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Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit
photo of two women singing, and one man singing and playing the piano (Stagebridge)
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Chapter 6: Program Design

When they told me about the “chair dancing,” I had never heard of it and thought there was no way I could ever do it… . But with their help—the Kairos dancers and the people here at Southwest Senior Center—I found out it wasn’t that hard. It feels great, and it keeps me in better health than if I were just sitting around in my apartment all day or playing bingo. This is about the best that my week gets—when we’re here dancing.
Hollis, 64

So far, this toolkit has established the foundation for effective programs. Now you’re ready to take the next step: program design. You may want to learn how to translate an idea into action. Or you may have created a program and find yourself at a crossroads: perhaps the founder has retired and you’re stuck in status quo, or you’re ready to move from an all-volunteer staff to a paid staff.

Whether you are already running with an idea or just starting out, pay particular attention to assessing the needs of participants, establishing a purpose, and creating the instructional design:

Program design takes time. How much time depends on the organization. You may have conducted internal and external assessments, or you may have partners in place and be exploring effective programmatic options. An established organization with solid infrastructure and a strategic plan will be able to hit the ground running. But it is likely that you’ll need to do some degree of planning. Remember that a successful and beneficial arts and aging program is not linear, beginning with planning and ending with evaluation. It is circular, so that our actions are thoughtful and generate positive outcomes for older adults. Program design is never set in stone, so you can respond to opportunities and help your programs evolve over time.

This chapter looks at:

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Appendix 1:
SWOT Analysis

Template Program Logic Model

Sample Program Logic Model

Appendix 2:
Project Timeline Formula and Curriculum Planning Format

Appendix 3: Fundraising Tools
Kairos Dance Theatre Brochure

New Horizons Budget

Kairos Dance Theatre Support Letters (1) (2)

Funding Proposal (Stagebridge)

Appendix 4: Marketing Tools
New Horizons Music Brochure