Creative Aging Directory - Creative Aging Network-NC

Program Title
Program Summary

ARTmail is a visual arts project which uses partner exchanges and Abstract Expressionism as a means for building skills and increasing socialization. It validates self-expression, promotes creativity and connects older people of all socio-economic and ability levels across the state. The goals of ARTmail are to encourage free expression and creative growth among diverse older adults, to promote their sense of control and mastery, and increase social engagement. These in turn promote physical and psycho-social well-being. The program was launched in 2010 after a few years of development and tweaks. Approximately 180 older adults have participated in the project and a new series targeting 200 elders is planned to begin in January 2016.

Program Background and History

ARTmail was born out of a collaboration between the Creative Aging Network-NC (CAN-NC) Executive Director and an artist. Together they developed and implemented a pilot version which was revised and honed by the Executive Director based on feedback by older adult participants and site staff. The name of the program was also changed to better reflect its purpose.

Program-Specific Research and Key Findings
Program-Specific Assessment and Evaluation
Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs
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Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus
Creation of Original Work, Exhibiting Artwork, Viewing Artwork, Presenting a Performance, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop, Participate in a Residency, Watch a Lecture/Demonstration
Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus Other
Interdisciplinary Connections
Civic Engagement, Education, Volunteerism
Creative engagement
Target Audience
Active Adults, Caregivers - Family, Caregivers - Professional, Frail Older Adults, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Adaptive Program Design
Hearing Disabilities, Visual Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, Psychiatric Disabilities
Adaptive Program Design Other
Program Setting
Adult Day Care, Aging Organization (e.g. Senior Center), Arts Organization, Assisted Living, Community Center, Healthcare - Long Term Care, Healthcare - Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Library, House of Worship / Religious Center
Program Service Area / Geography
Rural, Urban
Program Service Area / Geography Other