Mesa Arts Center is among six recipients of the Creativity Connects: National Demonstration Projects grant, a special initiative undertaken by the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations through generous support from the Mellon Foundation. Mesa Arts Center will receive $72,450 in support of its creative aging programs offered for adults 55 and older.
“Over the past five years, our creative aging programs have been engaging the 55-plus community, introducing them to the arts sometimes for the first time as creators. With the grant funding, we are now able to focus on designing engagements for individuals with mild to moderate dementia and their care partners,” said Mandy Tripoli, director of engagement for Mesa Arts Center. “Our programs offer opportunities for individuals to foster dignity and sense of self, engage in a safe space outside of the home, and build connections to their loved ones, through arts engagements. There is nothing more powerful than watching your loved one become absorbed in the power of creation.”
The Creativity Connects funding initiative is part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary celebration, investigates the ways in which the arts can connect with other sectors, including education, health care, social justice, and the like, that want and utilize creativity. Mesa Arts Center Creative Aging: Expanding on a Foundation will further develop programming the organization has in place for life-long learning opportunities for senior citizens living independently as well as in various assisted-care facilities. Partners for these programs include with Oakwood Creative Care, Inc., Banner’s Alzheimers’ Institute and Mesa Public Libraries. Arizona Commission on the Arts from Western States Art Federation’s region nominated the city of Mesa and Mesa Arts Center.
Mesa Arts Center’s current creative aging programs include Mature Moving Me (creative movement for the mature mover over age 55), Entangle (hands-on sessions where participants create mixed media, abstract sculptures), Duende (Flamenco movement and culture for older adults), Works-in-Progress (feedback sessions for those looking to develop an independent creative practice) and Ageless Wonders, a performing troupe for adults 55 and older presented in partnership with Mesa Public Libraries. Additional Creative Aging programs will be announced later this season.
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