Focus on Creativity and Aging in the United States

By Hanna, Gay | Generations, Spring 2006 | Go to article overview

Focus on Creativity and Aging in the United States


Hanna, Gay, Generations


Recommendations to policy makers on arts in healthcare and on lifelong learning and community.

In 1961, the first White House Conference on Aging took place. That gathering set the stage for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act of 1965. Thereafter, the White House Conference on Aging was held every decade to make rccommendations on policy and the growing needs of our aging population. In 1981, the National Endowment for the Arts, through an interagency agreement, made a passionate plea for recognition of the importance of the arts in the lives of older Americans, hut no arts recommendations were incorporated into the rcauthorization of the Older Americans Act.

It wasn't until 1995 that the National Endowment for the Arts worked with the Endowment for the Humanities and the Administration on Aging to sponsor a miniconference on aging that brought a renewed spirit and deeper focus on the arts and their capacity to enrich the lives of older Americans. The White House Committee on Aging took note of the strong positioning of the arts as a quality-of-life issue. It was a historic moment and the beginning of a dialogue that continues to the present. Jane Alexander was the first chair of the NEA to be invited to the White House Conference, where she addressed more than 2,600 delegates. She spoke eloquently of the energy, wisdom, and creative potential that older people bring to the arts, emphasizing that learning and growing are lifelong activities and that the imagination burns as brightly in maturity as it does in youth. Yet, despite the articulate expressions and efforts put forth by those attending the conference and the passage of several resolutions that included the arts, the overall impact on the conference appeared to be small.

Within the decade that followed, however, the field began to see a surge of arts programs in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and communities. It was apparent that the movement for arts in aging was becoming a force to be reckoned with. Debates about how to harness its growth, direct policy and advocacy, and build support from federal, state, and local stakeholders began and continue, with increasing concern.

Fast forward to May 18-19, 2005. The National Endowment for the Arts joined forces with AARP, the National Center for Creative Aging, and the International Music Products Association to sponsor a miniconference on creativity and aging in America for the purpose of making recommendations to the upcoming December White House Conference on Aging.

The miniconference brought together forty-four distinguished leaders from arts education, arts-in-aging initiatives, healthcare, philanthropy, government, and research. Over a period of two days, they listened to elder artists and viewed presentations, studied qualitative and quantitative research, and explored a broad range of best practices and model programs. After much deliberation, they formulated recommendations on two issues important to older Americans: arts in healthcare and lifelong learning and community. The following is a synopsis of the areas and the recommendations.

ARTS IN HEALTHCARE

The report of the miniconference acknowledged the research that indicates that active participation in the arts promotes mental and physical health among older adults living independently in the community, improves the quality of life for those who are ill, and reduces the risk factors in older adults that drive the need for long-term care. Despite these findings, the report said, the arts are not considered part of the solution to the broader societal questions of how to promote health and extend life. Although the use of the arts in healthcare has been growing over the past forty years, most people, including healthcare professionals, are unaware that the arts have a significant positive impact on patients and older adults. The mechanisms for evaluating existing arts in healthcare models are limited and expensive, and there is insufficient funding to promote and disseminate best practices. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Focus on Creativity and Aging in the United States
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.