Creative Aging Mid-South's Visiting Artists

Organization Associated with Program
Creative Aging Mid-South
200 Jefferson Ave., Ste. 707
Memphis, Tennessee 38103

Connecting people with the vibrant culture of the region surrounding Memphis, Tennessee, Creative Aging Mid-South works to improve the quality of life of older adults by providing access to experiences in the arts. Using local, professional artists, the organization brings high-quality performances and workshops to older adults where they live and meet, such as adult day centers, assisted living residences, villages, senior centers, long-term care facilities, and rehabilitation centers. Creative Aging Mid-South offers a variety of workshops in dance, literature, music, opera, visual arts, poetry, and folk arts. Special events include underwater pumpkin carving, variety shows, game days, and Rock Your Granny, a free concert event conducted by eight local bands that compete to produce a professional music video. An artists’ showcase offers performances by some of Memphis’ favorite local musicians, excellent food and cocktails, and a silent auction.

Based in Memphis, Creative Aging Mid-South serves around 4,500 older adults a year through visiting artists and conducts programming in eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and a few counties in Tennessee. Organizations that Creative Aging Mid-South has partnered with include Alzheimer’s Day Services – Dorothy’s Place, Alzheimer’s Day Services – Grashot, Allenbrooke Nursing Center, Apple Grove, Applingwood Healthcare Center, Ashton Place, Ave Maria Assisted Living and Day Care, Baron Hirsch So-Shuls, Bartlett Senior Center, Belmont Village, and Dove Healthcare & Rehab.

Program History

Launched in 2004, Creative Aging Mid-South is the only organization of its kind in the region. Its programs help frail, disabled, and home-bound older people maintain an enriching connection to the arts. Receiving its 501(c)(3) status in 2004, Creative Aging Mid-South has produced over 3,000 performances and workshops at 56 facilities, which has enabled the organization to improve the quality of life for more than 20,000 older adults.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

The program is evaluated on an ongoing basis by staff and partner organizations through the use of attendance numbers, reviews from activity directors, and interviews of participants. Creative Aging Mid-South has also created an evaluation form that measures both nonverbal and verbal interactions in older adults. 

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

Try to develop an arts program where older adults already spend time—either where they live or at a community center in their area. 

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Exhibiting Artwork, Attending a Performance, Participate in a Workshop
Arts Discipline: Dance, Folk/Traditional Arts, Literature, Music, Opera, Theater
Interdisciplinary Connections: Education, Transportation
Target Audience: Active Adults, Frail Older Adults, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Program Setting: Adult Day Care, Assisted Living, Healthcare - Long Term Care, Healthcare - Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Healthcare - Home Care
Program Service Area: Rural, Suburban, Urban
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice