Focus on Assets Rather than Deficits

"There is no denying the problems that accompany aging. But what has been universally denied is the potential. The ultimate expression of potential is creativity."

The Late Dr. Gene D. Cohen, Founding Director of the Center on Aging, Health & Humanities at George Washington University.


Using the Arts as a Therapeutic Tool

"Utilizing the arts as a program tool at our adult day center, we have first hand experience about the therapeutic qualities of art and music for socialization and self-actualization."

Marie Sperber, Director of Development & Marketing at the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills




Would you
like to receive monthly issues of Art Works?

click here!


The Arts are Vital as We Age
The Critical Link Between Creativity and Quality of Life

A recent groundbreaking study provides clinical evidence that older adults who participate in the arts have:

  • Significantly better overall health
  • Significantly fewer falls and less hip damage
  • Significantly few doctor's visits
  • Diminished use of medications
  • Diminished vision problems
  • Significantly better scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Loneliness Scale
  • Increased involvement in activities
    Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults
    , Center on Aging, Health & Humanities, George Washington University

By 2030, the 60+ age group will represent 1 in 4 New Jerseyans. The arts can be used as a tool to increase the quality of life for seniors, resulting in reduced healthcare costs and older adults who can remain independent and "age in place."


Vera Gelvin reads/performs a poem she wrote during Silver Scribes residency at First Montclair House.

Vera Gelvin reads/performs a poem she wrote during Silver Scribes residency at First Montclair House.

The Creative Aging Initiative is an innovative program created by the Montclair Arts Council (MAC) in partnership with the Montclair Town Council for local seniors and senior-care providers. In line with the national creativity and aging movement, the project's goal is to enrich the lives of older adults through arts engagement. Their current initiative is the Silver Scribes program. With the assistance of Playwrights Theatre of NJ (PTNJ), MAC selects teaching artists and student assistants from Montclair State University to support groups of elder writers in creatively expressing their feelings and articulating their memories. Both PTNJ and MAC receive grant support from the NJ State Council on the Arts.


Learn More About the Role of the Arts in Aging

Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit, published jointly by the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The toolkit offers detailed advice and examples on program design, implementation and evaluation.

Creativity and Aging: Best Practices, a publication of the National Endowment for the Arts, compiled by Jessica E. Thomas and Katie Lyles, profiles 15 exemplary practices engaging older adults in arts and cultural activities.

A Blueprint for Action: Developing a Livable Community for All Ages, published by Partners for Liveable Places to help local governments and philanthropies tap communities’ cultural assets for economic development and other priorities.


Join hundreds of Arts Plan NJ endorsers in building a better NJ through the arts!
endorse Arts Plan NJ