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Home > About > News and Events > News > Field News > Arizona Commission on the Arts Launches Creative Aging Initative

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Arizona Commission on the Arts Launches Creative Aging Initative

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Sep 09, 2015

The Arizona Commission on the Arts has launched an expansive initiative to build a local creative aging infrastructure that improves quality of life for older adults. A $225,000 grant (over three years) from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will help the Arts Commission implement “AZ Creative Aging,” a comprehensive plan that trains artists, supports the development of high-quality arts programs for older adults, and embeds creative aging knowledge and best practices in the community.

“It’s important in so many ways,” Dr. Gay Hanna, executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging, said. “It will improve community livability and ensure quality of life throughout the lifespan. It’s very important on a state level because Arizona, of course, is a huge retirement state. … Finally, on a national level, it’s a model of how a private funder and a state arts agency can co-create an innovative partnership to address what really is a key issue of our time.”

Robert C. Booker, executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, said the state arts agency’s initiative will turn leading-edge creative aging research into practices that uniquely benefit individuals and help a society that, for economic, social, and cultural reasons, has a vested interest in the health of its burgeoning older adult population.

“If you’re actively engaged in a theater or dance class, if you are painting or writing or singing, you are contributing to your better health and well-being,” Booker said. “So everything that creative aging does has a direct impact on the health of older adults. Cognitive growth, spatial understanding, the freedom that comes from moving one’s body, all of those things are fostered through the arts.”

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