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Nebraska Arts Council expands arts opportunities for seniors

The grant will also help to fight stereotypes
Posted at 5:46 AM, Jan 10, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Many arts programs focus on children, but the Nebraska Arts Council's newest grant will focus on getting seniors involved. The Creative Aging Through the Arts program will allow places like assisted living facilities and senior centers to get unlock their artistry.

"I think getting seniors involved in arts has been a missing piece in providing the arts. Our mission is to promote, cultivate and sustain the arts for the people of Nebraska not just schools, which we do a lot of, and of course, we support Omaha performing arts and all those organizations but somehow we don’t seem to have enough programs for seniors," Suzanne Wise, Director of the Nebraska Arts Council said.

The programs will get seniors involved and active in the arts.

"The whole idea for it is to really challenge seniors. It’s not just about seniors watching a performance," Wise said. "It’s really about getting them involved in something like music or writing or doing art."

Wise adds, the program will also allow them to fight back against negative stereotypes like ageism.

Artist Rebecca Harrison will be working with seniors through the grant. Harrison says seniors are curious and while it may take a while, it unlocks creativity they've had to ignore for some time.

"A lot of folks as they get into retirement age or have retired, they really want to unlock that creativity that they have had to put away in a box their whole working life. We get busy with our daily life that people don’t have time to do what they’re passionate about," Harrison said. "Sometimes it takes a little bit of work to pull them back into that paradigm of you are a creative person and you can make things and it doesn’t have to be your perfect masterpiece it’s about the joy of creating and when they remember that feeling they’re endless."

To apply to receive money from the grant for your program, visit artscouncil.nebraska.gov