Summary of Activities Relating to Older
Fiscal Year 2001-2002
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that exists to foster, preserve, and promote excellence in the arts, to bring art to all Americans, and to provide leadership in arts education. This agency enthusiastically seeks ways to involve older adults in the arts as creators, teachers, students, volunteers, patrons, and as audience members. Through its support, leadership initiatives, and technical assistance, the Arts Endowment assures the continued involvement of older Americans in the full spectrum of Americas art.
Office for AccessAbility
This Office serves as the advocacy and technical assistance arm of the Arts Endowment for people who are older, disabled, or living in institutions. The Office works in a myriad of ways to assist grantees and applicants in making arts programs available to these important segments of our citizenry. A broad range of cooperative efforts have been developed with Endowment grantees, arts service groups, private groups representing older and disabled populations, and with other Federal agencies to assist in achieving the Endowments goal of increased access to the arts for all Americans. The focus of these efforts is inclusion-- opening up existing programs and outreach to citizens who would not otherwise have opportunities to be involved in excellence in the arts.
Design for the Lifespan Forum
As part of its efforts to educate and assist the practice of universal design, the Endowment convened a forum, "Design for the Lifespan," in partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) on February 20-21, 2001. Universal design goes beyond minimum access standards and guidelines--to make spaces and programs usable by people from childhood into their oldest years.
This meeting was the first time that remodelers, universal design experts, and consumers came together to look at ways to educate remodelers on incorporating universal design standards into the remodeling process of homes. The AARPs research indicates that Americans want to remain in their homes as they age, and the utilization of universal design principals in building and remodeling homes makes this possible. An action plan, developed by the 26 participants, is being implemented by NAHB and AARP. One of the outcomes of this highly successful meeting was the development of an "Aging In Place" training certification program by NAHBs Senior Housing Research Center. More than 200 remodelers have been certified since the program was launched in April 2002.
National Accessibility Leadership Award
The Arts Endowment developed a National Accessibility Leadership Award with the Coco-Cola Foundation and National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) to recognize outstanding work of the State arts agencies. The $30,000 award must be used to advance the agencys access efforts. The first award was presented to the Ohio Arts Council on October 19, 2002, at NASAAs conference in Detroit, Michigan--for its exceptional accessibility work to involve older artists and artists with disabilities in its planning process. The Ohio Arts Council is the only State arts agency to date that requires an older adult or a person with a disability serve on all application review panels and sponsors quarterly meetings of artists with disabilities and of all ages.
Careers in the Arts for Citizens of All Ages and People with Disabilities
The Arts Endowment joined with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and VSA arts to support a series of statewide forums on Careers in the Arts to assist artists and arts administrators with disabilities in increasing their arts training and career opportunities. During this reporting period, forums were convened in Minnesota, New Mexico, and Maryland. Representatives from the SSA, arts schools, arts organizations, and hundreds of older adults and people with disabilities participated in the forums. Most important, many follow-up projects have resulted to assist participants in realizing their career goals.
On October 5, 2001, the AccessAbility Office received the "2002 Arts and
Culture Award" from the Corporation on Telecommunication and Disability
for the "Endowments Careers in the Arts Leadership initiative
and its ongoing work to make the arts fully accessible to people of all
ages and abilities."
Gallaudet Universitys Deaf Way
As part of the second International Deaf Way Cultural Arts Festival, the Arts Endowment supported an Artists Symposium that took place June 30-July 6, 2002, at Gallaudet University and at venues throughout the District of Columbia including the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, and at many art galleries. It was a unique opportunity for approximately 400 deaf artists of all ages and disciplines to come together to show and share their art-- many for the first time. The artists exhibited and performed their art, and conducted master classes and arts workshops for festival participants. The Symposium served to increase public awareness of the abilities and accomplishments of deaf and hard-of-hearing artists of all ages and to establish lasting collaborations between deaf or hard-of-hearing artists and arts organizations.
Creativity and Aging Study
The Arts Endowment developed a partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons, the Guttman Foundation, and the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (Administration on Aging and National Institutes of Health) to support a three-year study, "The Impact of the Arts on Older Americans," to measure and evaluate the effects that professional arts programs have on the quality of life for older adults. The Endowment hosted an interagency signing ceremony on July 24, 2001, to formally recognize this alliance and the interagency committee that oversees the study.
The study is being conducted by George Washington University and its purpose is to examine the impact of community-based cultural programs on the physical health, mental health, and social functioning of older persons. The study involves older adults participating in a wide variety of cultural programs conducted by professional artists including visual artists, storytellers, poets, dancers, and theater artists. The research is being conducted in three locations that offer important population diversity and variation in art forms: Elders Share the Arts in Brooklyn, NY; Artworks in San Francisco, CA, and the Levine School of Music in Arlington and Alexandria, VA. Participants represent demographic diversity in terms of race and ethnicity. As needed, test instru-ments are translated into Spanish and Asian languages, and are administered by trained research assistants who speak that language.
This is the first study of its nature in which an experimental design is employed using a large intervention group of older adults involved in community-based cultural programs conducted by professional artists that is compared to a large control group of older persons not participating in such programs. Although there are no definitive studies to date, experience has shown dramatic improvements in the lives of older adults when they are involved in structured programs conducted by professional artists over a period of time.
Preliminary results of the study were presented to an enthusiastic audience at the April 2002 meeting of the American Society on Aging. Scientific and community service program interest in the study has been high as well. The outcomes anticipated in the study are on the whole expected to reflect changes in the direction of promoting sustained if not enhanced societal functioning and independence. The goal is to significantly increase the involvement of older Americans in high quality cultural programming.
The Arts in Healthcare
The Arts Endowment continues its leadership initiative to infuse professional arts programming into healthcare including programs at hospitals, drug treatment centers, and hospices. During this reporting period, the Endowment supported the Arts in Healthcare Consultants Program with the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, a national membership organization that includes medical professionals, arts administrators, artists, and business representatives. Seventeen arts administrators serve as consultants to advise and assist medical staff in planning, developing, and establishing arts programming in their facilities.
Programs include concerts in hospital lobbies; strolling musicians in patients rooms; story tellers for children; drawing and painting instruction; art exhibitions in corridors and waiting rooms; and art carts where patients select framed art for their rooms. In addition, the AccessAbility Office convened workshops for state and regional arts agencies to assist them in expanding the arts into healthcare settings throughout the country.
Arts Endowment Funding
The National Endowment for the Arts supports arts activities that benefit people of all ages. The projects described below specifically address arts programming for older adults.
Please note that our report describes grants awarded for Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002.
Grants | 2002
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal
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