Gay Powell Hanna, Ph.D., M.F.A., an arts administration leader with 30 years management experience in the arts, education and health related program services, is the executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), an affiliate of George Washington University. NCCA is an interdisciplinary nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and the quality of life for older people regardless of ethnic, economic status or level of physical or cognitive functioning. NCCA provides professional development and technical assistance including service as a clearinghouse for best practices, research and policy development to encourage and sustain arts and humanities program in various community and health care settings.
Previously Dr. Hanna served as the executive director of the Society for the Arts in Health from 2003 through May 2007. Through faculty positions at Florida State University and University of South Florida from 1987 to 2003, Dr. Hanna directed VSA Arts of Florida, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, providing arts education programs for people with disabilities including people with chronic illness. In 2001, she established the Florida Center for Creative Aging at the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging at the University of South Florida to address quality of life issues. As a contributing author to numerous articles and books, Dr. Hanna was the lead author of a recently published white paper produced by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Arts and Human Development, Framing A National Research Agenda For The Arts, Lifelong Learning, And Individual Well-Being (November 2011). Dr. Hanna is an associate professor at George Washington University in the Health Sciences Department. She holds a Ph. D. in arts education with a specialization in arts administration focusing on underserved communities from Florida State University; a M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Georgia; and a bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude in studio art, from Old Dominion University. She also holds certification in program evaluation from Florida State University and a nonprofit management executive certificate from Georgetown University.