Editor’s note: This Program Model is part of a series highlighting the work of the Lifetime Arts Affiliates, a cohort of 20 libraries that has been working with Lifetime Arts Inc. to launch professionally conducted arts education for older adults. For more information, check out Lifetime Arts' Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries, a free online resource for librarians that provides information about creative aging research, best practices, and practical advice for planning and implementing creative aging programs.
The Phoenix Public Library (PPL) hosted creative aging programs sponsored by Lifetime Arts to get seniors into the library for artistic endeavors. We wanted to spark their imaginations for the arts and culture using teaching artists to facilitate hands-on programs.
PPL used a teaching artist who specialized in watercolor painting instruction and another in “found” or reclaimed objects (junk) to create jewelry pieces. The sessions were hosted at Yucca, Ironwood, Desert Broom and Palo Verde libraries to capture the broadest audience from our communities. The programs ran nine weeks, with eight instructional sessions and a final session devoted to showcasing participants' pieces in an art show. At PPL, this series was funded through an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant, to be reimbursed after the programs were completed.
The Phoenix Public Library sparked creativity in older adults with a series of hands-on art classes.