Creative Aging Cincinnati

Organization Associated with Program
Creative Aging Cincinnati
7970 Beechmont Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45255

The mission of Creative Aging Cincinnati is to provide arts and humanities programs that have a positive impact on the quality of life of older adults in the Greater Cincinnati area. The organization brings local professional artists, performers, and educators to present programs at senior centers, retirement communities, adult day centers, and long-term care facilities. These programs typically last one hour, and in 2011 Creative Aging Cincinnati sponsored nearly 400 programs serving 14,300 older adults. Classes include ballet and creative movement, chair yoga, recreational group drumming, dulcimer, and line dancing as well as art programs focusing upon history and culture, visual arts, and other areas.

Program History

In 1975, Joan Leonard presented a series of literature classes to members of the Over-the-Rhine Senior Center. The discussions in these classes were so well received by the older adults and those who worked with them that they led to the development and implementation of other arts-based programs designed to foster interest, creativity, and participation in the arts among older adults. The Arts & Humanities Resource Center for Older Adults (AHRC) was created to provide area older people with access to arts and humanities programs on an ongoing basis. AHRC received tax-exempt status in 1985 and has since continued to serve the community by bringing high-quality, professional performers and educators to older adults who would not otherwise have access to them.

In 2004, the AHRC changed its name to Creative Aging Cincinnati. Creative Aging Cincinnati has since developed partnerships with arts organizations, aging organizations, the zoo, and city government departments. The organization has a strong belief that creativity, like aging, is a lifelong process and a commitment to providing access to the arts and creative expression for all Greater Cincinnati-Area older adults. Since its launch, the organization has provided well over 5,000 programs and touched the lives of over 250,000 people.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

This program is evaluated by staff and partner organizations on an ongoing basis through the use of interviews, individual assessments, and attendance numbers.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

Diversify funding sources rather than relying on one funder.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Viewing Artwork, Attending a Performance, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop, Watch a Lecture/Demonstration
Arts Discipline: Dance, Literature, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Visual Arts
Interdisciplinary Connections: Education, History, Volunteerism
Target Audience: Active Adults, Frail Older Adults, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Adaptive Program Design Hearing Disabilities, Visual Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, Psychiatric Disabilities
Program Setting: Aging Organization (e.g. Senior Center), Community Center, Healthcare - Long Term Care, Healthcare - Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
Program Service Area: Rural, Suburban, Urban
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice