AFTA’s vision, in the Washington D.C. region and beyond, is to model and promote how very important dignity and compassion are in the care of older adults, and that arts intervention strategies provide accessible and uplifting ways to cope with changing abilities as we age.

As the region’s leading arts service organization delivering life-enhancing and innovative experiences to older people — in adult care centers, community centers, senior centers, and assisted living and senior housing communities — AFTA’s customized arts engagements are led by trained artists and designed to minimize the effects of ranges of physical and cognitive challenges.

Immersion in visual, musical, performing, literary, and intergenerational arts programs sparks the memory, lifts the spirit and creates social bonds, all so vital to older adults, especially those who are feeling more isolated and lonely because they are developing health impairments.

You can read and see more about us in What We Saw Today, a viewbook of artwork, images and writing from AFTA programs.



Read about The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on the Physical Health, Mental Health, and Social Functioning of Older Adults, published in The Gerontologist.

Creativity Matters: The Arts & Aging Toolkit explains why and how older adults benefit from participating in professionally conducted community arts programs. It offers detailed advice and examples on program design, implementation and evaluation and is available, free and online, at

Bringing the Arts to Life: A Guide to the Arts and Long-Term Care identifies current model programs in long-term care communities that demonstrate how the arts play a key role in moving toward person-centered care by engaging older adults in the artistic process.