As part of the Vitality Arts Project for Art Museums Initiative, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) and Catholic Charities Twin Cities Higher Ground campus collaborated on a six-week drawing program this summer for older adult residents. Higher Ground serves men who have struggled with homelessness or housing instability. The residents’ case managers also were participants during this course, which was taught by Lynda Monick-Isenberg, Lifetime Arts Trainer. This article was published by MPR News.
In this issue, we explore the emerging research and practices of social prescribing for the arts (SPA) and discuss the future of SPA efforts as a vital component of arts and health services in the U.S., especially for older adults. This issue starts framing answers to key questions related to the challenges and opportunities this practice surfaces in healthcare and creative aging. Featured in this issue is a recorded conversation between three leading experts on SPA in the U.S.: Tasha Golden, S. Sudha, and Käthe Swaback.
*This email is an abridged version of our our full issue, which contains in-depth analysis and numerous resources on social prescribing. You can read the full issue here.
One of the many lessons we learned from the pandemic is that remote/virtual programming is a viable (and likely ongoing) method for program delivery. Whether offered onsite or remotely, all successful creative aging programs have something in common: they are responsive to the communities they serve.
By listening and learning, teaching artists and arts organization staff across the country are implementing inclusive programs where all older adults can build lasting friendships and create honest and meaningful art.
From the Press Release:
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is pleased to announce a new health and wellness initiative that will enable thousands of people from across the province to visit the Museum at no cost, with a referral from associated ROMCAN healthcare, community, or social service professionals. The Museum’s year-long social prescription pilot program, a collaborative effort with the partners of the ROM’s Community Access Network (ROMCAN), provides an opportunity for people accessing health or social services to benefit from the uplifting experience of engaging with art and culture.
In this issue of The Creative Aging Resource from Lifetime Arts, Diantha Dow Schull (Curator for Lifetime Arts), interviews two innovative programmers; Amy DelPo, Older Adult Specialist at the Denver Public Library and Harrison Orr, Director of Museum Education at Tucson’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Both programs were for members of the LGBTQIA+ communities. They were also intergenerational and offered online, providing instructive models for other cultural institutions.
In this issue of The Creative Aging Resource by Lifetime Arts, Diantha Dow Schull (Curator for Lifetime Arts) shares a curated collection of programs that align with the tenets of the creative aging arts education model and are designed to become embedded in cultural institutions.
“Stay Gold” is an intergenerational arts program for LGBTQIA+ people, that the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson has offered for several years. In this article the three individuals who contributed to the design and implementation of the program describe their effort to assess the program from the perspective of the participants.
Through in-depth interviews they tried to learn how such programs build museums’ capacities to work with “marginalized audiences” and how participants can build cross-age relationships through art-making experiences.
The article is important as a discussion of a successful LGBTQIA+ creative aging program that: (1) connects generations while building community, and (2) that has been institutionalized. It is also an important example of an LGBTQIA+ program assessment that can help MOCA Tucson and other museums refine their programs for a growing constituency.
This chapter in a museum education reference work is an in-depth study of “Stay Gold: An Intergenerational LGBTQIA+ Arts Program” offered in 2020-2021 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson AZ (MOCA Tucson).
The three authors were all involved in key ways in designing and implementing “Stay Gold.” The study is unusual for its detailed history and discussion of the rationale for the program, how it was developed collaboratively with participants, how it was implemented and the effect it has had on individual participants and the overall gay community.
Few cultural institutions have or take the time to document and analyze specific initiatives in a similar way. The study is also unusual as an effort by museum staff and consultants to communicate with peers in other institutions regarding the development of a key program. The Chapter concludes with suggestions on how other types of cultural institutions might develop similar programs.
In 2015 the Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester, UK) mounted an exhibit titled, “Danger! Men at Work,” which was a selection of works from the Whitworth’s collections curated by a group of men living in a residential home near the gallery. The selections reflected the men’s personal stories and perceptions of masculinity. The exhibit, and a related publication, “A Handbook for Cultural Engagement with Older Men,” evolved from efforts by the Whitworth staff to understand and respond to a persistent problem, namely, the problem of engaging older men with art and museums.
In this blog post Ed Watts, Engagement Manager at the Whitworth, explains the multi-year process of research and program experimentation that led to the actions taken by the Whitney to increase the involvement of older men in the life of the museum. As a result of Watts’ work, the Whitworth not only mounted “Danger! Men at Work,” — which was well received by visitors, including older men — and published the handbook, but has continued to take steps to engage older men with the development of and participation in age-friendly programming. The blog post is unusual as a personal reflection and record of problem solving within the museum context.