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Ohio Arts Council Secures New Funding for Creative Aging

The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) recently secured new funding from a national grant program to advance creative aging programs for older adults in Ohio.

Recognizing that older adults have many contributions to make to their communities—but that they often face ageism and isolation and have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19—the OAC sought funding from the Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging program, a joint initiative of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) and Aroha Philanthropies. Ohio secured $60,000 for the Ohio Intensive Creative Aging Training Initiative.

“The Ohio Arts Council is thrilled to engage in this critical work to expand Ohio’s ability to provide arts programming for older adults,” said Donna S. Collins, OAC executive director. “Through training teaching artists and providing participatory art-making experiences, together we can improve Ohioans’ quality of life.”

The OAC is one of 36 state arts agencies receiving awards from NASAA. With this funding, each state will conduct creative aging activities tailored to the unique needs of its constituents. Activities will include providing professional development for teaching artists and providing direct programming to older adult audiences.

"NASAA is proud to have Ohio in our creative aging cohort," said Pam Breaux, NASAA president and CEO. "This grant will help to grow opportunities for creative aging in Ohio over time, facilitating lifelong learning, joy, social engagement, and improved well-being for older adults."

"Aroha Philanthropies is proud to partner with NASAA to support creative aging through our state and jurisdictional arts agencies," said Ellen Michelson, founder and president of the foundation. "This initiative marks an important step toward broadened awareness, adoption, and funding of creative aging programs across the country."

For more information about NASAA's Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging initiative, visit

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is a professional association of the nation’s 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies. NASAA is a national, not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that champions public support for the arts in America. Together, NASAA and the state arts agencies advance the arts as an essential ingredient in the well-being and prosperity of our nation’s individuals, communities and families. For more information, visit

Aroha Philanthropies is a nonprofit arts organization, working in the Twin Cities and beyond to improve quality of life through creative self-expression. Built on the foundation of love, Aroha combines selflessness, tolerance, kindness, and compassion to support the development of artistic and creative opportunities—and the personal discoveries that go with them—for everyone. For more information, visit


Article by Justin Nigro, Operations and Public Affairs Director

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