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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Creative Aging Memphis

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Performing Arts

Mission: Creative Aging Mid-South improves quality of life for Mid-South seniors by providing access to experiences in the arts. We accomplish that by hiring local professional artists to perform and teach seniors in nursing homes, retirement communities, adult day programs and senior centers, ensuring that even the frailest seniors maintain an enriching connection to the arts.

Results: Since beginning programming in 2005, Creative Aging has presented more than 5,000 performances and art-making workshops at long-term care and retirement communities, senior centers, and adult daycare programs. In doing so, we have paid more than $725,000 in performance fees to Memphis artists, and brought the arts alive for 30,000 seniors.

Target demographics: seniors continue to have access to the arts where they live

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 6,000 seniors at 50+ residential communities in the Mid-South

Geographic areas served: the Mid-South

Programs: musical performances, art-making workshops, personal story-telling, and drumming

Community Stories

81 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Creative Aging provides seniors unique, creative experiences that helps them maintain vitality and overall well-being. The organization and its Director, Meryl Klein, demonstrate exceptional dedication in serving older adults,and it shows in the number, quality and variety of programs that are delivered.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

•True caring and passion to serve the senior population.

All CAM programs are accessible to seniors regardless of physical or cognitive frailty because we bring the performances to them where they live!
• CAM presents professional artists to present 400+ hour-long performances annually.
• Performances take place in about 40 different older adult facilities/centers including nursing homes, retirement communities, assisted living and daycare facilities.
• CAM helps support the artists’ community by paying performance fees --- more than $70,000 in 2010!
• CAM performances provide opportunities for audience members to
o stay connected to the community
o interact with the artists
o reminisce about the music’s meaning in their lives
o dance, sing, clap, or simply move to the music
• CAM workshops enable participants to create and feel valued for their talents.
• Arts change lives! Older adults who participate in arts-related events are healthier and happier. They visit doctors less frequently, take fewer medications and are less likely to say they’re depressed.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Creative Aging is a wonderful organization that I've been privileged to work with for the past 10 years.
It affords me the experience of working with diverse groups of seniors, and connecting with them in a very personal, even intimate, way. The best shows are when I feel a deep connection being made between those listening and the music. Sometimes they will sing, or just move with their own particular styling and it's rather thrilling to see it, feel it, and be a part of it. I think the residents of these senior facilities are being provided a look at their past lives & loves & passions; presenting music is a very real way of connecting these dots, as music is so reminiscent of earlier times, so nostalgic, and also
spiritual in its own way. I'm thankful for these times of sharing, and I can only hope I am getting better at it as I age. It's such fun to share with these folks. They inspire me to nurture.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I began to play piano for Creative Aging in 2005 or so. Some of my most fulfilling times have been entertaining the clients/senior that it serves. From retirement homes to alzheimer centers, and every venue in between, it is sheer joy and delight to entertain these folks with special needs, most of whom are homebound a great deal of the time. Creative Aging does marvelous things in providing different types of art experiences for older people. It brings stimulation, aesthetics, & vitality to lots of people that need it, and thrive because of it. I feel very blessed and thankful to be a part of this wonderful non-profit called Creative Aging. Diana Stein

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Center for Creative Aging is a gift to our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Creative Aging not only enhances the lives of so many seniors in our community but also supports so many individual artists in the community by using them for all the programming presented in the senior citizen facilities, community centers and other venues that they service.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Bringing access to the arts to our seniors is a great mission. I love being a part of this great organization.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging provides access to the arts for seniors. I have observed how the performers interact with the audience and watched in awe as the audience comes alive when an old favorite song is performed. I have enjoyed being a part of this organization and seeing the positive reactions from our seniors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering for Creative Aging. Bringing arts to Elders! Beat in Memphis.

Lee_39

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging fills a unique role in the community and they do it well. They brighten and enrich the lives of seniors by bringing arts performances and arts participation experiences to assisted living communities and other locations where seniors gather. I've seen firsthand how this makes a difference in the lives of people they serve. It also supports the artist community in the Memphis area. As Joe Birch would say about Creative Aging, it's a win/win for all involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe in non-profits. They do the work that everyone says needs to be done. Non-profits take the ideas, recruit the volunteers, roll-up sleeves and get down to business. Creative Aging Memphis is one of those non-profits. The unique thing is they actually serve two diverse communities: seniors and artists. In what I think is a brilliant idea, Creative Aging figured out how to educate, entertain and involve seniors by hiring artists, including musicians, dancers, singers, potters, story-tellers, painters and more. The two groups need each other in order to grow, thrive and maybe even survive. And Creative Aging puts them together. I am thrilled to work with, volunteer for, and support wholly, Creative Aging Memphis. I am proud that Memphis is a city full of seniors and artists, all of whom we need, and through Creative Aging, we also cherish.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

We need so many things in life: food and shelter for the body, love and art for the soul. We need them when we are young and it doesn't stop when we are old. The wonderful thing is, no matter what the age, Creative Aging Memphis provides love and art for the soul and helps provide food and shelter for the body. Our musicians and artists come in all sizes and ages. Working for Creative Aging helps pay some of their bills. Working with Creative Aging exposes them to a world of love and gratitude. Then there are the seniors who get a chance to sing, dance, draw or just dream after a visit from these musicians and artists. Their world becomes a little bigger and a whole lot brighter. Creative Aging Memphis gives everyone, entertainers and seniors alike, a chance to live and live well, no matter what their age.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is proven that stimulation through the arts including music, dance, written word, crafts and other arts provide seniors with cognitive stimulation and growth. Creative Aging benefits both area artist and seniors by paying professional performers and educators to provide arts programs in confined elder communities. Everyone in the mix benefits as artist reach a new audience that might not otherwise be able to enjoy these performances. The reaction of both the seniors and the artist are amazing to see. Creative Aging is people helping people to enjoy an more healthy and invigorating life.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Creative Aging does an excellent job promoting the health of older adults through its arts programming for seniors. The musical performances entertain the senior audiences but more importantly, they evoke responses that are essential the the seniors' emotional, cognitive and physical well-being. Over the last 10 years I have consistently been impressed by their services and impact.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When well known musicians perform for older adults who feel isolated in residential facilities, everyone benefits. The older adults feel like they are still a part of the larger community, that their need to experience the arts is as important as anyone else's. And, the artists benefit both from the extra income and their interactions with their audiences. Creative Aging is good for Memphis seniors and artists!

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Lynn21

Board Member

Rating: 5

Looking into the eyes of a senior adult who is mesmerized by music is a small taste of heaven. Bringing the arts to those who can no longer access those once enjoyed activities is what Creative Aging does best. Blending the right mix of caring and compassion and orchestrating an event that transports senior adults back to a time that was perhaps more gracious to them brings joy to thousands every year. Whether music artisans or storytellers, senior adults love to reconnect with memories. And watching them make this incredible connection, watching them come alive when they hear an old familiar tune or hear a story that they knew as a child, this wonderment is contagious. I have seen this in action and I am always amazed!

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

We never ever, no matter what age, lose the need for connecting with others. When we struggle cognitively, this becomes more difficult. To watch an older adult connect with others through music and art is unbelievably moving. It is nothing short of a miracle for someone suffering with dementia. When I watch a performance sponsored by Creative Aging and I see this kind of miracle, I am so proud. This is when I know that our mission is being carried out every day!!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I am a member of a Senior Center where artists from Creative Aging often entertain. They provide well known talented local artists for the entertainment of our members, many of whom are limited in their social activities.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with Creative aging to mail advertisements to different sources to thoroughly promote the activities/services provided. The flyers are always very informative. Also, I am a member of a Senior Center that is fortunately connected with Creative Aging and is often entertained by the many artists provided through them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging is a non-profit organization that accomplishes two worthy goals. First of all, it provides a wide variety of artistic programs and on-hands craft activities to a diverse population of seniors citizens. The performances are given in senior communities throughout Shelby County. Secondly, Creative Aging employs local artists who give hundreds of performances each year to thousands of senior citizens. Thus, both local artists and senior citizens benefit from this unique organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

At our community, our goal is for all activities to be meaningful and purposeful. Creative Aging helps us achieve that goal by offering wonderful performances that engage our seniors and fantastic workshops that bring out the creativity in each of our residents. Never disappointed, the talent that Creative Aging brings to our residents is always professional while delighting our residents and engaging them in meaningful activities. Other communities may say "we can hire performers ourselves" but Creative Aging is much, much more than performances. They bring access to the arts that our residents would no have the opportunity to engage in otherwise.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work in an Assisted Living for people with dementia and Alzheimer's. My first encounter with Creative Aging was there - we had gathered all the residents together to enjoy the performance of one of the Creative Aging musicians. I was suprised to see Ms. Mary there - I had never heard her speak a word, but her daughter was visiting and decided to bring her mom to enjoy the music. The performer that Creative Aging had sent instantly connected with our residents. He sang lots of old songs that our residents were familiar with. He began singing an Elvis tune and walked right up to Ms. Mary and put the microphone to her mouth. I thought, oh no, she can't even speak - this will not go so well. Boy was I surprised when she grab the mic and starting singing along - she knew all the words! I was in tears - happy tears to see her enjoying this so much. You see, sometimes, we may think that the older generation isn't all there - but they are! You just have to find the right way to connect. Creative Aging does this so well - they connect through music, art, spoken word and more. Creative Aging brings joy and smiles to thousands of elder citizens in our community and I highly commend them for the work they do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have utilized Creative Aging as an entertainment source for our seniors, for many years...upwards of 8.
They are easy to work with in every single way, whether it be the staff, the entertainers, or even their happy volunteers.
I'm sure we will continue a great working relationship for many years to come!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Performing and visual arts groups continually talk about the importance of audience participation or audience engagement. If you were to visit a senior community where a performance or workshop by the Memphis-based Creative Aging was under way, you’d experience the quintessential audience engagement. Here, in a non-traditional setting, artists are up-close and personal – whether musicians, storytellers, painters or weavers. Their work evokes memories, feelings, movement and expressions of joy. Such engagement of seniors offers a sense of pleasure and decreases stress, isolation, loneliness and promotes memory health. You couldn’t find a more appreciative audience not to mention the dedication of the artists.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging Mid-South is the only nonprofit organization in the greater Memphis area offering quality arts experiences exclusively for seniors where they live and gather
The experiences offered by Creative Aging are powerful ways to engage elders in a creative and healing process regardless of age and level of physical, emotional or cognitive functioning. The organization not only offers up-close, virtuosic performances, but the presenting artists always take time to interact with audience members. The arts have always had the capacity to enrich lives and unlock the human spirit, but Creative Aging offers true essence of the live arts experience. Creative Aging is a distinguished member of both the nonprofit social service and arts communities. Not only does the group offer a needed service to elderly audiences, but it compensates local professional artists.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging brings smiles to faces; employs young and old talent throughout the city; reunites the elderly with fond memories through music, painting, dramatic readings and the arts in general. Creative Aging is an organization that I am proud to serve.

barbsysak

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging continues to grow providing more services to seniors in the Greater Memphis area. Creative Aging is unique in that it is the only organization that partners with professional artists and educators to present arts through live productions and hands-on workshops in senior communities.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging Mid-South BRINGS arts to elders in the mid-south. Many of these folks are generally disenfranchised, fragile and underserved as they live in nursing homes. Other seniors who benefit from over 600 arts performances and workshops a year are in day care centers, assisted living or attend senior centers. The most recent performance I attended was a storytelling performance by a professional storyteller. The audience responded by remembering their own most cherished stories and sharing them with each other. Is there a better way to enhance cognitive and social health? Go online to www.creativeagingmidsouth.org to see how you can support this great nonprofit.

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Ronda2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am very involved with Memphis-area non-profits, so when I met the folks from Creative Aging a couple of years ago I asked, "What can I do?" That's how I became a board member. And I've done a lot since then, not because I am particularly wonderful, but because they are. The concept of fostering creativity in our senior friends and neighbors is a must. Staying vital, interested, informed and entertained is something we work for our entire lives...not just at 20-something. Add to that the fact that by offering the arts to seniors, Creative Aging also supports the artistic community and you have a win-win. I am humbled by the chance to do something meaningful and lasting...and fun! My dream is for everyone to get to be a senior served by Creative Aging.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love Memphis. The things we do in Memphis, change the world. Look at self-serve grocery stores, FedEx, Auto Zone, rock n roll, STAX, College of Art...the list goes on and on. Now you can add Creative Aging to the list. Music and art know no boundaries, no 'isms,' no age limits. We have the talent, we have the need and with Creative Aging, we have a way to put them together, singing and dancing and living all the way!

Sherry26

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This non-profit is a great vehicle for allowing the Memphis area's many talented seniors an opportunity to perform and offers those looking for entertainers a large and diverse resource.