ALA, Lifetime Arts announce creative aging workshop at 2016 Midwinter Meeting

For Immediate Release
Fri, 10/02/2015


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office


CHICAGO — Lifetime Arts, a national leader in arts education programming for older adults, and the American Library Association will offer a pre-conference workshop about the growing field of creative aging at ALA’s 2016 Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

The day-long session, “Creative Aging in America’s Libraries: Improving Older Adult Services through Arts Education,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Registration is now open at

Participants in this day-long intensive will learn why and how libraries across the U.S. are improving services for older adults by incorporating creative aging programming into their adult services menu. Since 2009, Lifetime Arts has been building the capacity for libraries to develop, deliver and sustain innovative programming that is based on best practices in arts education and reflects the latest scholarship on the benefits of social engagement and creative expression for healthy aging. 

“The training provided by Lifetime Arts inspired our library program planners to up their game,” said Melinda Ludwiczak, project manager at MELSA, an alliance of Minnesota metro public libraries. “They learned how midlife and older adults thrive in a learning environment that fosters skill mastery and social connections. Our librarians have more tools in their program toolbox to curate programs that engage their older library patrons.”

Curriculum topics will include an introduction to the field of creative aging (research and best practices); community partnerships; planning and implementation strategies for creative aging programs; determining community interests; selecting and working with a teaching artist; recruiting participants; documentation and evaluation approaches; promotion and communications; and strategies for sustainability.

The workshop will feature a presentation by Ashton Applewhite, a journalist and activist recognized as an expert on aging and ageism. Applewhite, a Knight Fellow, New  York Times Fellow and fellow at Yale Law School, is the author of “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto against Ageism.” She has been listed on "Salt" magazine’s list of 100 inspiring women.

“Octogenarians are the fastest-growing segment of our population, yet most Americans are scared stiff at the prospect of growing old,” said Dr. Robert Butler, founding director of the National Institute on Aging. “[Applewhite's work] is a welcome and important tonic.”

Other presenters will include teaching artists Joan Green and Annie Montgomery; Nicholas Higgins, director of outreach services for Brooklyn Public Library; Katrina Morse, branch librarian for Boston Public Library; library and museum consultant Diantha Schull; and Lifetime Arts CEO/co-founder Maura O’Malley, Executive Director Ed Friedman and Program Director Nathan Majoros.

Pricing ranges from $175 to $275, with discounts available for ALA members and early-bird registration. For resources about creative aging, visit

About Lifetime Arts

Founded in 2008, Lifetime Arts is a national nonprofit arts organization that offers a positive, modern, artistic and social lens through which to serve, inspire and engage America’s growing population of older adults. Lifetime Arts’ mission is to improve the quality of life for older adults by promoting the inclusion of professionally conducted instructional arts programs (all disciplines) in organizations that serve older adults; by preparing artists to develop the creative capacity of older adult learners; and by fostering lifelong learning in and through the arts by increasing opportunities for participation in community based programming. The Lifetime Arts team has designed and led professional development programs for hundreds of librarians, teaching artists and arts organizations. Clients and partners include MELSA, MLA, American Library Association, Connecticut Library Association, NY Library Association, American Society on Aging, National Center for Creative Aging and many others. 

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.