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Creative Aging

January 7, 2015

Maine Arts Commission program

Late in 2014 the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) established a Creative Aging Teaching Artist roster located at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Traditional/Teaching-Artist-Roster. The artists on the roster have demonstrated mastery of an artistic discipline, knowledge and expertise in sequential arts instruction, good communication skills, planning and organizational ability, and an understanding of their target learners. Each artist was selected after careful consideration of their application.

You might be wondering what “creative aging” is all about. It might be a term that you’ve never heard before. The information below was provided by Kathleen Mundell, Special Programs Director for MAC. One of Kathleen’s responsibilities is for the Creative Aging program. If you have specific questions please feel free to contact Kathleen at Kathleen.Mundell@maine.gov.

CA_Rohdin_ StudentPhoto

Many people working in Creative Aging cite Dr. Gene Cohen as one of  pioneers  in this emerging field.
He spent the majority of his career at the National Institutes of Health acting as Director of the Institute of Mental Health and the Institute on Aging. There he pioneered several research studies on
the positive benefits of creativity on the aging process. In a 2006 study, co-funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Institute of Mental Health, Cohen measured the impact of cultural programs on the physical and mental health and social functioning of older adults.  The results showed positive findings, helping  make the case for the importance of creative engagement in healthy aging.

Other evidence based studies are summarized in the National Endowment for the Arts’ “The Arts and Human Development: Framing a National Research Agenda for the Arts, Lifelong Learning, and Individual Well-Being” (2011).

A renowned  geriatric psychiatrist, Cohen was  author of many foundational books on Creative Aging including “The Creative Age: Exploring Potential in the Second Half of Life” and founded, in partnership with Susan Perlstein, the National Center for Creative Aging, a national organization dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging www.creativeaging.org. This organization has been invaluable in helping jump start the Maine Arts Commission’s new Creative Aging Program.

Wondering about the impact of music on the Alzheimer’s patients? Please go to this link, http://www.wwltv.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/12/08/inspiration-nation-alzheimer-choir/19964747/, read the information that provides an understanding and watch the video.

I will provide more information in future blog posts. Please do share any information that you might have on related topics.

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