Creative Aging

Schedule a Creative Aging Class for Your Senior Facility Today

creative aging mission

Creative Aging classes are designed for participants ages 55 and up, with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other obstacles. Here at West Valley Arts, we seek to especially serve seniors with limited resources so they too have access to the benefits of the arts.

CREATIVE AGING MISSION

To enhance quality of life of older adults-emotionally, physically, and cognitively through the arts.

Here at West Valley Arts, we seek to especially serve seniors with limited resources so they too have access to the benefits of the arts.

What is Creative Aging?

Creative Aging is an international movement to advance the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging. It is a hybrid field that focuses on creative and artistic engagement of older adults.

Choose From Several Creative Aging Programs

Visual Arts:

  • A fine-art painting class with various mediumsand styles.
  • Water color
  • Acrylic
  • Alcohol Ink andMORE!
  • Each week’s work buildsonthe previousweek’s.
  • The teachingartist isfullytrained in conducting a varietyofclasses, includingclasses forindividuals with physical/mental challenges.
  • Each week’s work builds on the previous week’s. • The teaching artist is fully trained in conducting a variety of classes, including classes for individuals with physical/mental challenges. 

Dance:

  • The focus is on building their skills and confidence by learning incremental dance steps. The intended results and benefits include an increase in balance and coordination, reduce the risk of falls, and provide the benefit of socializing with each other. 
  • It will be a fun way to connect mind to body by using improvisation, choreography, and storytelling. 
  • Those participating can include those who are wheelchair bound or use a walker or cane. 

Music:

  • Classes are designed to engage participants’ memory, happiness and/or confidence through music!
  • Professionally trained teachers create a fun and safe space to enjoy the songs of their past.
creative aging music

The Benefits of Arts on Aging

The core concepts of Creative Aging have been developed from what we have learned from many scientific studies.  One of the most notable studies is the 2006 study “The Creativity and Aging Study” by Dr. Gene Cohen, former Director, Center on Aging, Health, and Humanities at George Washington University and the National Endowment of the Arts. This study concluded positive results such as:

  • Better Health, fewer doctor visits, and less use of medication
  • More positive responses on mental health measures & elevated mood
  • More involvement in overall social activities & greater independence

Seniors who participated in activities that delivered a sense of control and mastery AND in social engagement experienced positive health outcomes.

OUR CREATIVE AGING ARTS CLASSES ARE A COMBINATION OF BOTH!

Arts and cultural activities for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s also produced:

  • Enhanced communication
  • Improved attention
  • Increased moments of pleasure

To learn more about this study and other resources on the benefits of the arts and aging go here: Additional Resources

Offered In Person, Digitally Recorded or over Zoom Live! For more information, contact Programs Director, Melody Kokora at

mkokora@westvalleyarts.org

Schedule a Creative Aging Class Today.

Please fill out our information request form if you are interested in hosting a Creative Aging class in your senior facility or would like more information. We would love to hear from you!

West Valley Arts is seeking to expand our Creative Aging Teaching Roster! We are currently hiring certified Creative Aging artists. While our Creative Aging programs are typically conducted in person and off-site, we will be offering an online learning experience in order to support older adults in isolated and at-risk communities across the West Valley.

WVAC provides professionally trained teaching artists to go out and conduct engaging and meaningful visual arts, music and dance classes that enhance residents’ sense of control, mastery and independence. WVAC trains teachers on the following topics:

  • The Aging Process’ Effect on the Arts
  • Current Best Practices of Teaching Older Adults
  • How Sense Memory and Sense Imagination Can be Evoked Through the Arts
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Difficult Memories
  • Challenges with Dementia and How to Adapt
  • How to Communicate Effectively
  • Successful Elements to an Interactive Art Experience
  • And More!

We are always seeking a balance of art forms, backgrounds, and approach in our program. If you are interested in sharing your artistic talents and delivering engaging community programming to older adults in the West Valley, you can apply for our next teacher training session. All art forms are welcome!

A special thanks to the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust for their generous funding and support!

For any inquiries or to submit your application, please email Melody Kokora, Programs and Event manager, at mkokora@westvalleyarts.org.