Ithaca College Gerontology Institute

Organization Associated with Program
Ithaca College
411 Center for Health Sciences
Ithaca, New York 14850

The Ithaca College Gerontology Institute of Ithaca, New York supports research, curriculum development, creative expression, model programs, student internships, and public education on creativity in the late stages of life. The institute serves around 500 people per year, and most programs are facilitated by a volunteer or paid professional teaching artist. The center’s current focus is the continuation of the Enduring Masters Program, a series that started with a New York State Music Fund grant and that features musicians, composers, and other artists performing and reflecting on aging and their art. The Ithaca College School of Music is an important partner in presenting this series.

Program History

In 2007, Ithaca College alumni Judi and Jay Linden recognized the need to better understand the links between aging and creativity and the opportunities aging presents for all persons and institutions in society.They provided the institute with generous funding to initiate programs on creative aging.

The center’s initial projects focused on curriculum development, creative expression, model programs, student internships, and public education on creativity. These efforts were bolstered by the institute’s award of a $150,000 grant from the New York State Music Fund, which, along with the center’s start-up gift from the Lindens, funded over 100 campus and community creative activities.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

The program is currently informally evaluated based on attendance numbers.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

Developing and implementing programs that relate to older adults and the arts is crucial because they greatly enhance their lives and the lives of the other generations that they connect with.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Viewing Artwork, Presenting a Performance, Attending a Performance, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop, Participate in an Ensemble
Arts Discipline: Dance, Folk/Traditional Arts, Music, Theater
Interdisciplinary Connections: Civic Engagement, Education, Health / Medicine, History
Target Audience: Active Adults, Intergenerational
Program Setting: Community Center, Education (e.g. School / University)
Program Service Area: Rural, Suburban, Urban
Type of Practice: Promising Practices