Lifelong Learning

As life expectancy increases, more attention is being given to the meaning and purpose of later life. The NCCA aims to meet the developmental needs of older people through creative engagement, sense memory and self-expression. In this section you will find more information about Lifelong Learning programming, news, research, stories and more.

In New York City last week the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) revealed its newest study, "Still Kicking: Aging Performing Artists in the NYC and LA Metro Areas."  Based on interviews with actors, dancers, choreographers, musicians, and singers 65 and older, the study found that perf

Jack "The Godfather of Fitness" LaLanne's beliefs on the factors of longevity were backed up by the New England Centenary Study in 2009, but he earned his nickname many years earlier.  Besides the vigorous exercise routines that this former Strength and Fitness cover boy recommended, he also emp

Ted Lewis knows the conventional wisdom that exercise leads to better physical health, but he chose an unconventional form at an unconventional age: he took up roller-skating at the age of 68, and recently skated to his 90th birthday party.  This World War II veteran skates well; he recently qua

A new program in Dundalk, Ireland has older adults teaching the community the art of knitting.  The “Knit in-Sit” program pairs experienced knitters with small groups in the community, allowing the older adults to mskr sure these keepers of culture continue to pass along their knowledge.  The pr

The Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Network (MnCAAN) has caught the eye of the Minnesota Sun for its extraordinary activeness.  The organization had an exhibition on July 26-27 and will have another one August 5, which will feature interactive art activities, artist demonstrations and informat

Chao Mu-ho is truly a keeper of culture, being the only living artist in the Chinese-speaking world versed in the antique bird-worm style of calligraphy.  With the intent of preserving the unique Chinese writing form, Chao has donated a written verse from a centuries-old Chinese historical novel

Don’t be frightened by what you see on the stock market, says an investor who has seen it all in his 82 years of banking.  Irving Kahn was a stock analyst during the Great Depression, during which he learned a few lessons about investing the hard way.  But learn he did and the lessons resulted i

At 96-yeards-old a former sheepherder, policeman and shearer finally found the time to sit down and paint, and ended up the winner of the 28th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Award (NATSIAA), one of the most prestigious art awards in Australia.

When Kenya offered free primary school education, alongside the country’s children enrolled an 84-year-old veteran of the liberation struggle.  Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge realized the dream of a formal education with the help of a supportive teacher, and not surprisingly a movie, “The First Grader,”

When professional artist Lonnie Sue Johnson was stricken with viral encephalitis, a disease that severely impacted her memory and halted her career in its tracks.  However, she recovered physically and then surprised experts by drawing pictures, while lacking a memory to draw from.  Her mother a

At the George Derby Centre, which has served Canada’s veterans for decades, new programs are being introduced to provide a higher-level of care.

In a lecture at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the Reverend James Ellor of Baylor University presented his beliefs that story-telling is instrumental in aging.  Ellor finds that older adults who are proud of their past but content with their future are the happiest people, and that findi

Human’s deep-rooted desire to create are can be seen in the prehistoric caves of France, and that impulse doesn’t fade with age.

​This report highlights NCCA Board Member Anne Basting’s innovative program TimeSlips, which helps older adults with memory loss.  The program gives the older adults a prompt, like a picture, and asks the participants to create a story around it.  By taking the pressure off of memory and giving

Ed Cook had a successful corporate career and now at the age of 79 he reaffirms his success in his second career, miniature painting.

The University of Regina’s art gallery, in Canada, now hosts an installation created by veterans of World War II.  The display shows the room of an aging veteran, complete with an empty wheel chair and pieces of advice hanging from the ceiling.  The exhibition is a way for veterans to share thei

The Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation in Detroit has developed programs like the Hannan Majestic Poets, the Detroit Writers Journal and oral history projects to engage the local older adults.  Citing the Dr.

Laurie Lunsford has personally experienced the power of arts in aging facilities, and has the stories to prove it.  For the last two years she has gone to four Alzheimer’s units, bringing with her easels, water paints and brushes.

Slidell Adult Day Care has been utilizing creative programs for the past two years and loving the results. The older adults are happier, more social and more interested.

Sometimes it takes a while for talented musicians to get their big break, and then sometimes it takes 85 years. Pianist Boyd Dunlop was an underground jazz legend in 1950s Buffalo, working in the steelyards by day and playing the clubs by night.