Arts & Aging Resources

ArtSage seeks to make the the most current information in the field of arts and aging available to everyone. We hope you find the following resources helpful. If you are looking for specific information not linked below or have a resource you’d like us to consider adding, contact [email protected].

Give Your Ideas Some Legs:
The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking

This study, by Marily Oppezzo and Daniel L. Schwartz of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, looks at four experiments which demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation. “People have noted that walking seems to have a special relation to creativity… The effect is not simply due to the increased perceptual stimulation of moving through an environment, but rather it is due to walking. Whether one is outdoors or on a treadmill, walking improves the generation of novel yet appropriate ideas, and the effect even extends to when people sit down to do their creative work shortly after.”

Alive Inside

Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. The documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Also offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin (“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”).

I Remember Better When I Paint

The documentary I Remember Better When I Paint offers new insights into the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease through creative arts. In the film, leading international neurologists illustrate how the parts of the brain related to emotions and creativity are largely spared by the disease, and therefore dramatically changing the way we look at Alzheimer’s and related disorders. It tells the compelling story of Hilda Gorenstein, an artist known as Hilgos, who was left lost, agitated and uncommunicative by Alzheimer’s disease. She regained a quality of life by returning to painting with the help of students from School of Art Institute of Chicago.The film was made by Eric Ellena and Berna Huebner, presented by French Connection Films and the Hilgos Foundation.

You're Looking At Me Like I Live Here And I Don't

This recent documentary aired nationally on PBS’s Emmy-award winning Independent Lens series and won acclaim from film critics, academics, and medical professionals. It is the first documentary told from the perspective of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease, and the first filmed entirely in an Alzheimer’s & Other Dementia Unit.

Sky Above Clouds:
Finding Our Way Through Creativity, Aging, and Illness Time

A new book by the husband-and-wife team of Gene D. Cohen, MD, PhD and Wendy L. Miller, PhD looks at the phenomenon of increased creative inspiration that comes with aging.

NCAA Arts & Aging Fact Sheet

Get the facts from the National Center for Creative Aging on ways the arts have been shown to reduce stress and depression, and improve cognitive activity in older adults.

Creative Care Directory of Twin Cities Art + Healing Organizations

Download this free directory for 2014

An Evidence Review of
The Impact of Participatory Arts on Older People

Download the report by Mental Health Foundation of Britain which examined 31 studies from 2001 to 2011 involving a total of 2,040 subjects on benefits of art for older people.

Creative Care Homes:
How the Arts Can Contribute to Quality of Life in Residential Care

Baring Foundation Study makes the case for the arts in care homes and how this is integral to the definition of excellence in social care. The report includes a series of five good practice case studies from care homes providers and five examples from arts.

Sample Art Lesson Plan Used with Older Adults

Download a lesson plan to see how one Twin Cities teaching artist introduces art with her work with older adults. Includes lesson plan and examples.

Bringing the Arts to Life:
A Guide to the Arts and Long-Term Care

Download this free, comprehensive guide which provides examples of how the arts in long-term care communities can play a key role in person-centered care by engaging older adults in the artistic process. Sample activities, program worksheets, and planning processes will help long-term care communities increase the availability and effectiveness of arts programs. From the Global Alliance for Arts & Health, published in partnership with IDEAS Institute and The Hulda B. & Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation.

The Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults, Final Report

National Endowment for the Arts, 2006. Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator

The Arts and Aging: Building the Science

National Endowment for the Arts, February 2013

Creativity Matters: Arts and Aging Toolkit

From the National Center for Creative Aging, July 2013

VIDEO: The Creative Power of Aging

Who knew that our brains can actually gain creative capacity in later life? See how music, painting, dancing, quilting and more are accessible to both professional and amateur artists. Co-produced by Twin Cities Public Television and the Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Network (MN-CANN), 2012

Uniting the Heart and Mind:
Human Development in the Second Half of Life

2004 Special Lecture by Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D. Mind Alert