We're all getting older. In order to address the creative needs of Hoosiers at all stages of life and to help grow the career portfolios of Indiana artists, the Indiana Arts Commission started Lifelong Arts Indiana, a new initiative geared towards developing our creative workforce in service to our older Hoosiers.
To gain an introduction to Creative Aging and Lifelong Arts Indiana, check out this recording of a Creative Aging Virtual Learning Session with Traditional Arts Indiana, The Arts Federation, and the Indiana Arts Commission. You can also access a recording of a Creative Aging Webinar hosted by Lifetime Arts here.
- About the Program
- Meet the Cohort
- Timeline and Eligibility
- Contact Information
- Participant Materials
Lifelong Arts Indiana is a learning opportunity for Hoosier artists to develop their skills in designing creative experiences for older adults. Informed by field best-practices, Lifelong Arts Indiana empowers artists to develop their own approach to sharing creative experiences with older adults, ages sixty-five and older, in their community—and provides access to funds to help make it happen.
Lifelong Arts Indiana includes:
- Creative Aging Learning Course: A three-day workshop that explores best practices in creative aging and strategies to develop an effective, sequential arts learning experience for older adults.
- One-To-One Coaching- Curriculum Building: Follow up sessions to help each individual create their own creative aging curriculum
- One-To-One Coaching - Partnership Building: Follow-up sessions on creating community partnerships to reach the aging community in their area.
- Fellowship: A funding opportunity for special funds to put the Creative Aging Learning Course lessons into action.
Lifelong Arts Indiana participants who receive a Certificate of Completion are eligible and encouraged to apply for the Lifelong Arts Fellowship. Applicants may request up to $1,000 for a project taking place within a specified time period that provides a sequential arts learning experience for a group of older adults in their community. The proposal must meet review criteria and will be reviewed by a conflict-free panel of creatives.
There is no cost to participants. Funding for this program is provided through the Indiana General Assembly and by a grant provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in partnership with Aroha Philanthropies.
The Arts Are Good For You
With his 2006 landmark publication “The Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults,” Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated that participation in activities that foster creative engagement and skills mastery in a social environment has positive psychological, physical and emotional health benefits for older adults. Read the full research on the National Endowment for the Arts website.
What is Creative Aging?
Creative Aging is the practice of providing meaningful, professional arts experiences for adults age 55 and older. Creative Aging experiences are usually delivered by a professional artist, rooted in an understanding of the specific needs and desires of older adults, and are a hands-on, skill-building activity with multiple sessions.
Thanks to the experts at Lifetime Arts, we have harnessed national best practices to expand Indiana's creative aging experiences statewide.
Angie Andriot (New Albany)
I am a painter, working in both oil and acrylic. Through art, I attempt to connect to a reality deeper than the one we can access with our senses. My creative practice has been most active in my co-leadership role at the creative contemplative community called Limen Place.
Fellowship Project: Senior Portraits: A Painting Class
In this class, students paint a portrait from start to finish. The course involves a five-week exploration of the art of portraiture, including portrait photography using our phone cameras. Students learn skills such as framing a photo, angles, composition, and lighting, as well as paint mixing, brushwork, and other tips and tricks for painting a portrait.
Mary Ardery (West Lafayette)
I am a writer, primarily a poet. My poem “Fear of Drowning” won the Academy of American Poets Prize. My work as a writer is not just about the writing, but about bringing writers together. I believe that I could be valuable to the elder population as a knowledgeable instructor in the art of poetry, and that our relationship would be symbiotic – I would learn from their wisdom.
Fellowship Project: Poetry Class
Come read and write poetry together, once a week for 90 minutes. No experience necessary. Together, participants will mine past and present for poetic content, learning how to write list poems, epistolary poems, elegies, odes, and more. There will be an opportunity to share work aloud in a final event.
Dawn Kirsten Batson (Indianapolis)
I have been teaching the steelband (known as the steel drum in the US) for over forty years. The ease with which a beginner can get a good sound from the steelband family of instruments makes new students excited and intrigued. The deep historical background of the instruments also adds to the experience.
Fellowship Project: Creating Joy - An Exploration of the Steel Ensemble (Steel Drums/Pans)
This program will utilize the instruments of the steel ensemble (steel drums/pans) and participants' stories of music and life, to create an intangible musical and communal tapestry. Participants will gain insight into the journeys of others, delve into the history of the instruments (the only family of acoustic instruments created in the 20th century), and gain the skills needed to play the pans.
Leota Bauman (Valparaiso)
I work in watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, illustration, and graphic art. My artistic life has always included a studio practice with teaching as a way to share my skills. Whenever I have given my time and energy to others by sharing my art, I have always received unexpected blessings.
Fellowship Project: Golden Years Art Club
The Art Barn School, Valparaiso has partnered with artist Lee Bauman to form Golden Years Art Club (65+). The first 6-week session is going to celebrate food, farm animals, and nature. Equally important to artmaking, social activities and group conversations are integrated to create community. To celebrate accomplishments, Pines Village Community will host a public display and reception.
Michal Ann Carley (Bloomington)
I work in drawing and painting, artglass, metal fabrication and forging, and limestone carving. All the 3-D work is organically shaped with fire, pressure, and movement. Older adults often find they are no longer engaged with their previous occupation or skills. There is still a need for relevance, accomplishment, delight, and socialization, and the creative arts can offer that.
Fellowship Project: The Language of Nature and Self in Drawn Compositions
The program is designed to teach basic manual and observational skills but can evolve in complexity if so desired. The skill development uses an array of senses as it asks the participant to make expressive physical movements, more controlled dexterous movements that use the brain and body to analyze, measure, and observe, and the heart to respond to and find beauty in their mark making. As the creative process and memories of nature connect participants to a sense of awe, it will also build trust through shared discoveries and disclosures.
Karen Chilman (Commiskey)
My personal artwork consists of painted portraits, live painting at events, multimedia abstracts, scenic work, clay work, and jewelry. I was named the Art Education Association of Indiana’s Teacher of the Year on two occasions- once for middle school and once for high school. Though the bulk of my work has been with the younger generations, I have much to offer older adults in creative aging and in turn can learn much from them.
Fellowship Project: Basic Drawing Skills: Creating a Personal Still Life
Participants will learn basic drawing skills in a safe, collegial environment over six to eight sessions, in person or online. Working through each drawing to build skills and empower participants to create a finished work that will be shown in a gallery setting. Participants will choose from a variety of still life objects, either in studio or at home to arrange into a personal still life.
Janet Chilton (Carmel)
I am a lifelong artist, designer, and maker with a B.A. in design. After returning to Indianapolis from Tulsa, I used the expressive arts for personal growth and healing, which led me to grad school to study mind/body health. Through my work in Life Enrichment at two retirement communities, I worked with elders who delighted in expanding their creative horizons.
Fellowship Project: Foundations of Color Mixing with Acrylic Paints
This foundational color course will give students an opportunity to paint an expressive art mandala while learning practical color theory. Students will learn to use professional color terminology, confidently mix color and identify resources for future color exploration. Understanding color is a lifetime process. The goal of the course is to inspire students to continue this joyful path of discovery.
Lynn Darda (Winamac)
I have been working in mixed media and papercrafts for nearly 20 years. I have been published several times in papercrafting magazines for my card-making entries. Being instrumental in bringing new resources to older adults in my rural community will be an exciting and new challenge for me.
Fellowship Project: Let's Gogh: Adventures in Watercolor
The proposed project will provide adults over the age of 55 with sequential instruction, over a 6 week period, on using watercolors to paint landscapes. The final project will allow participants to create a work of art illustrating a travel destination of their choice.
Kenya Ferrand-Ott (West Lafayette)
I am a wildlife artist working in illustration and realism. I have worked with an assisted living community to teach a variety of painting and technique classes. They liked being told that they don’t need expensive tools, the only thing you need is time.
Fellowship Project: Drawing and Watercolor Magic
Melissa Gallant (Indianapolis)
I am a classically trained harpist and teaching artist. Incorporating improvisation through forays into jazz and folk music traditions is my current pursuit. Throughout my career, I have maintained a private teaching studio working with both children and adults. During the pandemic, I have become more aware of how sharing arts learning with a group of fellow learners can build a sense of community.
Fellowship Project: Tuneful Harps at Witherspoon
The Tuneful Harps at Witherspoon program offers in person social engagement through an in person harp class. Participants will learn the parts of the harp, how to identify strings, proper posture and hand position, and how to play short musical selections in this six week class. A seventh session will be the culminating event. Each weekly session will last 90 minutes. No previous musical experience is required. Reading music is not necessary to participate fully in this class. Participants will be introduced to leading African American harpists through videos and discussions. Guests may be invited to the final sharing performance opportunity.
Sandra Gay (Indianapolis)
Contact Ms. Gay at email@example.comI am a teacher of Theatre Arts, and I am the lead instructor for the Arts program at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. My theatre program focuses on theatre as an-all encompassing learning tool. During any given class, the subject matter ranges form the ridiculous to the sublime! I am a director, performer, teacher, and more.
Fellowship Project: Afternoon Delight - Exploring the POCA Possibilities (POCA; People of a Certain Age)
Afternoon Delight - Exploring the POCA Possibilities will be designed to show just what POCA's are capable of. (POCA - People of a Certain Age) The project will inform participants as to the rigors of both performing and producing an event. The event mantra is: Start where you are, Use what you have, Do what you can...and laugh as much as you can along the way. The sessions will involve script reading, easy movement for the actor, presentation and performance techniques, and simple marketing. The project will inform participants about performing and producing a product.
Devon Ginn (Indianapolis)
Contact Devon at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am the Programs & Outreach Manager at the historic Madam Walker Legacy Center. Outside of my day job, I serve on the board at the Indiana Writer’s Center and also lead meditative sound bath experiences with Haven Wellness Collective. My grandmother is responsible for the artist I am today, and I would love to help seniors feel supported and cared for.
Fellowship Project: The Mindful Chronicle: Sound & Reflection
Dive into an immersive voyage of opulent sound and self-discovery. To facilitate this creative writing activation, Devon uses crystal/ brass singing bowls, tuning forks, chimes, indigenous instruments, and guided breathing. Today and every day, you're invited to relax and reflect.
Emily Guerrero (Fort Wayne)
Contact Emily at Em@Mexica-Arts.com
I am a cultural arts storyteller and installation artist. The emphasis of my work is on my ancestral heritage of Mexica-arts. I share my knowledge and experiences of my Mexican ancestral traditions, arts, music, and food through demonstrations and storytelling.
Fellowship Project: Create & Celebrate Arts with Flowers
"Create & Celebrate with Flowers" gathers elders to create and celebrate diversity of arts and traditions involving flowers in a five part series of weekly workshops, beginning April 2022 to culminate with a showcase event on May 5, 2022. The showcase event is open to the community in the downtown arts district of Huntington, Indiana.
Jean Harper (Uniondale)
I am a nonfiction writer and poet. Still Life with Horses (2017) and Rose City: A Memoir of Work (2005) are two of my award-winning memoirs. In 2020, I was selected by Indiana Humanities to present a creative writing workshop leading participants to write their own memoirs. I am humbled and dazzled by the authenticity and commitment in the work of participants in their later years.
Portia Jackson (Indianapolis)
Through my storytelling, I have educated people about Black History, Juneteenth, the Underground Railroad, and other stories. I have received awards for education, leadership, and performing arts from the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center, Indiana NAACP Youth Summit, US Artistic Olympics, and the Coalition of 100 Black Women. Storytelling allows us to create a safe village for elders to learn from the youth as well as share their own knowledge.
Fellowship Project: Comfort and Joy; Recipe and Story Sharing
The Comfort and Joy sessions will allow participants to create personal stories based on their favorite recipes while learning storytelling performance techniques. The final session of Comfort and Joy will showcase the participant stories and prepared recipes.
Tammeron Jonesfrancis (Muncie)
Ceramic art has been a pursuit for 5 years and I have worked in architecture and design for thirty. I am co-owner of ClayWood LLC, a ceramic art studio. Drawing is my principal interest but, rather than paper, my drawings are now more often painted or drawn on clay surfaces. Making something and expressing the inward-self out can change our mood, outlook, and improve our bodies. For an instructor, to be in that atmosphere of rediscovery is a pleasure.
Fellowship Project: Story Telling Pottery for a Meal
We take pleasure in making something with our hands that springs from our design and can be used by ourselves and a community. Preparing meals might be the most common example of the pleasure of making amid a community. Everyone eats and meals are the time to share stories. This five session workshop brings together the craft of meal-making with the making of pottery tableware as a means to tell stories about the meals and the foods we love and have enjoyed in the past. Participants will learn basic hand-building pottery techniques including: clay preparation and treatment, basic pottery-ware construction such as bowls and cups as well as decorating techniques. The fifth and final workshop meeting will be a potluck meal outdoors using pottery made during the workshop.
Elizabeth Leachman (South Bend)
Contact Elizabeth at email@example.com
Fellowship Project: Discovering Movement for Older Adults
Funding will be used to provide inspirational dance and movement opportunities for older adults that bring joy, care, and health to their lives. This dance program for older adults aims to provide fun and meaningful social and artistic experiences through classical dance, including ballet, jazz, modern, and yoga. Over the course of five sessions, students will learn the basics of various dance techniques, stretching and strengthening exercise, and will end with a culminating dance routine that shows off their exciting new skills. Dance classes aim to provide seniors an opportunity to be active, develop refined motor skills and mind-body awareness, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Debra Levy (Fort Wayne)
I have been writing full-time for about seven years, following my retirement from teaching. Working mostly in the short-story and flash fiction format, my writing has been nominated for numerous awards and selected for the prestigious Wigleaf Top 50 List. Writing can be a historical document handed down to younger generations so they can learn about their ancestors, learn their stories.
Fellowship Project: Your Story Begins, in a Flash!
Requested funds will be used to offer five consecutive writing classes (each 90 minutes in length) at the Fort Wayne Community Center (which offers programming for older learners 55+), and will specifically cover teaching expenses, blog set-up and maintenance, learning materials (notebooks, pencils, handouts), and refreshments for the culminating event—an informal participant reading and party at the Center.
Wacey Robertson (Terre Haute)
I am a multi-instrumentalist with 10 years of experience. Percussion, the drum set, and music business were my primary areas of study in college. I currently work as a music instructor and band director at The Community School of the Arts at Indiana State University as well as freelancing for various bands. Music as an art form is ever-changing, much like the people that play it. The ability to adapt and allow yourself to be molded by your student is just as beneficial as sharing your music with them.
Fellowship Project: Creative Aging Series: Ukulele for Beginners
The fellowship funding will be used to enrich local communities through music. The project will aim to help our 55 and better residents realize their goals of trying something different and creative through music. The funding will support the purchase of needed supplies to tailor a class towards this demographic.
Darlene Rosario-Reese (East Chicago)
I have been an art educator for the last 7 years in East Chicago, Indiana. My work has been selected to hang in the state capital on two different occasions: once in the office of the Lt. Governor and once in the Treasurer’s suite of offices. For me, teaching does not feel like a job, it feels like a gift I didn’t know I wanted.
Greg Rose (Indianapolis)
I am an Indianapolis-based artist who has been creating content that births new narratives and experiences for marginalized folx in a way that honors the past, present, and futures full time since 2019. My artistic work expands across multiple genres including curating, directing, sculpting, and visual arts. I am a seeker of wisdom and our elders can teach me just as much as I can teach them, if not more.
Paula Scott-Frantz (Indianapolis)
I work in fiber art and design, felt making, garment making, Eco Dyeing, Chinese brush painting, and multimedia. Numerous organizations have shown my work and engaged me to teach including Newfields, the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center Gallery, and the Zionsville Cultural Arts Center. It’s a profoundly rewarding feeling to help another person express their own creativity. I have found that felt-making provides a magical way for older adults to express themselves.
Fellowship Project: A Visual Anthology of Personal Stories: Felt Paintings
Thought the course Felted Anthology, each participant will creatively capture a memory or event from their life story as a handmade felt wall hanging. Participants will learn several enjoyable fiber art processes, including needle felting, wet felting, and techniques that form wool into 3D felted shapes. This course encourages a new look at sharing life stories through fiber, empathy, and creative joy.
Peggy Taylor (Westphalia)
My work is primarily weaving, but includes many related fiber arts, such as spinning, dyeing, stitchery, and knitting. The work I do is based on traditional domestic weaving that was common in the early 18th and 19th centuries. I have been included in Early American Life magazine’s Directory of America’s Best Craftsmen since 2015. My interest in working with older adults is in sharing the knowledge and skills that I have while getting to listen to the stories these older folks share.
Fellowship Project: Woven Together
Woven Together is a series of classes in Saori weaving, on 4-harness looms, for older students in the community of New Harmony. These visual arts experiences will build skills sequentially and foster social engagement, through the Saori method of weaving, a very freeing, creative and individualistic approach. A public art exhibit of student work will be held at the culmination of the project.
Jennifer Weinert (Kewanna)
Contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
For over 25 years, I have provided visual, therapeutic, and spoken art experiences for individuals of all ages. As a multi-disciplinary artist, I find particular interest in photography, drawing, acrylics, bookbinding, and printmaking. When applying process-oriented and contemplative practices, such as collage, free form mandalas, journaling; people at any age can learn to express themselves fully and confidently.
Fellowship Project: Story in Three Dimensions: A Multi-Medium Collage Experience
Participants will learn important steps to creating a work of art from concept to completion by exploring the principles of collage. Working alongside others they will explore ways to express themselves through imagery, learn to incorporate elements of design, how to choose materials and engage in creative exchange, all of which can be applied to future visual art and storytelling endeavors.
Roberta Wong (Indianapolis)
I danced professionally with Boston Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet Theater, and Dance Kaleidoscope. Compelled by a belief that dance can be useful for all, I attended Dance for Parkinson's and Hubbard Street Adaptive Dance teacher training workshops. As a middle-of-life artist, I remain committed to dance, its exploration, and the evolution I am experiencing as a retired dancer who feels dance is valuable at any age.
Fellowship Project: Ballet. Connected.
Ballet. Connected. engages older adult learning in group activity to learn, share, create and enjoy through ballet dance techniques, culminating in a shared creative dance experience.
While any artist or creative that meets the eligibility requirements may apply, early to mid-career artists (at any age) who have at least a small amount of experience in sharing their arts with a community through teaching will get the most out of this experience.
- Applicants must be an individual. Organizations may not apply.
- Must be 18 years or older
- Must be a US Citizen
- Must be an Indiana resident and remain a full-time Indiana resident through the end of the fellowship period
Click here to download the 2022 guidelines and view the full list of eligible creative disciplines
Applications will be reviewed and recommended by a conflict-free admissions committee of peers and professionals. The admissions committee will select up to 25 participants who are passionate about sharing their artistry with the community and understanding the role older adults play in our communities. Further, the committee will use these priorities to create a cohort that has:
- Variety of artistic career experience
- Statewide representation
- Variety of creative disciplines
- Diverse racial/ethnic representation
- Diverse age representation
- Representation of underserved populations
Deadline to Apply
August 4, 2021
Three-day workshop (virtual)
October 13, 14, 15, 2021
Fellowship implementation period
January 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022
September 15, 2022
Arts Education and Accessibility Manager
Indiana Arts Commission