Creative Aging Directory - ArtSage

Program Title
Program Summary

ArtSage is a connector, convener and catalyst for the field of arts and aging. We provide training programs, consulting services, and arts and aging resources. Our strategic initiatives include:

ArtSage as CATALYST: Developing and delivering replicable programs that bring arts and aging into action in new and profound ways.

  • ArtSage Training for Teaching Artists
  • Advanced Teaching Artist Training
  • Consulting for Arts Organizations
  • Consulting for Senior-Serving Organizations

ArtSage as CONNECTOR: Creating ways for arts and aging practitioners and advocates to connect to each other and to the field.

  • Intro to Arts & Aging Workshops
  • ArtSage Membership Program, including quarterly SageNews newsletter, monthly Arts & Aging issues briefs, access to Members Only website portal, and SageConnect, an interactive and searchable database that will function as a one-stop shop for the arts and aging marketplace.

ArtSage as CONVENER: Bringing together arts and aging stakeholders to advance the field.

  • Midwest Arts & Aging Conference and Showcase
  • Influencer Roundtables


Program Background and History

A small group of volunteers formed ArtSage (formerly the Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Network) in 2003. They were inspired by the work of Dr. Gene Cohen, whose groundbreaking research found a direct link between creative expression and healthyaging. In 2012 the name changed to ArtSage to reflect a new, broader impact in the field. Among its major accomplishments, ArtSage has:

  • Trained 87 teaching artists and 17 arts organizations to adapt skills and approach to work with older adults in a variety of community and care settings, reaching hundreds of older adults with high-quality arts activities each year.
  • Launched a pilot project with Ecumen, one of the region's largest providers of continuum of care housing services to develop replicable, evidence-informed arts programs for older adults at all care levels that can be replicated in all their communities.
  • Consulted with Minnesota arts organizations including MacPhail Center for Music, Vocal Essence, Zenon Dance, Cowles Center, Paramount Theatre (Saint Cloud), Caponi Art Park, and Minnesota Discovery Center (Chisholm) in retooling programs, services, and facilities to better attract and serve the growing older adult market.
  • Hosted the Upper Midwest's first-ever Arts & Aging Conference and Showcase that attracted 200 participants to Saint Paul to hear local and national speakers and see lively showcases by ArtSage-trained teaching artists.
  • Held Intro to Arts & Aging Workshops in five communities across Minnesota that provide a gateway into the field of arts and aging and lay the groundwork for local collaboration and partnerships.
  • Received invitation to present at THE CREATIVE AGE: Exploring Potential in the Second Half of Life, A National Leadership Exchange, a first-ever national convening of researchers, policy experts and practitioners promoting creative expression as vital part of healthy aging.
  • Served on the City of Minneapolis Creative Lifelong Learning and Sharing work group to determine the city's creative arts plan for the next 10 years.
  • Developing SageConnect, a revolutionary interactive and searchable database now under construction that will function as an accessible one-stop shop for the arts and aging “marketplace.”
Program-Specific Research and Key Findings
Program-Specific Assessment and Evaluation

These programs are evaluated multiple times throughout the year by means of interviews, individual assessments, attendance numbers, and press reviews. Evaluations are conducted by the staff, an outside independent evaluator, and a related agency or partner organization. All ArtSage-supported programs include pre- and post-evaluation processes, including methods to evaluate:

  • Overall arts partnership
  • Teaching artists
  • The participants’ level of learning based on pre-determined goals and objectives

 Evaluation methods include:

  • Pre & Post Surveys to assess participants' level of learning
  • Anecdotal Session Journal for staff and artists, which may include photographs as permission allows

 Evaluation materials become part of the documentation used to refine and develop programs from year to year.


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Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus
Creation of Original Work, Exhibiting Artwork, Viewing Artwork, Presenting a Performance, Attending a Performance, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop, Participate in an Ensemble, Participate in a Residency
Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus Other
Interdisciplinary Connections
Civic Engagement, Design / Architecture / Built Environments, Ecology / Gardening / Natural Environments, Education, Employment, Health / Medicine, Housing / Placemaking, History, Science, Transportation, Volunteerism
Creative engagement
Target Audience
Active Adults, Caregivers - Family, Caregivers - Professional, Frail Older Adults, Intergenerational, 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, Education (e.g. School / University), Healthcare - Acute Care (e.g. Clinic / Hospital), Healthcare - Palliative Care / Hospice, Healthcare - Long Term Care, Healthcare - Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Healthcare - Home Care, Library, House of Worship / Religious Center, Park or Botanical Garden, Social Service Agency, Sports, Recreation or Health Club (e.g. YMCA/YWCA)
Program Service Area / Geography
Rural, Suburban, Urban
Program Service Area / Geography Other