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Lifelong Arts Indiana

We're all getting older. In order to address the creative needs Hoosiers have through life, and to help grow the career portfolio of artists in Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission started a new initiative, Lifelong Arts Indiana, geared towards developing our creative workforce in service to our older Hoosiers.

To gain an introduction to Creative Aging and Lifelong Arts Indiana, check out this recording of a Creative Aging Virtual Learning Session with Traditional Arts Indiana, the Tippecanoe Arts Federation, and the Indiana Arts Commission. You can also access a recording of a Creative Aging Webinar hosted by Lifetime Arts here.

Lifelong Arts Indiana is a learning opportunity for Hoosier artists to develop their skills in designing creative experiences for older adults. Informed by field best-practices, Lifelong Arts Indiana empowers artists to develop their own approach to sharing creative experiences with older adults, ages sixty-five and older, in their community—and provides access to funds to help make it happen.

Lifelong Arts Indiana includes:

  • Creative Aging Learning Course: A three-day workshop that explores best practices in creative aging and strategies to develop an effective, sequential arts learning experience for older adults.
  • One-To-One Coaching- Curriculum Building: Follow up sessions to help each individual create their own creative aging curriculum
  • One-To-One Coaching - Partnership Building: Follow-up sessions on creating community partnerships to reach the aging community in their area.
  • Fellowship: A funding opportunity for special funds to put the Creative Aging Learning Course lessons into action.

Lifelong Arts Indiana participants who receive a Certificate of Completion are eligible and encouraged to apply for the Lifelong Arts Fellowship. Applicants may request up to $1,000 for a project that takes place between January 1 and June 30, 2022, and provides a sequential arts learning experience for a group of older adults in their community. The proposal must meet the review criteria and will be reviewed by a conflict-free panel of creatives.

There is no cost to participants. Funding for this program is provided through the Indiana General Assembly and by a grant provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in partnership with Aroha Philanthropies.

Are you with an organization or facility that provides programming or services for older adults with an interest in hosting a Teaching Artist? Please fill out this Interest Form.

The Arts Are Good For You

With his 2006 landmark publication “The Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults,” Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated that participation in activities that foster creative engagement and skills mastery in a social environment has positive psychological, physical and emotional health benefits for older adults. Read the full research on the National Endowment for the Arts website.

What is Creative Aging?

Creative Aging is the practice of providing meaningful, professional arts experiences for adults age 55 and older. Creative Aging experiences are usually delivered by a professional artist, rooted in an understanding of the specific needs and desires of older adults, and are a hands-on, skill-building activity with multiple sessions.

Thanks to the experts at Lifetime Arts, we have harnessed national best practices to expand Indiana's creative aging experiences statewide.

Person standing with a paint palette next to a painting  

Angie Andriot (New Albany)
Visual Arts

Contact Angie at angieandriot@gmail.com

I am a painter, working in both oil and acrylic.  Through art, I attempt to connect to a reality deeper than the one we can access with our senses.  My creative practice has been most active in my co-leadership role at the creative contemplative community called Limen Place.

Black and white photo of a women with dark hair and tank top on 

Mary Ardery (West Lafayette)

Contact Mary through her website at www.maryardery.com

I am a writer, primarily a poet.  My poem “Fear of Drowning” won the Academy of American Poets Prize.  My work as a writer is not just about the writing, but about bringing writers together.  I believe that I could be valuable to the elder population as a knowledgeable instructor in the art of poetry, and that our relationship would be symbiotic – I would learn from their wisdom.

Woman with short hair and a collar shirt on smiling at the camera 

Dawn Kirsten Batson (Indianapolis)

Contact Dawn at dkbat@bellsouth.net

I have been teaching the steelband (known as the steel drum in the US) for over forty years. The ease with which a beginner can get a good sound from the steelband family of instruments new students excited and intrigued. The deep historical background of the instruments also adds to the experience.

Woman smiling at the camera with a white shirt on 

Leota Bauman (Valparaiso)
Visual Arts

Contact Lee at Lee@LeeBauman.com

I work in watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, illustration, and graphic art.  My artistic life has always included a studio practice with teaching as a way to share my skills.  Whenever I have given my time and energy to others by sharing my art, I have always received unexpected blessings.

Woman with red glasses smiling at the camera  

Michal Ann Carley (Bloomington)
Visual Arts

Contact Michal Ann at carleymichal@gmail.com

I work in drawing and painting, artglass, metal fabrication and forging, and limestone carving.  All the 3-D work is organically shaped with fire, pressure, and movement.  Older adults often find they are no longer engaged with their previous occupation or skills.  There is still a need for relevance, accomplishment, delight, and socialization, and the creative arts can offer that.

Woman smiling holding two markers  

Karen Chilman (Commiskey)
Visual Arts

Contact Karen at karenchilman@perceptionsyoga.org

My personal artwork consists of painted portraits, live painting at events, multimedia abstracts, scenic work, clay work, and jewelry.  I was named the Art Education Association of Indiana’s middle level Teacher of the Year on two occasions.  Though the bulk of my work has been with the younger generations, I have much to offer older adults in creative aging and in turn can learn much from them.

Woman smiling at the camera  

Janet Chilton (Carmel)
Visual Arts

Contact Janet at janet.r.chilton@gmail.com

I am a lifelong artist, designer, and maker with a B.A. in design.  After returning to Indianapolis from Tulsa, I used the expressive arts for personal growth and healing, which led me to grad school to study mind/body health.  Through my work in Life Enrichment at two retirement communities, I worked with elders who delighted in expanding their creative horizons.

Woman smiling with black speckled glasses on and a scarf  

Lynn Darda (Winamac)
Visual Arts

Contact Lynn at dardalynn@yahoo.com

I have been working in mixed media and papercrafts for nearly 20 years.  I have been published several times in papercrafting magazines for my card-making entries.  Being instrumental in bringing new resources to older adults in my rural community will be an exciting and new challenge for me.

Woman smiling  

Kenya Ferrand-Ott (West Lafayette)
Visual Arts

Contact Kenya at Kenya_ferrand@live.com

I am a wildlife artist working in illustration and realism.  I have worked with an assisted living community to teach a variety of painting and technique classes.  They liked being told that they don’t need expensive tools, the only thing you need is time.

Woman standing outside with two harps 

Melissa Gallant (Indianapolis)

Contact Melissa at mgallantharp@aol.com

I am a classically trained harpist and teaching artist.  Incorporating improvisation through forays into jazz and folk music traditions is my current pursuit.  Throughout my career, I have maintained a private teaching studio working with both children and adults.  During the pandemic, I have become more aware of how sharing arts learning with a group of fellow learners can build a sense of community.

Photo of a woman in a purple blouse standing in front of a painting of flowers 

Sandra Gay (Indianapolis)

Contact Ms. Gay at sgay2019@outlook.com

I am a teacher of Theatre Arts, and I am the lead instructor for the Arts program at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis.  My theatre program focuses on theatre as an-all encompassing learning tool. During any given class, the subject matter ranges form the ridiculous to the sublime! I am a director, performer, teacher, and more.
Man smiling  

Devon Ginn (Indianapolis)

Contact Devon at dcgnoved@gmail.com

I am the Programs & Outreach Manager at the historic Madam Walker Legacy Center.  Outside of my day job, I serve on the board at the Indiana Writer’s Center and also lead meditative sound bath experiences with Haven Wellness Collective.  My grandmother is responsible for the artist I am today, and I would love to help seniors feel supported and cared for.

Photo of a woman with a black shirt on and blue pendant necklace 

Emily Guerrero (Fort Wayne)
Traditional Arts

Contact Emily at Em@Mexica-Arts.com

I am a cultural arts storyteller and installation artist.  The emphasis of my work is on my ancestral heritage of Mexica-arts.  I share my knowledge and experiences of my Mexican ancestral traditions, arts, music, and food through demonstrations and storytelling.

Woman smiling 

Jean Harper (Uniondale)

Contact Jean at jeharper@iue.edu

I am a nonfiction writer and poet.  Still Life with Horses (2017) and Rose City: A Memoir of Work (2005) are two of my award-winning memoirs. In 2020, I was selected by Indiana Humanities to present a creative writing workshop leading participants to write their own memoirs.  I am humbled and dazzled by the authenticity and commitment in the work of participants in their later years.

Woman in purple shirt smiling 

Portia Jackson (Indianapolis)

Contact Portia at mommaportia@yahoo.com

Through my storytelling, I have educated people about Black History, Juneteenth, the Underground Railroad, and other stories.  I have received awards for education, leadership, and performing arts from the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center, Indiana NAACP Youth Summit, US Artistic Olympics, and the Coalition of 100 Black Women.  Storytelling allows us to create a safe village for elders to learn from the youth as well as share their own knowledge.

Man in glasses smiling 

Tammeron Jonesfrancis (Muncie)

Contact Tammeron at tam@clay-wood.com

Ceramic art has been a pursuit for 5 years and I have worked in architecture and design for thirty.  I am co-owner of ClayWood LLC, a ceramic art studio.  Drawing is my principal interest but, rather than paper, my drawings are now more often painted or drawn on clay surfaces.  Making something and expressing the inward-self out can change our mood, outlook, and improve our bodies.  For an instructor, to be in that atmosphere of rediscovery is a pleasure.

Woman in white shirt smiling  Elizabeth Leachman  (South Bend)

Contact Elizabeth at elizabethleachman@gmail.com

In my work with various community development organizations, like Downtown Southbend, I often used my dance training to bring innovative, fun experiences to the community.  I found joy in dance by structuring my classes and outreach to ensure any person could participate.  It is now my mission to bring dance to anybody that wants to learn, regardless of pre-conceived barriers that the dance worlds often imposes.
Selfie of woman with dog 

Debra Levy (Fort Wayne)

Contact Debra at deblevy@frontier.com

I have been writing full-time for about seven years, following my retirement from teaching.  Working mostly in the short-story and flash fiction format, my writing has been nominated for numerous awards and selected for the prestigious Wigleaf Top 50 List.  Writing can be a historical document handed down to younger generations so they can learn about their ancestors, learn their stories.

Man on stage taking a selfie 

Wacey Robertson (Terre Haute)

Contact Wacey on Instagram @bootsncatts

I am a multi-instrumentalist with 10 years of experience.  Percussion, the drum set, and music business were my primary areas of study in college.  I currently work as a music instructor and band director at The Community School of the Arts at Indiana State University as well as freelancing for various bands. Music as an art form is ever-changing, much like the people that play it.  The ability to adapt and allow yourself to be molded by your student is just as beneficial as sharing your music with them.

Woman with glasses smiling 

Darlene Rosario-Reese (East Chicago)

Contact Darlene at rosario4reese@yahoo.com

I have been an art educator for the last 7 years in East Chicago, Indiana.  My work has been selected to hang in the state capital on two different occasions: once in the office of the Lt. Governor and once in the Treasurer’s suite of offices.   For me, teaching does not feel like a job, it feels like a gift I didn’t know I wanted.

Man outside with flowers 

Greg Rose (Indianapolis)
Visual Arts

Contact Greg at Gregrose.info@gmail.com

I am an Indianapolis-based artist who has been creating content that births new narratives and experiences for marginalized folx in a way that honors the past, present, and futures full time since 2019.  My artistic work expands across multiple genres including curating, directing, sculpting, and visual arts.  I am a seeker of wisdom and our elders can teach me just as much as I can teach them, if not more.

Woman smiling 

Paula Scott-Frantz (Indianapolis)
Visual Arts

Contact Paula at kukla31@gmail.com

I work in fiber art and design, felt making, garment making, Eco Dyeing, Chinese brush painting, and multimedia.  Numerous organizations have shown my work and engaged me to teach including Newfields, the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center Gallery, and the Zionsville Cultural Arts Center.  It’s a profoundly rewarding feeling to help another person express their own creativity.  I have found that felt-making provides a magical way for older adults to express themselves.

Woman working at a loom 

Peggy Taylor (Westphalia)

Contact Peggy at taylorbp@hotmail.com

My work is primarily weaving, but includes many related fiber arts, such as spinning, dyeing, stitchery, and knitting.  The work I do is based on traditional domestic weaving that was common in the early 18th and 19th centuries.  I have been included in Early American Life magazine’s Directory of America’s Best Craftsmen since 2015.  My interest in working with older adults is in sharing the knowledge and skills that I have while getting to listen to the stories these older folks share.

Woman smiling 

Jennifer Weinert (Kewanna)

Contact Jennifer at diamondhill@centurylink.net

For over 25 years, I have provided visual, therapeutic, and spoken art experiences for individuals of all ages.  As a multi-disciplinary artist, I find particular interest in photography, drawing, acrylics, bookbinding, and printmaking.  When applying process-oriented and contemplative practices, such as collage, free form mandalas, journaling;  people at any age can learn to express themselves fully and confidently.

Woman with short black hair smiling 

Roberta Wong (Indianapolis)

Contact Roberta at rwong160@gmail.com

I danced professionally with Boston Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet Theater, and Dance Kaleidoscope.  Compelled by a belief that dance can be useful for all, I attended Dance for Parkinson's and Hubbard Street Adaptive Dance teacher training workshops.  As a middle-of-life artist, I remain committed to dance, its exploration, and the evolution I am experiencing as a retired dancer who feels dance is valuable at any age.

While any artist or creative that meets the eligibility requirements may apply, early to mid-career artists (at any age) who have at least a small amount of experience in sharing their arts with a community through teaching will get the most out of this experience.


  • Applicants must be an individual. Organizations may not apply.
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must be a US Citizen
  • Must be an Indiana resident and remain a full-time Indiana resident through the end of the fellowship period

Click here to download the guidelines and view the full list of eligible creative disciplines

Selection Priorities

Applications will be reviewed and recommended by a conflict-free admissions committee of peers and professionals. The admissions committee will select up to 25 participants who are passionate about sharing their artistry with the community and understanding the role older adults play in our communities. Further, the committee will use these priorities to create a cohort that has:

  • Variety of artistic career experience
  • Statewide representation
  • Variety of creative disciplines
  • Diverse racial/ethnic representation
  • Diverse age representation
  • Representation of underserved populations

Deadline to Apply

August 4, 2021

Three-day workshop (virtual)

October 13, 14, 15, 2021

Fellowship implementation period

January 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022

Final Reporting

September 15, 2022

    Stephanie Haines
    Arts Education and Accessibility Manager
    Indiana Arts Commission


    (317) 450-9973

Partner logos

This initiative is made possible by a grant provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in partnership with Aroha Philanthropies. Training, coaching, consulting, and resources for Lifelong Arts Indiana have been provided by Lifetime Arts, the national leader in creative aging programs and services.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Please reach out to Stephanie Haines at shaines@iac.in.gov to make a request.