ArtSage Mission & History

Mission and Goals

ArtSage is a connector, convener and catalyst for the field of arts and aging in Minnesota. Our vision is to foster an engaged and inspired community of older adults creating and appreciating art. We provide training programs for artists and arts organizations, consulting services for senior communities and resources for the general public on the new but growing hybrid field of arts and aging. Our strategic initiatives include:

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

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

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 History

A small group of volunteers—artists and activists in the aging field, led by Pat Samples and Jan Hively—formed ArtSage (formerly called 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 healthy aging. In 2012 we changed our name to ArtSage to reflect our new, broader impact in the field.

Among our major accomplishments, we have:

  • Trained 105 teaching artists and 21 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.
  • Consulted with 21 Minnesota arts organizations in all disciplines and in all areas of the state to help them develop compelling and engaging arts programming for older adults.
  • 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.
  • 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 take part in lively showcases by ArtSage-trained teaching artists.
  • Held Intro to Arts & Aging Workshops in seven communities across Minnesota that provide a gateway into the field of arts and aging and lay the groundwork for local collaboration and partnerships.
  • Developed 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.”