Language Translation
  Close Menu

Lifelong Arts Indiana

In order to address the creative needs of Hoosiers at all stages of life, support aging service providers, and help grow the career portfolios of Indiana artists, the Indiana Arts Commission started Lifelong Arts Indiana, an initiative geared towards developing our creative workforce in service to our older Hoosiers.

Lifelong Arts Indiana is a learning opportunity for aging service providers, arts organizations, and artists to develop their skills in providing creative experiences for older adults. The program is meant to empower participants to develop their own approach to sharing creative experiences with older adults, ages sixty-five and older, in their community-- and provides access to the funds to help make it happen

About Lifelong Arts Indiana

Lifelong Arts Indiana is a learning opportunity for aging services providers, arts organizations, and artists to develop their skills in providing creative experiences for older adults. The program is meant to empower participants to develop their own approach to sharing creative experiences with older adults, ages sixty-five and older, in their community— and provides access to the funds to help make it happen.

Lifelong Arts Indiana is split in three tracks, one for teaching artists, one for arts organizations, and one for aging services providers.  See each of the following tabs for each program track.

The Impact of Creative Aging

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.

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 Arts Federation, and the Indiana Arts Commission. You can also access a recording of a Creative Aging Webinar hosted by Lifetime Arts here.

About Lifelong Arts for Artists

Lifelong Arts Indiana is a learning opportunity for Hoosier artists to develop their skills in providing creative experiences for older adults. Informed by field best-practices, Lifelong Arts Indiana empowers participants 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: Participants learn and explore best practices and strategies for developing an effective, sequential arts learning experience for older adults. This is a 3-day online learning course for artists.
  • Coaching Part 1 –Project Planning: Following the learning course, sessions with field experts provide personalized guidance for building an effective creative experience for older adults.
  • Coaching Part 2 -Partnership Building: This next step coaching will help participants build strong cross-sector partnerships for their creative aging projects.
  • Early Action Grants: A funding opportunity to put the Creative Aging Learning Course lessons into action.

Lifelong Arts Indiana Early Action Grants

Eligible Lifelong Arts Indiana participants who receive a Certificate of Completion from the Creative Aging Learning Course are eligible and encouraged to apply for the Lifelong Arts Early Action Grants. Applicants may request funds for a project that 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 community experts. Panelists will review submissions using the following selection criteria: Creative Aging & Learning Elements, Feasibility, and Community Engagement.

Access the Fellowship Guidelines.

Timeline

Deadline to Apply for Artist Cohort April 16, 2023,4:30pm ET
Invitations to join Artist Cohort Sent Week of June 12, 2023
Lifelong Arts Indiana Artist Training Course July 10 - 12, 2023 OR Aug 7-9 2023
Artist In-Person Meet Up *optional* August 20, 2023
Artist Early Action Grants Proposal Due September 7, 2023, 4:30pm ET
Artist Early Action Grant Implementation Period October 30, 2023 – April 30, 2024
Final Report Deadline May 1, 2024, 4:30pm ET

About Lifelong Arts for Aging Services Providers

Lifelong Arts Indiana is a statewide program that supports aging services professionals across Indiana in developing their skills for providing creative arts experiences for older adults. Understanding the impact the arts have on quality of life and general wellness, Lifelong Arts Indiana trains providers how to enhance their services, by including creative arts experiences.

Lifelong Arts Indiana Creative Aging training is for professionals in the Aging Services Community (e.g. area agencies on aging, senior centers, and other community-based senior serving organizations) and will develop:

  • Theory: Creative Aging training participants will learn the overall importance the arts have for older adults, including the historical and evidence-based knowledge.
  • Step-by-Step Planning Support: Aging services professionals will learn a variety of creative approaches, and all the logistical action steps they need to begin implementing creative arts in their services.
  • Practical Application: Through hands-on learning and affirmations from participants’ own experiences, aging services professionals will have a comprehensive understanding of the impact and outcomes of including creative arts into their services.
  • Grant Support: Aging services professionals who complete one of the four below sessions will be eligible and encouraged to apply for the Lifelong Arts Early Action Grant to receive up to $5,000 to hire a qualified artist to provide multi-day arts learning at their community site.

Lifelong Arts Indiana will not only equip aging services professionals with all the practical knowledge they need, but they’ll also leave transformed—with a renewed enthusiasm for their aging services work, and motivation to begin their own creative arts practices within their communities. (Preview the training workbook.)

2023 Training Schedule

Aging Services Provider Training in Fort Wayne April 28, 2023
Aging Services Provider Training in Bloomington June 23, 2023
Aging Services Provider Training in Gary Nov. 14, 2023    

After the training, participants were eligible to apply for the Lifelong Arts Early Action Grant. View the guidelines.

2024 Library Programming

Access the guidelines for the 2024 Lifelong Arts Indiana training and funding opportunity for libraries.

    Lifelong Arts Indiana Contact Information

    For Questions About Lifelong Arts for Artists:

    Jordan Adams
    Artist Services Program Manager
    Indiana Arts Commission

    joadams1@iac.in.gov

    (317) 508-6115

    For Questions about Lifelong Arts for Aging Services Providers:

    Stephanie Haines
    Arts Education and Accessibility Manager
    Indiana Arts Commission

    shaines@iac.in.gov

    (317) 450-9973

    For Questions About Lifelong Arts for Organizations:

    Paige Sharp
    Deputy Director of Programs
    Indiana Arts Commission

    psharp@iac.in.gov

    (317) 416-8536

View the Fellowship Descriptions of the 2023 Artist Cohort

Name

IAC Region

County

City

Primary Discipline

Andrea Kleesattel 8 Monroe Bloomington Music
Audrey Williams 8 Monroe Bloomington  Music
Cara Schmitt 1 Lake Munster Visual Arts
Cheryl Hunt 5 Blackford Hartford City Visual Arts
Daren P. Redman 8 Brown Nashville  Visual Arts
Delores Thornton 7 Marion Indianapolis Multidisciplinary
Diana Wentzel 4 Howard Kokomo Multidisciplinary
Elijah Stephen 7 Marion Indianapolis Multidisciplinary
Elizabeth A. Guipe 7 Marion Indianapolis Visual Arts
Ellery Diaz 7 Marion Indianapolis Visual Arts
Janelle Slone 3 Steuben Angola Visual Arts
Jessica Renslow 1 Lake Gary Interdisciplinary
Julie McColly Hill 7 Marion Indianapolis Visual Arts
KateEllis 8 Monroe Bloomington Visual Arts
Kierra Ready 7 Marion Indianapolis Visual Arts
Kristina Neal-Mosley 1 Lake Gary Literature
Laura Rach Krell 7 Marion Indianapolis Opera/Music Theatre
Lillie Evans* 7 Marion Indianapolis  Theatre
Nelsy Marcano 1 Porter Michigan City Visual Arts
Samuel Barnett 1 Lake Gary Interdisciplinary
Sonja Lehman 7 Johnson Greenwood  Crafts
Richelle Brown 7 Marion Indianapolis Visual Arts
Rebecca Rayls 4 Howard Kokomo  Crafts
Alia Hawkins 1 Lake Gary Dance
Alicia Sims 7 Marion Indianapolis  Multidisciplinary
Amanda Wagner 2 Elkhart  Goshen Visual Arts
Audrey Johnson 4 Tippecanoe Lafayette Opera/Music Theatre
Celeste Lengerich 3 Allen Fort Wayne  Visual Arts
Chris Acton 1 Porter Chesterton Crafts 
Claire Lacy 4 White Monticelleo Visual Arts
Clare Longendyke 7 Hamilton Fishers Music
Derek Tuder 7 Marion Indianapolis Visual Arts
Diana J.Ensign 8 Marion Indianapolis  Literature
Ellen Mensch 3 Allen Fort Wayne Visual Arts
Emily Bennett 6 Vigo Terre Haute Visual Arts
Jill Mires 12 Jefferson Madison  Dance
Laura Krentz 1 La Porte La Porte Visual Arts
Madeline Richardson 1 Lake Hammond Design Arts
Melli Hoppe 1 La Porte Long Beach Dance
Michal Ann Carley 8 Monroe Bloomington Visual Arts
Nancy Garner 12 Clark Jeffersonville Crafts
Oksana Komarenko 5 Delaware Muncie  Music
Paul Nethercott 7 Marion Indianapolis Media Arts
Sam Bartlett 8 Monroe Bloomington Visual Arts
Teresa Vazquez 3 Allen Fort Wayne Visual Arts
Yemina Concepcion 1 Lake Hobart Folklife/Traditional Arts
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. Although I work primarily as a painter (acrylic and oil), I also have a deep love for crafty art projects. For me, art is spiritual. The act of creating art expresses our own inner spark of divinity. Viewing art connects us to the artist and to a meaning that exists beyond both the viewer and the creator. My creative practice has been most active in my co-leadership role at the creative contemplative community called Limen Place.

2023 Fellowship Project: Life Portraits through Painting and Story

In this class, students bring in a photograph of themselves from a significant moment in their past. Over the course of 6 weeks, they will be guided in painting that photo, and in writing a short story to share why that time is significant. Students learn skills such as paint mixing, brushwork, and other tips and tricks for painting a portrait, as well as tips for memoir writing, such as narrative structure, plot, pacing, and voice.

2021 Fellowship Project: Senior Portraits: A Painting Class

In this class, students paint a portrait from start to finish. The course involves a five-week exploration of the art of portraiture, including portrait photography using our phone cameras. Students learn skills such as framing a photo, angles, composition, and lighting, as well as paint mixing, brushwork, and other tips and tricks for painting a portrait.

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

Mary Ardery (West Lafayette)

Literature

Contact Mary at maryEardery@gmail.com or through her website: 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.

2021 Fellowship Project:  Poetry Class

Come read and write poetry together, once a week for 90 minutes. No experience necessary. Together, participants will mine past and present for poetic content, learning how to write list poems, epistolary poems, elegies, odes, and more. There will be an opportunity to share work aloud in a final event.

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

Dawn Kirsten Batson (Indianapolis)

Music

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 makes new students excited and intrigued. The deep historical background of the instruments also adds to the experience.

2023 Fellowship Project: Creating Joy - An Exploration of the Steel Ensemble (Steel Drums/Pans)

This program will utilize the instruments of the steel ensemble (steel drums/pans) and participants' stories of music
and life, to create an intangible musical and communal tapestry. Participants will gain insight into the journeys of
others, delve into the history of the instruments (the only family of acoustic instruments created in the 20th
century), and gain the skills needed to play the pans.

2021 Fellowship Project: Creating Joy - An Exploration of the Steel Ensemble (Steel Drums/Pans)

This program will utilize the instruments of the steel ensemble (steel drums/pans) and participants' stories of music and life, to create an intangible musical and communal tapestry. Participants will gain insight into the journeys of others, delve into the history of the instruments (the only family of acoustic instruments created in the 20th century), and gain the skills needed to play the pans.

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: Art 4 Life Club

Artist Lee Bauman will lead painting classes for the Art 4 Life Club (65+) at the South Bend Museum of Art. Participants will learn step by step, how to create a variety of acrylic paintings, working at a pace that is best for the participants. In addition to art making, Lee will lead the class in social conversations and activities to foster friendships and nurture a positive community. Paintings will depict themes that will celebrate local landmarks and seasonal traditions. From landscape to still life to abstract art, the group will design and paint onto their canvases.

2021 Fellowship Project: Golden Years Art Club

The Art Barn School, Valparaiso has partnered with artist Lee Bauman to form Golden Years Art Club (65+). The first 6-week session is going to celebrate food, farm animals, and nature. Equally important to artmaking, social activities and group conversations are integrated to create community. To celebrate accomplishments, Pines Village Community will host a public display and reception.

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.

2021 Fellowship Project: The Language of Nature and Self in Drawn Compositions

The program is designed to teach basic manual and observational skills but can evolve in complexity if so desired. The skill development uses an array of senses as it asks the participant to make expressive physical movements, more controlled dexterous movements that use the brain and body to analyze, measure, and observe, and the heart to respond to and find beauty in their mark making. As the creative process and memories of nature connect participants to a sense of awe, it will also build trust through shared discoveries and disclosures.

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 Teacher of the Year on two occasions- once for middle school and once for high school. Since participating in the 2021 Lifelong Arts program, I have taught five other creative aging courses- including pastel, acrylic, multi-media and watercolor.

2023 Fellowship Project: Discovering Art

The arts inherently bring people together- this visual arts residency will do just that. The variety of art mediums and
materials of each course will keep minds active and interested as well as the connections made will unify the
group to see that through discovery, we as humans can make and appreciate a variety of objects and styles in a
variety of ways

2021 Fellowship Project:  Basic Drawing Skills: Creating a Personal Still Life

Participants will learn basic drawing skills in a safe, collegial environment over six to eight sessions, in person or online. Working through each drawing to build skills and empower participants to create a finished work that will be shown in a gallery setting.  Participants will choose from a variety of still life objects, either in studio or at home to arrange into a personal still life.

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. My latest expressive arts projects incorporate digital arts using an iPad.

2023 Fellowship Project: Introduction to Printmaking: playing with gratitude and joy

This printmaking course will blend art-making with the expressive arts by incorporating music, movement, and
writing into the curriculum. Students will learn mono-printing techniques on paper as they explore feelings of
gratitude and joy through social engagement at the beginning and end of each class. In the 5-week introductory
session, students will learn to use professional terminology, confidently mix color and explore composition while
transferring photos and text to paper. Advanced workshops and open studios will be offered following the initial
course, allowing students to explore their new abilities on personal projects.

2021 Fellowship Project:  Foundations of Color Mixing with Acrylic Paints

This foundational color course will give students an opportunity to paint an expressive art mandala while learning practical color theory. Students will learn to use professional color terminology, confidently mix color and identify resources for future color exploration. Understanding color is a lifetime process. The goal of the course is to inspire students to continue this joyful path of discovery.

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.

2021 Fellowship Project: Let's Gogh: Adventures in Watercolor

The proposed project will provide adults over the age of 55 with sequential instruction, over a 6 week period, on using watercolors to paint landscapes. The final project will allow participants to create a work of art illustrating a travel destination of their choice.

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: Watercolor Magic

A low-cost Watercolor class that offers a sense of agency to participants. Classes will be structured on beginning principles, while giving students the freedom of choice to keep them engaged. In person classes will also be followed up by online homework on YouTube administered through prerecorded drawing videos.

2021 Fellowship Project: Drawing and Watercolor Magic

Woman standing outside with two harps 

Melissa Gallant (Indianapolis)

Music

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: Tuneful Harps at Witherspoon

The Tuneful Harps at Witherspoon program offers in person social engagement through an in person harp class. Participants will learn the parts of the harp, how to identify strings, proper posture and hand position, and how to play short musical selections in this six-week class. A seventh session will be the culminating event. Each weekly session will last 90 minutes. No previous musical experience is required. Reading music is not necessary to participate fully in this class. Participants will be introduced to leading African American composers and harpists through print materials, videos and discussions.

2021 Fellowship Project: Tuneful Harps at Witherspoon

The Tuneful Harps at Witherspoon program offers in person social engagement through an in person harp class. Participants will learn the parts of the harp, how to identify strings, proper posture and hand position, and how to play short musical selections in this six week class. A seventh session will be the culminating event. Each weekly session will last 90 minutes. No previous musical experience is required. Reading music is not necessary to participate fully in this class. Participants will be introduced to leading African American harpists through videos and discussions. Guests may be invited to the final sharing performance opportunity.

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

Sandra Gay (Indianapolis)

Theatre

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: POCA (POCA; People of a Certain Age 65+) Power: Enhancing skills necessary for a POCA performance

POCA Power will be designed to show just what POCA's are capable of. The project will inform participants, who
range in age from 68 - 92, as to the rigors of performing. The project mantra is: Start where you are, Use what you
have, Do what you can...and laugh as much as you can along the way. The sessions would involve strength
training, movement for the actor, breathing exercises and memory skills. The project would inform participants
about performing and producing a theatre & dance show.


2021 Fellowship Project: Afternoon Delight - Exploring the POCA Possibilities (POCA; People of a Certain Age)

Afternoon Delight - Exploring the POCA Possibilities will be designed to show just what POCA's are capable of. (POCA - People of a Certain Age) The project will inform participants as to the rigors of both performing and producing an event. The event mantra is: Start where you are, Use what you have, Do what you can...and laugh as much as you can along the way. The sessions will involve script reading, easy movement for the actor, presentation and performance techniques, and simple marketing.  The project will inform participants about performing and producing a product.

Man smiling  

Devon Ginn (Indianapolis)

Literature

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.

2021 Fellowship Project: The Mindful Chronicle: Sound & Reflection

Dive into an immersive voyage of opulent sound and self-discovery. To facilitate this creative writing activation, Devon uses crystal/ brass singing bowls, tuning forks, chimes, indigenous instruments, and guided breathing. Today and every day, you're invited to relax and reflect.

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: Frida for ALL; "Elders Create & Celebrate with Paper Flowers."

Elders will gather to learn about diverse, disabled elder artists and folk traditions involving flowers in a 6-part series of paper flower creating workshops culminating with a showcase celebration.

2021 Fellowship Project:  Create & Celebrate Arts with Flowers

"Create & Celebrate with Flowers" gathers elders to create and celebrate diversity of arts and traditions involving flowers in a five part series of weekly workshops, beginning April 2022 to culminate with a showcase event on May 5, 2022. The showcase event is open to the community in the downtown arts district of Huntington, Indiana.

Woman smiling 

Jean Harper (Uniondale)

Literature

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)

Theatre

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: Comfort and Joy; Recipe and Story Sharing

The Comfort and Joy sessions will allow participants to create personal stories based on their favorite recipes, while learning storytelling performance techniques. The final session of Comfort and Joy will showcase the participants’ stories and prepared recipes.

2021 Fellowship Project: Comfort and Joy; Recipe and Story Sharing

The  Comfort and Joy sessions will allow participants  to create  personal stories based on their favorite recipes while learning storytelling performance techniques. The final session of Comfort and Joy will showcase the participant stories and prepared recipes.

Man in glasses smiling 

Tammeron Jonesfrancis (Muncie)

Crafts

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: Story Telling Pottery for a Meal / Your Garden Story 

These (2) five-session workshops, Story Telling Pottery and Your Garden's Story, brings together two food related
domestic vocations, meal making and gardening as a means to tell stories about the food and the life of the
gardens people live with. Participants will learn basic hand-building pottery techniques including: clay preparation
and treatment, basic pottery-ware construction as well as decorating techniques. For both workshops the fifth and
final meeting will be a potluck meal, and a time for telling stories about food and gardens using pottery made
during the workshop.

2021 Fellowship Project: Story Telling Pottery for a Meal

We take pleasure in making something with our hands that springs from our design and can be used by ourselves and a community. Preparing meals might be the most common example of the pleasure of making amid a community. Everyone eats and meals are the time to share stories. This five session workshop brings together the craft of meal-making with the making of pottery tableware as a means to tell stories about the meals and the foods we love and have enjoyed in the past. Participants will learn basic hand-building pottery techniques including: clay preparation and treatment, basic pottery-ware construction such as bowls and cups as well as decorating techniques. The fifth and final workshop meeting will be a potluck meal outdoors using pottery made during the workshop.

Woman in white shirt smiling 

Elizabeth Leachman  (South Bend)

Dance

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.

2021 Fellowship Project: Discovering Movement for Older Adults

Funding will be used to provide inspirational dance and movement opportunities for older adults that bring joy, care, and health to their lives. This dance program for older adults aims to provide fun and meaningful social and artistic experiences through classical dance, including ballet, jazz, modern, and yoga. Over the course of five sessions, students will learn the basics of various dance techniques, stretching and strengthening exercise, and will end with a culminating dance routine that shows off their exciting new skills. Dance classes aim to provide seniors an opportunity to be active, develop refined motor skills and mind-body awareness, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Selfie of woman with dog 

Debra Levy (Fort Wayne)

Literature

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 as well as selected as a finalist for the Jeanne Leiby Chapbook Award.  Writing can be a historical document handed down to younger generations so they can learn about their ancestors, learn their stories.

2021 Fellowship Project: Your Story Begins, in a Flash!

Requested funds will be used to offer five consecutive writing classes (each 90 minutes in length) at the Fort Wayne Community Center (which offers programming for older learners 55+), and will specifically cover teaching expenses, blog set-up and maintenance, learning materials (notebooks, pencils, handouts), and refreshments for the culminating event—an informal participant reading and party at the Center.

Man on stage taking a selfie 

Wacey Robertson (Terre Haute)

Music

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: Creative Aging Series: Djembe for Beginners

This class will teach the basics of djembe to the 55 and better community while giving them the opportunity to
socialize with their fellow residents. The class will meet weekly for 1 hour and 15 minutes for a total of 8 weeks.
Each class will involve social engagement and hand exercises/warmups in addition to learning technique, musical
literacy, and musical vocabulary. With ample amount of time, members will have plenty of time to constructively
engage and socialize with fellow members of the group.

2021 Fellowship Project: Creative Aging Series: Ukulele for Beginners

The fellowship funding will be used to enrich local communities through music. The project will aim to help our 55 and better residents realize their goals of trying something different and creative through music. The funding will support the purchase of needed supplies to tailor a class towards this demographic.

Woman with glasses smiling 

Darlene Rosario-Reese (East Chicago)

Multidisciplinary

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: A Visual Anthology of Personal Stories: Felt Paintings

In Felted Anthology, each participant will creatively capture a memory or event from their life story, as a handmade felt wall hanging. Participants will learn several enjoyable fiber art processes, including needle felting, wet felting, and techniques that form wool into 3D felted shapes. This course encourages a new look at sharing life stories through fiber, empathy, and creative joy.

2021 Fellowship Project:  A Visual Anthology of Personal Stories: Felt Paintings

Thought the course Felted Anthology, each participant will creatively capture a memory or event from their life story as a handmade felt wall hanging. Participants will learn several enjoyable fiber art processes, including needle felting, wet felting, and techniques that form wool into 3D felted shapes. This course encourages a new look at sharing life stories through fiber, empathy, and creative joy.

Woman working at a loom 

Peggy Taylor (Westphalia)

Crafts

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. I also teach acrylic painting to senior learners in a sequential format, designed to be a successful creative experience for those with little to no previous painting experience.

2023 Fellowship Project: Natural Dyes, Colorful Textiles

Natural Dyes, Colorful Textiles is a project that teaches senior learners to use dyes from plants to create original
textiles. Seasonal (summer and fall) 8-session classes will teach participants the history and methods of extracting
pigments from dye plants to naturally dye wool yarns and fabric. Dye sessions will cover sequential skills in
identifying dye plants, harvesting plant materials and preparing them for dyeing; mordanting of yarns and fabrics to
be dyed; mixing and using dyebaths for each plant; and post-dyeing care of yarns and fabrics. Accessibility, social
interaction and hands-on skills are key elements of these classes designed to encourage lifelong learning for
senior participants.

2021 Fellowship Project:  Woven Together

Woven Together is a series of classes in Saori weaving, on 4-harness looms, for older students in the community of New Harmony. These visual arts experiences will build skills sequentially and foster social engagement, through the Saori method of weaving, a very freeing, creative and individualistic approach. A public art exhibit of student work will be held at the culmination of the project.

Woman smiling 

Jennifer Weinert (Kewanna)

Multidisciplinary

Contact Jennifer at diamondhill.duo@gmail.com

For over three decades, I have provided educational, therapeutic, and spoken art experiences for individuals with various abilities.  As a multi-disciplinary artist, I find particular interest in storytelling, 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.

2023 Fellowship Project: Express Your Story

'Express Your Story' is a dynamic opportunity for older adults to explore together their life experiences using multiple creative tools such as collage, writing, improv, spoken word to create unique narratives to share with their communities. Participants learn about the history of storytelling, its importance and types of stories. They explore story elements, content, structure and presentation to inform their work, encourage ongoing exploration, and expression of their stories.

2021 Fellowship Project: Story in Three Dimensions: A Multi-Medium Collage Experience

Participants will learn important steps to creating a work of art from concept to completion by exploring the principles of collage. Working alongside others they will explore ways to express themselves through imagery, learn to incorporate elements of design, how to choose materials and engage in creative exchange, all of which can be applied to future visual art and storytelling endeavors.

Woman with short black hair smiling 

Roberta Wong (Indianapolis)

Dance

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.

2023 Fellowship Project: Ballet. Connected. Delight.

Ballet. Connected. Delight. engages older adult learners in group activity to learn, share, create and enjoy
through ballet and dance techniques, culminating in a shared creative dance experience

2021 Fellowship Project: Ballet. Connected.

Ballet. Connected. engages older adult learning in group activity to learn, share, create and enjoy through ballet dance techniques, culminating in a shared creative dance experience.

About the Program

Lifelong Arts Indiana for Arts Organizations is more than a grant program, it’s a community building opportunity on the local level and across the state. Selected organizations will form a cohort that together will learn and grow in creative aging practice ultimately becoming leaders and mentors sharing with others what they’ve learned.

Specifically, the selected cohort will:

  1. Participate in training to develop their skills in providing creative experiences for older adults. Informed by field best-practices, Lifelong Arts Indiana will empower members to develop their own approach to sharing creative experiences with older adults, ages sixty-five and older, in their community.
  2. Leverage what they learned to establish their own creative aging program using grant funds to help make it happen; and
  3. Share their journey with others through one to two virtual convenings.

2024 Lifelong Arts for Arts Organization Recipients and Projects

  • The Honeywell Foundation, Inc. (Wabash, IN) - Senior Perspectives: Observational Art Class
    Honeywell’s Senior Perspectives: Observational Art Class will offer older adults the opportunity to engage in two series of 8 weekly art classes, each led by professional artist and teacher Danielle Winger. Hosted at the local senior center, this program is designed to empower participants to explore their creativity, build social connections, and culminate in a community art exhibition, fostering self-expression and active engagement within the community.
  • Iibada Dance Company (Indianapolis, IN) - Seasoned Feet
    Participants will rediscover the joy of dance with Seasoned Feet, an 8-week program starting September 23, meeting every Monday at Iibada Dance Studio in Indianapolis. Designed for movers aged 55 and above, participants will explore modern dance techniques, multi-cultural dance, and performance, creating a vibrant community of seasoned dancers. Dust off your dance shoes and join us for a journey of movement, connection, and self-expression at Seasoned Feet!
  • South Shore Arts (Munster, IN) - Every Generation: "Without Limitations"
    Participants will meet at South Shore Arts’ Munster location or the partnering location in collaboration with Northwest Indiana Community Action. Program participants will have the opportunity to participate in three 6-week courses covering 2D/3D, Textiles, and Printmaking.  Instructors will provide a bilateral framework of traditional (hands-on-materials) vs digital (hands-on-device) curriculum and will increase attendee confidence in both arenas as well as engage them in socialization through a variety of arts processes.
  • Art Barn School of Art, Inc. (Valparaiso, IN) - Art Within Reach: Drawing and Creative Watercolor
    Art Within Reach is an 8-week drawing/painting class series for adults 65+ that will teach fundamentals of composition, form, color, shading, and technique, along with discussion, feedback, and support from experienced instructors. The program will introduce seniors to creative expression in a supportive environment, provide them with the vocabulary to talk about their goals and artistic process, build social connections to enhance quality of life, and organize an exhibition and public reception showcasing their work in an intergenerational community setting at the conclusion of the program.
  • Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Inc. (Fort Wayne, IN) - Apple City Dance Project
    Fort Wayne Dance Collective will be working with the Renaissance Pointe YMCA, located in southeast Fort Wayne, to provide 8-week dance sessions designed specifically for adults ages 55 and up.  Each dance session will be focused on creating a welcoming and fun environment where participants will learn a variety of basic dance steps in different styles, while having input on music selection, and the chance to work as a group to create movement inspired by their lives.
  • Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, Inc. (Lafayette, IN) - Playback: Moving Through Our Memories
    Playback: Moving Through Our Memories is an 8-week program consisting of 90-minute sessions where senior students will work with trained teaching artists on movement, storytelling, and improvisation to unlock memories they most want to explore. These elements combined create a form of devised theatre which is the process of collaboratively creating a new work without a pre-existing script. There will be multiple 8-week sessions within the grant period, with sessions being held at Westminster Village, Joyful Journey, and University Place. The goal of the programming is to teach the art form of storytelling in a unique and theatrical style that will inspire participants to master scene-writing, acting, directing, collaboration, and staging.
  • Heartland Sings Inc. (Fort Wayne, IN) - Timeless Tunes for All Singers
    Through communal singing, senior singers will see improved well-being in areas of their lives such as their cognitive function and memory, respiratory and heart health, human connection and socialization, and musicianship skills. By taking the steps to prepare music and a performance, participants will address these multiple areas and health needs to have a successful culminating performance.
  • ArtMix Inc. (Indianapolis, IN) - Narrating with Colors
    ArtMix's program, "Narrating with Colors", is an introductory painting class designed to combat social isolation and build community for aging adults with and without disabilities. Throughout the eight-week session, attendees will learn foundational painting skills while engaging in weekly group discussions about the story of their life. The culmination of the class will be a collaborative mural that weaves the artists' stories together.
  • The Jack & Shirley Lubeznik Center for the Arts (Michigan City, IN) - 2D Art and Design
    Participants will meet each week for 60 minutes over an eight-week period. Class will begin with an introduction to a specific technique and the related vocabulary. Each artwork will have a general theme or style upon which the class will focus, however individual creative choices will allow participants autonomy over the final product. Participants will be encouraged to share ideas and experiment with unique materials to inform their work during studio time. Peer critiques focused on positive feedback will conclude each project with a final art show as the culminating event.

Program Timeline 

All times are eastern, and all deadlines are by 11:59 p.m.

Grant Period

January 1, 2024 – March 1, 2025
Formerly: January 1, 2024 – May 1, 2025

Program Information Webinar

September 26, 2023 @ 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Deadline to Apply to the Program 

October 13, 2023

Cohort Selection Panel (Recording available 11/13)

November 8, 2023

Notifications Sent to Cohort Applicants

December 15, 2023

Virtual Cohort Welcome Meet Up #1

February 6, 2024, 2-3:30pm

Virtual Training Dates - Mandatory Participation

March 11, 18, and 25, 2024

Virtual Cohort Welcome Meet Up #2

April 15, 2024, 2-3:30pm

Project Proposal Deadline

May 10, 2024

Project ImplementationJune 1, 2024 – February 6, 2025
(All activities must be completed by February 6, 2025)

In-Person Cohort Welcome Meet Up #3 (Progress Share Out)

October 16, 2024

Share-out to Philanthropic Community

April 22, 2025 (date subject to change)

Final Grant Report Deadline

February 13, 2025

Read the program guidelines to learn more about eligibility criteria, selection priorities, and more.

Lifelong Arts for Arts Organizations is an Indiana Arts Commission program in partnership with the Family and Social Services Administration, and is made possible by a grant provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in partnership with E.A. Michelson Philanthropy.