Emerging research proves that regular arts participation is vital to healthier aging and this is especially important as, every day, 10,000 boomers reach the age of 65. That is why, every week at community and residential care settings, Arts for the Aging offers high-quality, multimedia arts programs. Taught by professional artists trained by AFTA in best practices for working with older adults, these workshops cover a range of media from opera and poetry, to violin, painting, and writing and are offered at no cost to the underserved centers at which they take place. While most participants suffer from multiple debilitating ailments, 94% are able to take an active role. And for those who feel isolated, an AFTA workshop is a time not just to create and learn, but also to feel less alone. Dubbed a model in lifelong learning and creative aging by the National Endowment for the Arts, AFTA knows that the arts can lift our spirits and engage our minds ... at any time of life.

Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 3; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax; Tenleytown, Chevy Chase, Downtown,Chinatown,Anacostia

Age Groups Served: Seniors (50+)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Schools They Work In: Summer campers at Longbranch Community Center; Parkdale High School; Summer campers from Chevy Chase Community Center; Chance Academy

Awards & Recognition

1) National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designates our program a model in lifelong learning and creative aging.

2) Named a Trailblazer by the Maryland Department on Aging

3) Founding member, National Center for Creative Aging

4) Methodology published in "Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit", considered a seminal industry resource.

5) AFTA Founder Lolo Sarnoff recognized for Volunteerism by the Alzheimer's Association.

6) Featured in the national PBS documentary film Do Not Go Gently


  • Using the Arts to Promote Healthy Aging
    Fri Jul 8 2016, The New York Times  
    Personal Health columnist Jane Brody shares the importance of arts participation and its link to better health, including the work of AFTA.

Budget (FY2015)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Arts for the Aging is: Less than $500k

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