CHEYENNE — Fifteen Wyoming libraries, including the Sweetwater County Library System, will soon offer arts-based programming that will enrich the lives of older adults (55+) in their communities through the Creative Aging in Wyoming Public Libraries Project.
The project is made possible through a partnership between the Wyoming State Library, Wyoming Arts Council, and Lifetime Arts with funding from the Wyoming Community Foundation and the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust.
“Wyoming is a beautiful state full of artistic inspiration,” State Librarian Jamie Markus said. “We’re grateful our libraries will now have even more opportunity to bring arts education and enjoyment to our communities’ older patrons.”
Creative aging is the practice of engaging older adults in participatory, sequential, socially-engaging and professionally run arts programs. Not only does this program model promote mastery of artistic skills and creative expression, it is a proven way to alleviate the effects of social isolation.
“Creative Aging embraces older adults as learners,” said Maura O’Malley, CEO and Cofounder of Lifetime Arts. “It expands the impact of teaching artists, and provides a positive and creative approach to programming.”
Each of the 15 libraries is eligible for up to $4,000 to support instructor fees, workshop materials and supplies for two programs, for a total of $60,000 in funding statewide. The project includes training and coaching conducted by Lifetime Arts, the national leader in creative aging program development.
Library programmers and teaching artists who have attended the training will be equipped to plan, promote, implement, evaluate and sustain both in-person and virtual creative aging programs.
“Libraries play a critical role as cornerstones in communities,” said Nathan Majoros, Deputy Director of Programming and Operations at Lifetime Arts. “They’ve proven to be a perfect fit for these unique and forward-thinking programs.”
Libraries are currently conducting community assessments and surveys to gauge local interests. Programs will begin in June and continue throughout the following year.
Libraries receiving grants:
- Albany County Public Library
- Campbell County Public Library System
- Carbon County Library System
- Fremont County Library System
- Goshen County Library
- Lincoln County Library System
- Natrona County Library
- Park County Library
- Sheridan County Public Library System
- Sublette County Library
- Sweetwater County Library System
- Teton County Library
- Uinta County Library
- Washakie County Library
- Weston County Library