Photo by Deborah Lee Marion


To ensure that older people have the ability to amplify their creative potential by leading and serving a diverse network of organizations and individuals to advance the creative aging field.


A world that more equitable and age-friendly because the arts are recognized as integral to the health and well-being of older adults.


Access: Deliver Relevant & Timely Information & Helping Organizations Build their Capacity

Thought Leadership: Influence & Inspire Action

National & International Connection: Connect the Network to Each Other

Advocacy: Champion Creative Aging

Excellence: Build and Celebrate a Stronger FieldThought


The “graying” of America — being heralded by many as the second American Revolution — promises dramatic changes in the field of aging. Arguably, one of the most profound changes is a new way of seeing older adults: moving from a “deficit” approach that stresses losses to an “asset” approach that stresses strengths, potential and achievements.  Dr. Gene Cohen, author of The Creative Age: Awakening Human Potential in the Second Half of Life, asserts, “There is no denying the problems that accompany aging. But what has been universally denied is the potential. The ultimate expression of potential is creativity.” It is Dr. Cohen’s groundbreaking research that found a direct link between creative expression and healthy aging.

NCCA was established as a program within Elders Share the Arts (ESTA) in 2001 by Susan Perlstein, MSW, through a partnership with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). NCCA incorporated as an independent non-profit and was established in Washington, D.C. in 2007 under the leadership of Gay Hanna, MFA, Ph.D.  Affiliated with George Washington University, NCCA worked closely with the Center on the Aging, Health, and Humanities under the auspices of Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., a leading researcher and physician on the forefront of the creative aging movement.  NCCA is a designated as a national service organization on arts and aging by the NEA.