Arts for the Aging is forging ahead with a newly revitalized strategic plan, new and emerging programming that addresses pandemic-resilience, and the start of an organization-wide learning series in cultural equity, justice, and anti-racism; all as we celebrate recent transitions to our staffing and programming. This past spring, we hired a new program director and administrative manager and brought on new interns. In the fall we re-opened the search for a new, revamped staff position, inviting applications for a full-time Fundraising and Communications Coordinator. The job description and application instructions for the position are available via the link above. Applications are due by November 30, 2020. No phone inquiries or snail mail applications, please.

On cultural equity: We realize that to date we have not fulfilled responsibilities as a cultural organization in terms of promoting diversity within, and that we need help to do that. As steps in that direction, we are engaged in a cultural equity and anti-racist learning series, and we will target fundraising efforts to help us set up an environment for a more diverse staff—particularly as we seek to grow a development department in-house.

Over the last two years our artistic faculty and reach to community partners grew by 20%. 25 teaching artists — five who are new, introducing curricula in theatre, play-writing, poetry, and tango — regularly reached 1,376 older adults and caregivers in 50 community and residential care settings and cultural institutions in the Greater Washington, D.C. region. Together with our celebrated music, dance, visual and literary arts programs, our workshops provide accessible and uplifting ways to meet the effects of changing abilities that come with aging.

Now, as we endure the impact of the covid-19 public health crisis, creative aging in virtual times is all the more inventive, improvisational, and … technical! We are incubating and training together with our teaching artists, re-learning what client communities and artistic faculty need during this ‘new now,’ and we are programming virtual workshops and trainings as well as heART Kits delivered at home to address the digital divide. Slowly, diligently, we are reconnecting with older adult and caregiver communities in Greater Washington, D.C. that our teaching artists have come to know and creatively care for over 32 years.

With the challenge that most of our staff has changed at once during this unprecedented time of transformation has come the opportunity to engage fresh perspectives and approaches in our next steps. We look forward to new frontiers.