From Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access –
Creative Aging TN has successfully launched and we are excited to see the impact of the arts on seniors throughout Tennessee through a wide variety of on-going and new programs. The programs awarded a new Creative Aging grant will be stellar examples of healthy, positive outcomes and increased participation for seniors in arts programming. Each program will tell a story and re-emphasize that seniors are an important part of every community. From training seniors to be docents in art galleries to the intergenerational programs that will connect seniors and children, the new Creative Aging TN awardees are geared up to reach approximately 4,000 seniors, and the on-going programs are reaching many thousands more.
The initiative is off to a great start in East Tennessee. With a partnership with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera for the Lifelong Learning Musical Caravan Project, the Southeast Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability (AAAD) was one of 19 funded by the Creative Aging TN grant program. The AAAD supports the operations of senior centers in ten counties providing hot meals, health workshops, and active programming for older adults. CSO string and wind quintets will conduct a total of 10 performances at the senior centers. Stops along the tour include senior centers in Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie Counties. As the performance schedule is finalized, details will be posted on the CSO website.
If that was not enough, the word is getting out on our success. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA,) National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASA) have contacted us to learn how we implemented Creative Aging TN. Also, Anne Pope, Executive Director of the TN Arts Commission, presented at the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability board meeting in November where she highlighted the impact that state agencies can have when they collaborate to improve the prosperity, quality of life and health of Tennesseans.