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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

32 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

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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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.

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Creativie Aging for several years now. The group is so dedicated to improving the lives of Seniors in the Mid-south. It is a pleasure to be a part of this great organization. The programs bring a lot of joy to the residents and it add tremendously to their lives. I had the opportunity to play at an independent living facility and one woman told me that live music gives them so much to look forward to. I always have a warm feeling when I leave a performance, whether I am the performer or a spectator because it is easy to see the difference in the residents when they have a great "Arts" experience. It's definitely food for their souls.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is one of the best non-profit organizations in the Mid-South! The impact these creative aging artists have on seniors in the community is absolutely priceless.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Recently, I attended a performance by one of our artists and was once again excited to see the residents dance and clap in time with the music. What a joy to see the interaction between the performers and their elderly audience. The excitement and enthusiasm was incredible. We need to ensure that these performance not only continue but grow exponentially over the years to benefit our elderly friends and family members.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging is a conduit to provide access to the arts for the seniors in our communtiy. I am proud to support and be a part of this wonderful organization. From personal experiences, I can affirm that the performances and workshops provide a positive and enriching experience for our seniors.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The most rewarding part of being a Board Member is to watch the performances at Nursing Faiclities and see the absolute joy in in the eyes of older adults who are engaged in the performance. Those with dementia whose remote memory is still intact seemd mezmorized. Hearing something familiar and recalling memories of times past is both exciting and healing. This transformation is truly amazing; at the last performance I had the honor of attending, one lady sang along with most every song. As I watched her sing and clap her hands to the music, I had to believe that no matter what she is facing in the future, today held treasures beyond belief.

Lynn Doyle

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging is truly a wonderful organization with the unique
opportunity to touch the lives of seniors in so many ways.  Through
innovative arts, they engage the senses of many of our seniors who are
unable to initiate interaction, but so deeply need to be stimulated
through venues such as musical performers and other talented artists.
It is heart warming to watch their spirits lift when they are drawn
into an activity which engages their mind and spirit and to see the
expressions on their faces when they are touched by an uplifting
performance by a Creative Aging artist.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Experiencing the joy of seeing my grandmother "Gama" celebrate her birthday with a band playing for her, her family and friends in the nursing facility that she lived in was priceless. After seeing how much this meant to so many Seniors, I wanted to be part of such an organization that brought so much happiness. Shortly after my "Gama's" birthday, I was asked if I would be interested in being a Board Member of Creative Aging Memphis. I couldn't say "yes" fast enough and that was six years ago. In six years, I have seen Seniors move and grove to some of Memphis' most prominent musicians to reading stories written in creative writing workshops by Seniors who thought they would never be able to tell their story just to name a couple of ways the arts have not only touched but made the lives of Seniors. Creative Aging Memphis not only is providing arts to our Seniors, but Creative Aging Memphis also pays these artists for their performances and workshops putting dollars back in the arts. This wonderful organization is a win-win for everyone involved: Seniors, Artists and those of us privilaged to be part of this great non-profit...Creative Aging Memphis.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am relatively new to the Health Care field and have become very passionate about helping the aging community through my new position of Marketing Director for Right at Home. My good friend, Bob Bernstein, suggested me for the Board of Creative Aging. At the time, I knew nothing about the organization but since my first Board meeting, which was an all day planning session, I was simply bowled over by the Power of the Organization. It is a worthy cause on all levels and brings a beautiful level of grace and charm to the Seniors who otherwise would have little or no experience with the Arts. I have played the violin since I was 6 and find that the spiritual nourishment that is provided through the arts is as important to the soul as food is to the body. I am very happy to be able to serve on a Board that is doing such important work.

LaDon J.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a singer/artist, I can't think of a more precious gift than to provide musical entertainment for the residents served though Creative Aging. The ability to "reach out" and connect with the residents through songs and music is always the highlight of my day. I can't think of a better way to make a difference in the lives of others.

Pat_8

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have the distinct privilege of being associated with Creative Aging Mid-South. This fabulous organization provides a key service to seniors in the communities where they live and gather. Through the arts, seniors find the pleasures in life, and often have the gift of remembering regenerated for a period of time, as they clap and sing and dance and sculpt and listen to storytelling. What a wonderful service to our aging population, and what a treasure this is to the Mid-South community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Aging is the best kept secret in Memphis. The entertainment to the senior facilities is priceless. the opportunity to support our great artist is a perfect blend to enhance lives in all aspects of the arts. I am honored to serve on the board.