The Artful Aging Arts Initiative—What It Is, What It Does
For the past several years, the Johnson City Public Library’s Artful Aging program has provided a variety of skills-focused arts workshops led by professional teaching artists. Initially funded through a “Seeding Vitality Arts” grant from Aroha Philanthropies, these workshops offered opportunities for older adults (50+) to explore challenging new skills in a welcoming and supportive atmosphere. The library has offered Appalachian music, storytelling, poetry, acting, sculpture, and photography. The results have been shared with our community through exhibits and performances, and you can watch some of these below. The library is committed to continuing these opportunities for emerging artists in the community for little or no charge.
According to a report from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in March 2019, “The arts contribute to healthy aging, making them an effective tool for addressing the wellness needs of older Americans… There are nearly 60 million Americans over the age of 65, and this population is only growing as…tens of millions of Baby Boomers will reach retirement age within the next decade. For these individuals, creative aging…will become an increasingly important resource in the health care continuum…”
In other words, pursuing intensive, skills-focused arts activities results in:
- Fewer falls
- Fewer doctor visits
- Less medication
- Less depression
- Better cognitive function
Sound like a future you want, for yourself or a loved one? The library welcomes all contributions, large or small, to help continue this important work. Still not convinced? The arts make economic sense for communities such as ours, too.
I am taking this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for the Art Appreciation program, offered at the Johnson City ETSU Campus. I wanted to say that I really appreciated your information and encouragement to participate in the summer Johnson City Public Library’s Art Appreciation Workshop.
This adult program/workshop has motivated me to continue developing hidden art skills. I also appreciated Angelique Lynch’s patience very much, and teaching enthusiasm, to keep us focused and informed in the Art science. I also would like to express gratitude for the painting supplies furnished, and to those who supported this educational and motivating program.
Angelique Lynch is an excellent instructor. She encourages creativity in a relaxed yet learning environment. Her class preparation is obvious and her style interesting. This is my second year with Artful Aging classes and I wish was it open all year long. When painting, physical pain decreases which is a relief. Thank you for the opportunity.