twenty museums are participating and you can follow their stories on the Ad Summa blog.
This initiative is made possible with the generous support of Aroha Philanthropies.