OKLAHOMA CITY (March 8, 2021) – The Oklahoma Arts Council will soon be investing in arts programs tailored to meet specific needs of older adults across the state after being awarded a $60,000 grant by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) and Aroha Philanthropies. Announced by NASAA and Aroha March 4, the grant award for creative aging efforts is aimed at improving quality of life for a growing segment of the state's population.
Through the grant funding, the Oklahoma Arts Council will work with Lifetime Arts, a leading nonprofit organization that specializes in creative aging program development, to provide a series of trainings across the state. The formation of advisory groups and larger statewide convenings offering creative aging professional development are envisioned for later stages of the initiative. Goals include a trained network of teaching artists and service providers committed to providing creative aging programs. The funding will also enable to the Oklahoma Arts Council to revive a portion of its capacity related to community-based arts education programs, limited in recent years due to budget cuts.
"We are grateful for this investment from NASAA and Aroha Philanthropies, which will enable us to build capacity for sustainable creative aging programs in every part of Oklahoma," said Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples. "Not only is our older adult population growing at a faster rate than the national average, a much higher percentage of our older adult population lives in rural areas compared to the rest of country. Without intentional investment, there will be an increasing number of older Oklahomans who will lack access to programs that offer the connection, expression, and personal development that every person needs, regardless of age."
The Oklahoma Arts Council is one of 36 state and jurisdictional arts agencies nationwide receiving an award. Each state is given the opportunity to tailor related activities to the unique needs of its constituents. The grants are part of NASAA’s Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging initiative, which seeks to expand opportunities for creative aging across the nation, facilitating lifelong learning, joy, social engagement, and improved well-being for older adults.
Updates about the Oklahoma program will be made available at arts.ok.gov.
About the Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The agency’s mission is to lead in the advancement of Oklahoma’s thriving arts industry. The Oklahoma Arts Council provides more than 425 grants to nearly 270 organizations in communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state's arts and cultural industry, and manages the art collections at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Additional information is available at arts.ok.gov.