Our Mission /

Arts for the Aging engages older adults and caregivers with diverse abilities and backgrounds in health improvement and life enhancement through regular participation in the multidisciplinary arts.

Our Vision /

To demonstrate excellence in multidisciplinary, participatory, and inclusive arts programming for older adults and caregivers.

Our Mission /

Arts for the Aging engages older adults and care partners in health improvement and life enhancement through regular participation in the multidisciplinary arts.

Our Vision /

Pioneering arts programming for older adults, Arts for the Aging is a model for excellence in life-long learning and creative aging.

About Arts for the Aging

Growing fields of research show what Arts for the Aging has practiced since 1988: that regular arts participation combats loneliness, spreads joy, and improves physical, cognitive, and emotional health.

Arts for the Aging is a social service organization that brings the dazzling beauty and therapeutic power of the arts to older adults and their caregivers, especially historically marginalized communities living with isolation, health, and accessibility needs. Our programs are led by a celebrated faculty of teaching artists trained in our nationally-recognized best practices for healthy aging and caregiving. Programs take place in cooperation with community and residential care clients, and with museum, cultural, and academic partners, primarily in Greater Washington D.C.

Discover Our Teaching ArtistsOur Visual Identity

Immersion in visual, musical, performing, literary, and intergenerational arts programming ignites self-expression, sparks imagination, lifts spirits, and creates social bonds—all so vital for healthy aging.

You can read and see more about us in What We Saw Today, a viewbook of artwork, images and writing from Arts for the Aging programs.

2022 By the Numbers

Our Values

The following values are foundational to our mission, goals, activities, and ways we relate to one another. These principles unite us – program participants, caregivers, teaching artists, board, staff, advisors, volunteers, clients, and partners. Through these values we celebrate the arts’ unique potential to connect us with our most authentic selves.

Community Outreach deepens our commitment to equity by reaching organizations serving older adults that cannot otherwise access therapeutic arts programming.

Participatory Engagement embraces creativity and an improvisational spirit of “yes, and…” Our teaching model validates all levels of interaction and celebrates
spontaneous self-expression, regardless of ability.

Respect uplifts the dignity of all human beings. We learn, grow from, and incorporate the diverse life experiences, cultures, and complexities of every individual.

Our Beliefs

We believe that all individuals have an inherent need to engage in creative self-expression.

We believe that regular arts engagement has the therapeutic power to improve physical, cognitive, and emotional health.

We believe that participatory arts programming inspires empathy and respect, fosters communication and belonging, and promotes social connection.

We believe that older adults and caregivers should have equitable access to participatory arts programs led by teaching artists with diverse backgrounds and art disciplines.

We believe that teaching artists trained in our creative aging best practices and programming support healthy aging and caregiving.

Our Strategy 2020 - 2022

Arts for the Aging will continue to focus on what it does best: Delivering participatory arts programs, which are artist-led, multidisciplinary, and designed to enhance the health and quality of life of older adults, and professional and family caregivers. Arts for the Aging will provide these high-quality programs—both virtually and in-person—with groups of people impacted by the effects of physical and cognitive health conditions, and whose access to these kinds of life enrichment interventions is limited for reasons of affordability, availability, or the ability to use such programs. As a regional service provider and a recognized national model, Arts for the Aging will strengthen and expand partnerships in thought leadership, business, program, and resource development to grow its offerings and expand its reach in the creative aging field. Arts for the Aging programs will engage community partners and professional and family caregivers while the organization continues to transform its services into pandemic-resilient formats, and grow board, staff, and volunteer capacity to close the founder-succession period and achieve financial sustainability.

Where We Work

Our History

In 1986, researchers at the National Institutes of Health approached Lolo Sarnoff, a sculptor and a founding Trustee of a small D.C. gallery called the Art Barn, to provide art workshops for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Lolo agreed and soon observed that art in every form was beneficial to the moods of most. Reports by nurses showed less agitation and aggressive behavior, as well as lingering positive effects in patients even after they left the Art Barn. In 1988, Lolo — then 72 — founded Arts for the Aging to continue that promising work.

Now Arts for the Aging is recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a pioneering arts program for older adults, and a model for excellence in life-long learning and creative aging. True to the founder’s innovative vision, Arts for the Aging gives older adults and caregivers — especially those who are vulnerable and marginalized — a sense of healing, empowerment, and independence.

On November 9, 2014, at age 98, Lolo Sarnoff passed away. She had a lilting and practical way of talking about becoming an “angel” some day. Now she has her wings! All of us here at Arts for the Aging — our board, staff, teaching artists, volunteers and many others — we miss her so. Each year Arts for the Aging bestows the Lolo Sarnoff Founder’s Award on an individual to commemorate the founder’s pioneering vision and that of others who carry her spirit.

Read more about Lolo Sarnoff’s remarkable life.

Our Team

Manny Arciniega
Creative Production Consultant

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Mercedes Blankenship
Grants Coordinator

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Kiley Clements
Programming and Communications Intern

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Ariel Green
Programming and Communications Intern

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Joan Hampton Fraser
Teaching Artist Training Consultant

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Sarah House
Program Director

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Lenique Huggins
Communications Fellow

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Kayla Conklin
Project Assistant

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Peggi McGovern
Administrative Manager

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Janine Tursini
Director & CEO

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Jackie Vinick
Director of Development

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Cultural Equity

Our Commitment

To support a full creative life for all, Arts for the Aging commits to champion policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, and  equitable organization.

Our Progress


Pioneer, $1 million +

Lolo Sarnoff (Founder) *

Visionary, $400,000 – $999,999

Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County
The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Maryland State Arts Council

Catalyst, $200,000 — $299,999

Martha Healy *

Innovator, $100,000 – $199,999

Don and Nancy Bliss
Clark-Winchcole Foundation
Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.
Philip L. Graham Fund
Law Offices of Bruce E. Matter, P.C.
Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
The Edward N. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation
United Way of the National Capital Area

Creator, $50,000 – $99,999

William T. Coleman, Jr. and Lovida Coleman*
Julia and Michael Connors/The Connors Family Foundation
Susie and Clayton Eisinger
John Edward Fowler Memorial Foundation
Heinz Family Foundation
Billie and Wallace* Holladay
Alidz and Zaven Khachaturian
J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation
The Meredith Foundation
Montgomery County Department of Recreation
Jeanne Ruesch and Otto* Ruesch
The Shaman Charitable Foundation
Julia Sevilla Somoza
Weissberg Foundation

Devotee, $25,000 – $49,999

Mildred Winslow Ashcraft Trust
Adobe Systems
BB&T / Truist
Stephen and Jeanette Bruce
Harman Family Foundation
Tania and Jim Hosmer
Investcorp International
Kuni Matsuda
Dorn McGrath
Mead Family Foundation
Metropolitan Life Foundation
Henry E. Niles Foundation, Inc.
Carol and Earl Ravenal*/The Ravenal Foundation
Renah Blair Rietzke Family and Community Foundation
Deborah Ratner Salzberg and Michael Salzberg
Susan and Dick Schumacher
The Sulica Fund, Inc.
Mary Weinmann
The Ada and Albert Wibel Foundation 

Groundbreaker, $15,000 – $24,999

American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati at Anderson House, BB&T, Pat Bush*, Chris Carr, Castle Gate Media LLC, Dorothy Jordan Chadwick Fund, William E. Cross Foundation, Richard and Ulla Dreyfus-Best, Cherrie Wanner Doggett, Nancy Dunton, The Samuel R. Dweck Foundation Inc., Embassy of Sweden, Forest City Washington, Dorree Lynn and Furthermore, Inc., Geppetto Catering, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Joyce S. Hagel Silverman, Jay and Ann Kaplan, Kensington Park Senior Living, Melissa Keshishian and Harold* Keshishian, The Marriott Daughters Foundation, Shahin Mafi, The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, Napoleon Monroe, Rockville Rotary Club Foundation, Inc., Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Inc., Rotary Club of Washington, DC, Dorothy Sarnoff Raymond Foundation, Deborah Toll, Adrienne Vas, Joy Marzilli Willing, Don Wright and Lezley McIlveen, The World Bank Community Connections Fund

Facilitator, $10,000 – $14,999

Susan Carmel, Elno Family Foundation, May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

Collaborator, $5,000 – $9,999

Robert N. Alfandre Foundation, Joan Gervino, Nancy and Dick Havlik, Dean and Cathy* Philpott, Susan Schaefer, Milan Selassie, Ralph and Bonnie Tursini, Janine Tursini

*In Memoriam

Board of Trustees

Donald E. Wright, Chairman
Gabriela I. Coman, Secretary
Michelle Baker, Co-Chair, Development-Communications 
Melanie Jarratt Wolfe, Co-Chair, Development-Communications 
Deborah Riley, Co-Chair, Development-Communications
T. Ryan Wilson, Esq., Interim Treasurer

Lolo Sarnoff, Founder & Chair Emerita (1916-2014) [Emerita]

Read the Bios Here

Catherine H.K. Bell
Donald T. Bliss, Esq., Emeritus
Lisa Emidy-Consoldane
Joseph Andrew Jones, Ph. D.
Scott Span, MSOD, CSM,

Bruce Matter, Esq., General Counsel [Ex Officio]
Janine Tursini, Chief Executive Officer [Ex Officio]

National Advisory Council

Jerome Barry, Performance Artist, Master Teacher, Founder of Embassy Series

Nathan Billig, MD, Gerontologist and Psychiatrist

Elaine Kotell Binder, Certified Association Executive, Nonprofit consultant, Trustee of Roundhouse Theatre

Robert B. Blancato , President of Matz, Blancato & Associates,  National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition, and Trustee of National Center for  Creative Aging

Thomye M. Cave, Executive Director, Downtown Clusters Geriatric Day Care Center

Raquel Chapin Stephenson, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT, Assistant Professor, Expressive Therapies Division, Lesley University

Yanira Cruz, PhD, President & CEO, National Hispanic Council on Aging

William R. Dunlap, Artist, Arts Commentator, and Educator

Jehan El-Bayoumi, MD, FACP, Associate Professor of Medicine, Internal Medicine Residency Director, Gerontologist, The George Washington University, Medical Faculty Associates

Steve Gurney, Founder of Pro-Aging Network, and Founder/Publisher of Guide to Retirement Living Sourcebook

Anthony J. Hyatt, Founder, Moving Beauty, Master Teaching Artist

Peter Jablow, President and CEO of the Levine School of Music

Stuart Kandell, PhD, Founder of Stagebridge and Artful Aging Associates

Ermyn King, MA, RDT, Drama therapist, arts educator, teaching artist, arts in health administrator and practitioner

Dorothy Kosinski, PhD, Director, The Phillips Collection

Beverly K. Lunsford, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, Assistant Professor, The George Washington University School of Nursing; Director, Center for Aging, Health and Humanities; Director, Washington Area Geriatric Education Center Consortium

William F. McSweeny, Trustee of the Fine Arts Committee of the State Department

Susan Perlstein, MSW, Founder of Elders Share the Arts and The National Center for Creative Aging

Judy Rollins, PhD, President, Rollins & Associates

Judith Salerno, MD, President & CEO, Susan G. Komen

Robert and Tricia Sarnoff, Sarnoff Family Advisors

Susan J. Schumacher, Executive Vice President, Eagle Bank, AFTA Trustee Emerita

Rhoda Maria Septilici, Diplomatic Liaison



Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Anticipated start date: Summer 2023

This position is ideal for an individual interested in building a career in marketing and communications, and who wants to help our growing mid-size nonprofit build and cultivate new marketing and communications infrastructure, systems, and standard operating procedures. We seek a coordinator with passion for supporting Arts for the Aging’s culture of collaboration, compassion, and innovation; values of community outreach, participatory engagement, and respect; and dedication to aligning programs, practices, and communications accordingly. The position has a telework schedule including office hours at our administrative headquarters in Rockville, MD. The full job description and instructions for how to apply are linked here. 

Send your cover letter, including what makes you a good fit for this role, and your resume to [email protected]. Attention/Subject: Marketing and Communications Coordinator search.


There are no internship opportunities at this time.

Teaching Artists

Interested in becoming an Arts for the Aging teaching artist? Click here for more information.


There are no volunteer opportunities at this time.