FilmNorth: Stories 55

Aroha is proud to support Stories 55, FilmNorth’s filmmaking program for older adults. In the program, participants have the opportunity to create short films of storytelling/poetry and memoir, with a public screening event following each class at FilmNorth’s state-of-the-art media arts center in the Creative Enterprise Zone in Saint Paul, MN. As part of the Seeding Vitality Arts MN cohort, FilmNorth students recently participated in a culminating event in late August, showcasing their work to friends and family.

You can view the archive of films produced by talented older adults here.

Study Highlights Lifelong Benefits of Choral Singing

A new study from Chorus America, Chorus Impact Study: Singing for a Lifetime, shares new information on the impact choral singing has on individuals and communities, especially singers ages 65+.

The data shows that older singers enjoy a better overall quality of life than the general public and engage in a broader range of activities than the general public of the same age. Nearly 20% experienced improvements in some health conditions due to singing, and older singers also report being in better mental health than the general public of the same age.

Visit to review the full written report.

Catalyzing Creative Aging Grantees Announced

10 nonprofit arts education organizations representing 9 states have been selected to receive seed grants of $7,000 each to support the launch of new, innovative arts education programming for older adults in their communities. The 10 seed grant recipients were chosen from a larger group of 20 organizations who were selected to participate in the multi-phase Catalyzing Creative Aging (CCA) program.

The 2018-2019 CCA program, led by the National Guild for Community Arts Education in partnership with Lifetime Arts, is made possible with support from Aroha Philanthropies and the Moca Foundation.

To learn more about the funded programs, visit the Guild’s website.

Community Choirs Benefit Older Adults

Grantmakers in the Arts recently highlighted the results of a research study featuring Community Music Center’s Community of Voices (COV) program. COV is a cross-sector approach to developing a high-quality, culturally responsive, older-adult choir program designed to help reduce loneliness and increase interest in life for older adults in the San Francisco Bay area. The article includes a link to the program’s manual for creating similar choirs. Aroha Philanthropies supported COV for several years.

To learn more about the results of this innovative approach meeting the needs of older adults, check out this article.


Photo Credit: Linda Cicero

Seeding Vitality Arts Evaluation Report


Aroha’s Seeding Vitality Arts (SVA) grantees have been gathering data on participant outcomes pursuant to an evaluation process designed by Touchstone Center for Collaborative Inquiry. High-impact outcomes were reported in post-program surveys of 1,662 participants in the SVA U.S. and SVA MN programs during 2017 and 2018.

View the full report here.

Arts and Aging in Philadelphia

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has published a report on the arts and aging, noting, “For adults over 50, arts and culture can dramatically reduce the risk of developing depression, decrease the possibility of dementia through volunteer engagement and improve mental and emotional processing power.”

Sponsored by AARP Philadelphia, The Impact of Arts and Culture Agenda: Aging report summarizes research that shows the myriad ways the arts and creativity enhance health and well-being in older adults.

We encourage you to read the full report here.

Juice Media and FilmNorth

Aroha is proud to support JuiceMedia, FilmNorth’s after-school filmmaking collective. Comprised of a crew of high school filmmakers from across the Twin Cities metro, talented youth produce three projects of increasing complexity each semester: a 30 second PSA, a 3-5 minute short documentary and a final project.

You can view the archive of films produced by skilled teenagers and meet the Spring 2019 crew by watching the intro video here.

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Building a Creative Aging Movement

Aroha Philanthropies and the National Guild for Community Arts Education announced the launch of "Building a Creative Aging Movement." This multi-pronged, two-year initiative is designed to advance the emerging field of creative aging, which seeks to promote well-being and advance equity and inclusion through engaging the creativity of adults ages 55+. This visionary effort, which is supported by Aroha's philanthropic investment of nearly $500,000 over two years, aims to foster well-funded, comprehensive creative aging programs through training and networking opportunities, leadership development and advocacy.

As part of that initiative, the Guild announced the opening of a third round of its training and capacity-building program, "Catalyzing Creative Aging." Twenty Guild members will be selected to receive support in developing individualized action plans to establish and sustain their programs and will be eligible to apply for seed funding. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

Learn more about "Building a Creative Aging Movement" by visiting the Guild’s website and viewing the full press release.

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Creative Aging Reading List

The Aroha Senior Fellow for Museums and Creative Aging, William (Bill) Tramposch, recently wrote an article for the American Alliance of Museums blog. In the post, Bill described the creative aging movement as “reawakening curiosity”. “At a certain time in our lives, we can either retire and retreat or realize that our demographically lengthening years are an opportunity to advance into other exciting avenues, ones we have only dreamed of exploring,” said Bill.  

Museums can provide many opportunities for these “reawakenings of interest and engagement” and are “safe places in which adult learners can grow and thrive.” 

Bill curated a reading list on the topics of creative aging, which can serve as a prompt for museum professionals and creative aging supporters, guiding us toward lively institutions and programs. Bill’s recommending reading list can be found in his post here.

MN Teaching Artist Training in Creative Aging

Aroha received an incredible response to the upcoming teaching artist training in creative aging. Fifty Minnesota teaching artists were randomly selected to participate in the July 2019 training. A second Minnesota training will be offered later in 2019. Minnesota teaching artists interested in attending who haven’t already shared their contact information can fill out this interest form. Stay tuned for more information to come.