MONTPELIER—The Vermont Arts Council is offering a new grant program to provide meaningful arts learning experiences for older Vermonters, hoping to ease the social isolation that sometimes arrives as people age.
Creative Aging Grants provide up to $4,000 for organizations to provide skill-based arts instruction and intentional social engagement led by experienced teaching artists for older adults aged 60+.
More than 9 percent of Vermonters are at least 65 years of age, and Vermont is on track to be the oldest state in the nation (age 65+) by 2032. Vermont also has one of the highest life expectancy rates, at nearly 80.
“Participating in the arts as one ages can improve emotional well-being, support good health, strengthen social engagement, and bring purpose and joy,” said Vermont Arts Council Arts Education Manager Troy Hickman. “We’re excited to bring this program to Vermont organizations to provide or enhance arts learning and engagement to older Vermonters.”
Example projects that the grants may support include:
• hiring a teaching artist to lead a series of photography workshops in an assisted living facility culminating in a community exhibit
• hiring a teaching artist to lead remote workshops for older adults in their homes, supplying materials, providing opportunities for social engagement, and giving support to caregivers
• hiring teaching artists or mentors to work with older adults to capture and/or create a series of stories or poems through a partnership with an agency serving older adults
Vermont nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, agencies of state government, counties, and municipalities are eligible to apply. This includes arts organizations, senior centers, and area agencies on aging. Collaborations with or among such organizations are welcomed.
Applicants may engage artists on the Council’s Creative Aging Teaching Artist Roster, which comprises experienced teaching artists that trained with Lifetime Arts to design creative aging programs that include skill-based instructional lessons and intentional social engagement opportunities. Applicants may submit proposals for projects led by teaching artists not on the roster. Priority is given to projects led by Vermont artists.
The grant application opens on Sept. 1, and the submission deadline is Nov. 1, 2022.
Applications will be reviewed based on artistic merit (40%); impact (40%); and project management (20%).
Fundable project activities must take place between January 1, 2023, and August 31, 2023.
The grant program was funded in part by the nationwide Creative Aging Initiative launched in 2021 by the National Assembly of State Art Agencies in partnership with Aroha Philanthropies, now E.A. Michelson Philanthropy. The Vermont Arts Council was one of 36 state arts agencies to receive funding to advance the initiative in Vermont. In 2021, the Council partnered with the Central Vermont Council on Aging to build creative aging programming as part of the initiative, which included creative care kits and an arts exhibition.
For more information about the Creative Aging Grant Program, visit https://www.vermontartscouncil.org/grants/organizations/creative-aging
About the Vermont Arts Council
The Vermont Arts Council envisions a Vermont where all people have access to the arts and creativity in their lives, education, and communities. Engagement with the arts transforms individuals, connects us more deeply to each other, energizes the economy, and sustains the vibrant cultural landscape that makes Vermont a great place to live. Since 1965, the Council has been the state's primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts in Vermont. Learn more at www.vermontartscouncil.org
Catherine Crawley, VAC Communications Director, [email protected]