Philanthropy Women Article

Philanthropy Women recently interviewed Aroha’s Teresa Bonner as part of their Feminist Giving IRL series. In the interview, Teresa tackles ageism, othering and ending broken systems. Click here to read the full interview.

AAM and NASAA Host Creative Aging Conferences

Two partner organizations recently hosted virtual creative aging conferences to advance creative aging across the United States:

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) hosted a national Museum Summit on Creative Aging, a free, highly interactive virtual summit that provided museum professionals with inspiration, tools and connections to help them serve the growing and underserved population of people who are 55 and better. The half-day program included keynote discussions, interactive workshops and panels that include Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums grantees.

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) hosted a Creative Aging Institute for all state and jurisdictional arts agencies and regional arts organization staff and council members. The institute included case studies of creative aging programs from state arts agencies participating in NASAA's Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging grant program and included communication strategies designed to move the needle on healthy aging policies.

Next Avenue Features Louisiana State Museum Program

The Louisiana State Museum, a Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums grantee, was recently featured in an article by Next Avenue. The article shares information on the online dance class offered at the museum this Spring titled "African dance in New Orleans." The free, six-week class was hosted by the Louisiana State Museum in conjunction with its exhibit, Mystery in Motion: African American Masking and Spirituality in Mardi Gras. Mystery in Motion honored Black masking Indians, also known as Mardi Gras Indians, and celebrated their sartorial creations. You can view the article here to read more about this incredible program.

Creative Aging Featured in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Stanford Social Innovation Review recently highlighted the impact of creative aging in an article written by Aroha’s Executive Director, Teresa Bonner. The article shares how arts programming specially designed to help older adults access and benefit from quality lifelong learning can foster connection with others and restore a sense of purpose and joy to their lives. You can read the full article here.

Remembering Michael Matthew Ferrell

Photo credit: Bethany Jackson, Twin Cities Headshots

Aroha mourns the passing of arts and aging leader Michael Matthew Ferrell. Michael made extraordinary contributions to the Twin Cities arts scene and was a pioneer of the creative aging movement. Michael’s outstanding commitment to older adults included his role as the Executive/Artistic Director and Founder of Alive & Kickin, the Twin Cities’ premier senior rock ensemble. Michael’s passion for fostering creativity in older adults, his ability to nurture and create community and his incredibly joyful spirit completely align with Aroha’s mission and we are proud to have supported Alive & Kickin. You can read more about Michael’s incredible life here.

New Grants

We’re pleased to announce more than $875,000 in new grant awards by Aroha Philanthropies to the organizations listed below. You can also see the full list of our extraordinary grantees here.

Discovery Arts
Children’s Theatre Company
Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies
MacPhail Center for Music
Minneapolis Institute of Art

Vitality Arts®
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
MacPhail Center for Music
National Guild for Community Arts Education

Humanity Arts
MacPhail Center for Music
Touchstone Mental Health


Creative Aging Featured on New Orleans Public Radio

Aroha’s Executive Director, Teresa Bonner, was recently featured on Louisiana Considered through New Orleans Public Radio. The segment featured the creative aging movement and the $23,000 creative aging grant to the Louisiana Division of the Arts from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. You'll also hear from Carrie Broussard from the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development and hear a special shoutout to one of Aroha's Seeding Vitality Arts grantees, the Louisiana State Museum. You can listen to the full segment here.

American Alliance of Museums Releases Major Creative Aging Report

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) recently released a landmark report on museums and creative aging and announced a national Summit on Museums and Creative Aging.

The report, commissioned by the American Alliance of Museums and written by Marjorie Schwarzer, is a call to action for museums to change the narrative about what it means to grow old in America. Opening with an overview of aging and ageism in our country, the report documents actions being taken to foster positive aging, profiles the work of museums providing creative aging programming, and shares lessons learned from Aroha’s Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums initiative. You can download a copy of the report here.

AAM will host a national Museum Summit on Creative Aging, a free, highly interactive virtual summit that will provide museum professionals with inspiration, tools and connections to help them serve the growing and underserved population of people who are “55 and better.” The half-day program includes keynote discussions, interactive workshops and panels that include Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums grantees. The summit takes place on July 29, 2021 from 1-6 pm ET. Learn more here.

It’s time for America’s museums—with their long commitment to education for youth and their essential relationships with older adults as visitors, volunteers, advocates, and trustees—to take a fresh approach to the experiences they offer people fifty-five and better.

Museums can and must venture beyond their own walls—physical and metaphorical—to develop strong, lasting community relationships, especially with those who have been overlooked as intelligent, contributing members of society: older adults.

We encourage you to share these two exciting developments in creative aging with your networks.

MN Teaching Artist Conversation Series

More than fifty Minnesota-based teaching artists participated in a recent series of four Zoom conversations that provided a space to discuss the successes and challenges of designing and delivering effective sequential arts education programs for older adults. Aroha and Lifetime Arts facilitated the series, which covered topics such as best practices in remote program delivery, asynchronous and synchronous technology use, supporting students 55+ in remote settings, managing class expectations and how to proceed with remote creative aging programs during COVID.

National Guild Catalyzing Creative Aging Awards + Webinar Series

The National Guild for Community Arts Education, in partnership with Aroha Philanthropies and Lifetime Arts, announced that 14 nonprofit community arts education organizations from 9 states have been selected to receive Catalyzing Creative Aging seed grants. Ranging between $2,000 and $7,000, these grants will support new and expanded creative aging programming, both in person and virtual, for adults ages 55+ in their communities. Learn more by clicking here.

The Guild is also hosting a three-part webinar series addressing social isolation and creating resilient, artful communities of care for older adults through creative aging programming. The series takes place on three consecutive Thursdays—April 15, April 22, and April 29—from 4:30–6:30pm ET. Learn more by clicking here.