Arts for the Aging Programs

Since 1988, Arts for the Aging has been a pioneer in the design, development, and delivery of artist-led, multi-disciplinary, and participatory arts programs for older adults. These programs are designed to improve health, enhance quality of life, and combat isolation. As a regional service provider in Greater Washington, D.C., and a recognized national model in the field of creative aging, Arts for the Aging engages seniors, caregivers, and professional artists; community partners in aging services, museums, and cultural institutions; as well as volunteers and intergenerational collaborators, in the joys of artistic self-expression.

Arts for the Aging was founded on a premise, which scientific studies now prove, that regular participation in the arts by older adults helps to minimize the effects of physical and cognitive conditions in aging, and contributes to better physical, intellectual, and emotional health. Our artful caregiving services, which can include trainings for teaching artists and caregivers, are diverse and customized. This allows our clients — community and residential care settings such as adult care centers, community centers, senior centers, memory cafés, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, senior living, and affordable housing communities — to focus on the delivery of safety-net services, activities of daily living, and occupational and physical therapies.

We offer reliable and cost-effective therapeutic innovations in aging services that minimize strains on health and economic resources, and that maximize well-being and productivity. We accomplish this by providing a frequent source of high-quality multidisciplinary arts interventions that cumulatively benefit older adults and professional and family caregivers through frequent and lifelong engagement.

Are you a community-based or residential care setting serving older adults?

Let's Work Together

We serve and partner with many types of communities: adult day centers, community centers, senior centers, affordable housing centers, assisted living communities, nursing homes, museums, and cultural institutions. We provide in-person programs for the Greater Washington D.C. region, and virtual programs nationally.

Discover Our Teaching Artists

Arts for the Aging’s programs are fee-based. We do have limited opportunities for needs based financial aid. To help us determine whether you qualify, please fill out the form below.

Prospective Client ApplicationVIEW OUR PROGRAM BROCHURE

Download Arts for the Aging's Program Guide:

Program Types

Artwork created by Arts for the Aging teaching artists, caregivers, and participants with the Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Center with the guidance of teaching artist Marcie Wolf-Hubbard for the Bender JCC Goldman Art Gallery Exhibition Under One Roof, on view fall 2021.

Creative Aging Workshops

These hour-long workshops are available in-person or virtually via Zoom or other platforms. These programs engage caregivers as well as older adults with mild to moderate physical and cognitive decline.

Telephonic Programs

Available for client partners with participants who have limited or no internet access. Arts for the Aging Teaching Artists engage in storytelling, sing-along, and directed movement programs over conference calls scheduled via Zoom.

Pre-recorded Programs

Our celebrated teaching artists have developed short 3-15 minute (length varies) interactive programs. These are available in a variety of arts disciplines and can easily be included in YouTube shows, displayed on closed-circuit TV systems, or emailed directly to participants.

heART Kits

These visual and literary art kits provide all materials needed and clear instruction sheets with images to guide participants in a hands-on art making experience. The kits are designed to engage caregivers as well as seniors of all abilities and provide a framework for promoting socialization and connection through the arts.

Caregiver Training Programs

These training programs are designed specifically for professional and family caregivers.  Available over Zoom, Arts for the Aging teaching artists demonstrate therapeutic, multi-disciplinary arts activities that can be recreated at home. They also provide access to resources for that will further enhance the caregiving experience and connection with your loved one or senior client.

Caring for Caregivers

These programs are designed specifically for professional and family caregivers. They provide multi-disciplinary arts activities and practices to help caregivers cope with burnout, and to promote the processing of stress and negative emotions in a healthy, creative way.

Teaching Artist Trainings

Arts for the Aging provides teaching artist trainings for organizations wanting to expand their reach to older adults. These trainings focus on our celebrated multi-disciplinary and multisensory approaches for virtual and in-person arts programming for older adults of all abilities. Learn more here.

Quicksilver Dance Company

Quicksilver is an improvisational senior dance company sponsored by Arts for the Aging. Dance members are 65 and older, and present performances and workshops for older adults and their caregivers in the Greater Washington, D.C. region. Learn more here.

For the greatest therapeutic effects, our four-week series program offers participants the opportunity to explore a variety of different art forms presented by teaching artists in collaboration, or to focus on one arts discipline in-depth. This fosters trust and relationship-building between client partners, seniors, and artistic faculty.

Workshops are also available as single, episodic programs. Client partners may select arts disciplines that most appeal to their audience. Arts for the Aging can customize programming types and disciplines based on needs and participants’ available technology.  

Arts for the Aging partners with many community and cultural partners. Find details about partnerships and field trip opportunities here.

Arts for the Aging teaching artists are professional artists trained in best practices and experienced in a variety of arts disciplines. Our multidisciplinary arts programs include:

  • Art History
  • Collage
  • Creative Movement
  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • Drawing
  • Expressive Arts
  • Painting
  • Mixed-media
  • Museum Outings
  • Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Photography
  • Poetry
  • Singing
  • Storytelling
  • Theater
  • Theatrical Improvisation