In this interview with poet and artist, Bill Wertheim, he talks about how he got started as a teaching artist, and how he later met Ed Friedman and Maura O’Malley at the Town of Pelham Public Library while teaching poetry/memoir classes. He connected with the work at Lifetime Arts and his career in the Creative Aging took off. Bill shares his experiences with working with older adults, the most satisfying parts of this work, and more.
In September 2019, Aroha Philanthropies and Lifetime Arts presented, “Collaborations in Creative Aging,” at National Assembly of State Arts Agencies’ 2019 Leadership Institute, hosted by Rhode Island State Council on the Arts in Providence, RI. The speakers included; Teresa Bonner, Executive Director, Aroha Philanthropies; Maura O’Malley, CEO, Lifetime Arts; and Diana Champa, Director of Literacy Engagement, School One. In 2016, Aroha Philanthropies developed a major multi-year initiative, Seeding Vitality Arts (SVA), to seed creative aging programs nationally. Using a learning cohort model, Aroha and its partner Lifetime Arts equipped 50 grantees from Alaska to Puerto Rico with the tools needed to develop and share these programs.
In October 2019, the National Guild for Community Arts Education presented the professional development workshop, “Age Equity: The Impact of Ageism on Arts Funding and Programs,” at the 2019 Grantmakers in the Arts Conference: Cultural Intersections in Denver, CO. This workshop featured moderator, Adam Johnson, Chief Operating Officer at National Guild for Community Arts Education, Annie Montgomery, Director of Education at Lifetime Arts, Eliza Kiser, Director at Pullen Arts Center, and Teresa Bonner, Executive Director at Aroha Philanthropies. This highly interactive workshop addressed, “the last socially acceptable prejudice,” ageism and how it is preventing full access to arts learning and engagement for upwards of twenty percent of the U.S. population.
To meet the growing demand for Creative Aging programming across the U.S., for the first time ever, the National Guild for Community Arts Education introduced a Creative Aging Track at their 82nd national conference held recently in Austin, TX. Lifetime Arts CEO, Maura O’Malley, and Director of Education, Annie Montgomery, helped to guide the development of the new track and traveled to Austin along with our Trainer, Julie Kline, to deliver two sessions; the “Catalyzing Creative Aging Institute,” and “Arts Equity: Combating Ageism to Fuel Creative Aging Programs, Funders and Partnerships.”
Lifetime Arts, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has received a $125,000 grant from MetLife Foundation to pilot an arts education program in three library systems nationwide. The MetLife Foundation Creative Aging Libraries Project will expand its work through partnerships with Boston Public Library, Dallas Public Library and Miami-Dade Public Library. The program places professional teaching artists with workshops in all disciplines where older adults can learn and engage with each other socially. The project builds on Lifetime Arts’ work with public libraries in New York State.
From the article: “A program aimed at engaging older Americans with the arts in public libraries that began in New York has now rolled out to 18 public libraries in Boston, Dallas and Miami, thanks to continued support from MetLife Foundation.”