Our aging population is growing rapidly, as is society’s loneliness epidemic – some 43% of older adults nationwide experience social isolation. Through multidisciplinary and inclusive arts programming, AFTA seeks to reverse this trend, ensuring that over 1,000 older adults in our region every year can age with creativity. Despite the pandemic continuing to impact aging communities like senior centers and retirement homes, AFTA delivers regular workshops year-round in which participants paint, tango, play the drums, write poetry, perform improv, and more. Intergenerational programs, hands-on artmaking, and a senior dance company promote deeper connection through the arts, while therapeutic workshops for professional and family caregivers ensure that those who care for older adults have a space to connect. AFTA knows that our need for stronger social bonds means supporting a full creative life for all.

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 (FY2023)

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

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

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