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Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit
photo of woman and girl acting (Stagebridge)


The National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, the National Center for Creative Aging, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center value lifelong learning in the arts. We believe that individuals and communities reap profound benefits from participating in arts programs, especially when those programs are led by professional teaching artists. In recognition of these shared beliefs, we joined forces in 2006 to explore how best to serve our respective members and audiences, particularly the growing population of older adults.

Thanks to the generous and enthusiastic support of our funders—MetLife Foundation, NAMM: The International Music Products Association, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, and Roche—we are pleased to bring you Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit. Designed for both the arts and aging services fields, this resource offers detailed advice on, and examples for, designing, implementing, and evaluating professionally conducted community arts programs for older adults. The toolkit also is available in print from the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. We look forward to releasing a Spanish-language edition and Web site in summer 2008.

As leaders of organizations that support the intersection of arts, education, and community, it is our hope that this toolkit will inspire readers to start or continue their work in the arts and aging field and to trumpet the importance of the arts to older adults’ mental and physical health. We should encourage and support the continued creativity of older adults who have much to contribute to the quality of life in our communities.

Jonathan Herman
Executive Director
National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts

Susan Perlstein
Founder and Director of Education
National Center for Creative Aging

Lawrence P. Goldman
President and CEO
New Jersey Performing Arts Center