Aging Creatively: Promoting Health and Quality of Life Through the Arts
Gum, Susan Melissa
Savannah, Ga. : Savannah College of Art and Design
Thesis (M.A.) -- Arts Administration
Savannah College of Art and Design -- Department of Arts Administration
Includes bibliographical references (p.114-123).
Worldwide population changes driven by declining fertility and mortality rates are creating dramatic societal changes as the population ages. According to the U.S. Census, in 1994, about 1 in 8 Americans were elderly but by 2030 this ratio will narrow to about 1 in 5. The availability of quality, participatory programs that allow active adults aged 65 and older to unleash their creative potential is already being outpaced by demand, and this shortage will only increase as the longevity and size of the elderly population increases.
Ageist stereotypes and misconceptions about creative potential as it relates to older adults still exist in today’s society and may create barriers to effectively meeting this demand for creative programming, as might available funding. Knowing that barriers may exist, this thesis examines how arts organizations and administrators can identify and overcome them to effectively engage older adults in creative programs. Examination of four facilities currently serving elderly populations provided best practices which were used to identify four key outcomes of successful creative aging programs to be used to inform the work of arts organizations and administrators when serving older adults through creative engagement. The key outcomes are: recognizing the creative potential of older adults has no limits; acknowledging that creative engagement of older adults is sustained by social networks; weaving together artistic and community goals in order to engage and build communities; and, understanding that non-arts partnerships are necessary for the sustainability of creative aging programs, and are beneficial to the arts organizations providing them.
CHAIR: Farago, Chance
PDF : 123 p. : ill
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