Teresa Bonner is Executive Director at Aroha Philanthropies and a leading advocate for older adult access to arts experiences that build skills, build community and enhance well-being. In this article she reviews the state of the field of creative aging, outlines the characteristics of effective arts education programs, and discusses the value of such programs in addressing one of the primary challenges faced by older adults: social isolation.
Drawing on her extensive knowledge of aging and the barriers to health and well-being for many Americans, she argues persuasively that creative aging offers an infrastructure for countering these barriers. She states: “Creative aging is a national opportunity.” The placement of Bonner’s article in the Stanford Review of Social Innovation reflects the importance of creative aging programming in the context of national dialogues about social innovation. The article is a must-read for anyone working to advance awareness of the benefits of creative aging.