November 3, 2003
The Honorable Larry E. Craig
Washington, D.C. 20510-6400
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I am pleased to send you the National Endowment for the Arts 2001-2002 report on arts activities involving older Americans for inclusion in Developments in Aging.
Our report highlights the first annual award that the Endowment developed to recognize outstanding efforts of State arts agencies in making high quality art available to older adults and to citizens with disabilities. The inaugural Leadership Award was presented to the Ohio Arts Council in October 2002 for its exemplary work in including older artists and artists with disabilities in its planning and grants review processes.
Further, the Arts Endowment is supporting an important study in partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The study, "The Impact of the Arts on Older Americans," is being conducted by George Washington University. Begun in 2001, the three-year study measures and evaluates the effects that professional arts programs have on the quality of life for older adults. Preliminary results of the study were presented to a most enthusiastic audience at the American Society on Agings conference in April 2002. It is the first study of its kind to examine the impact of community-based arts programming on the physical health, mental health, and social functioning of older Americans.
The report that follows describes the Arts Endowment's leadership initiatives, technical assistance, and funding in support of older Americans in the arts.
Thank you for this opportunity to present to the Special Committee on Aging an overview of the Arts Endowment's work on behalf of older citizens.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal