As the population of the United States matures in the 21st Century, data shows that there are as many people over age 65 as are under age 20.
To respond to this demographic shift, the Mesa Arts Center initiated an important pilot program to reach an underserved population of seniors, and early results are very promising!
The center enlisted the services of two marvelous local teaching artists, Tessa Windt (fibers), and Elizabeth Johnson (dance), to work directly with seniors at three Mesa facilities as part of the Creative Aging Program. The goal of the program is simple: uplift individual creative expression in older adults through movement, story, dance, and engagement in art making.
We’re excited that we’ve not only met our goal, but also impacted this special population in meaningful ways and we’re ready to make this program a permanent part of our services to the community.
Beginning with a curriculum map, staff and the artists developed program outcomes, a learning plan, and assessment evidence for the eight-week project. Elizabeth Johnson worked with a group of seniors at an independent-living facility. She quickly found their level of engagement to be unexpectedly high, with people practicing their movements between workshop sessions, and many seniors insisting that they teach Elizabeth about the music and dance of “their” era. Read the rest of this entry »