Washington Post Feature

Arts for the Aging’s work to bridge the gap with isolated seniors is featured in this Washington Post article. Despite the limits of social distancing, we’re working to find innovative ways to deliver arts engagement to older adults and their caregivers. Arts for the Aging will be incorporating virtual technologies and volunteers in these efforts. Stay tuned to learn how you can support us.

Creative Aging During a Time of Pandemic

Microscopic view of Coronavirus, a pathogen that attacks the respiratory tract. Analysis and test, experimentation. Sars. 3d render

We have been following the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, working closely with our stakeholders to enact plans of action that will help protect Arts for the Aging's vulnerable clients and their caregivers. Given the importance and effectiveness of social distancing to slow community transmission, we have made the difficult decision to suspend our current programs through March 31, 2020. Our staff is adapting practices and ensuring secure access to resources needed for potentially extended remote work. We are looking to virtual networking technology so we can continue to inspire optimism in creative aging. We will continue to monitor the situation in the days and weeks to come, and we'll stay in touch.

While it is heartbreaking that Arts for the Aging programs will not be available to support and uplift the lives of older, frailer, and lonelier adults --- which also adds an additional burden to caregivers --- we share a priority to keep communities safe. We also believe it is important to provide a safety net to those at the heart, soul, and frontlines of this organization --- our gifted faculty of 26 teaching artists who are our practitioners.

Read more here including ideas for artful caregiving and self-care you can do at home.

In hard times, the arts bring us joy, comfort, and hope—like these "Lovely Ladies," made in teaching artist Carol Siegel's workshops with seniors at Arlington Adult Day Services Center, to help keep spirits up during this time of community care:


P.S. - The Centers for Disease Control has lay-friendly information for individuals and organizations, and with regularly updated FAQs available here.  The information in this blog post is not all-inclusive nor is it offered as professional medical advice. Please seek advice from a professional healthcare service provider as and when necessary.

We're Hiring

As Arts for the Aging forges ahead with a newly revitalized strategic plan celebrating recent growth and enrichment in our mission and programming, we are expanding and transitioning our team. We recently invited applications for new and continuing full-time staff positions -- Program Director, Administrative Manager and Fundraising Coordinator. The job description and application instructions for the Fundraising position are available via the link above. No phone inquiries or snail mail applications, please.

UPDATE AS OF 5/1/2020: As we move into the hiring and on-boarding phases for two of the roles, Program Director and Administrative Manager, we are pausing on accepting applications for the Fundraising Coordinator position. 

Over the last two years our artistic faculty and reach to community partners has grown by 20%. 23 teaching artists --- five who are new introducing curricula in theatre, play-writing, poetry, and tango --- regularly reach 1,376 older adults and caregivers in 50 community and residential care settings and cultural institutions in the Greater Washington, D.C. region. Together with 600 annual and celebrated music, dance, and visual arts programs, these workshops provide accessible and uplifting ways to meet the effects of changing abilities that come with aging.

With the challenge that most of our staff is changing at once, comes the opportunity to bring on new colleagues around similar hiring timelines to partner with us in next exciting steps. We look forward to new frontiers.

Collaboration with Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

The spirit of legendary American singer Marian Anderson was brought to life by members of Arts for the Aging's artistic faculty, ROMEZ3arts, in the halls within the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery during this vibrant exhibition workshop about the remarkably ravishing, dignified, humble, and revolutionary contralto. "See Me" at the Smithsonian engages older adults with memory loss and their care givers in the art of slow-looking and conversation around masterworks in their various museum collections. Arts for the Aging partners with the Smithsonian by bringing additional artistic modalities to inspire music-making and dance-making evoked by the art and the stories they illuminate. We welcomed staff from the World Bank who joined us to engage with philanthropic recipients, like Arts for the Aging, of their generous Community Connections Campaign. Starting in the gallery, museum educators Vanessa Jones and Amy Lewis Castine sparked conversation, and ROMEZ3arts (Anamer Castrello, Peter Joshua Burroughs, Carlos Cesar Rodriguez) evoked singing around key works in the show about Ms. Anderson. Then we moved to the museum’s magnificent indoor courtyard where we sang, danced, and felt the joy of connecting through the arts. In a moving moment during the workshop, Eleanor Roosevelt’s historic 1939 letter to the Daughters of the American Revolution was read aloud, which lambasted and ended her membership there when the DAR refused Ms. Anderson a performance at Constitution Hall because of her race. It paved the way for the glory of her singing at the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial. Together we acknowledged the importance of the shared beauty of our differences in this melting pot we call, to quote Ms. Anderson’s astute lyrical change, the “Land where ‘Thy’ fathers died.” View a clip from the program here