Lifetime Arts, Inc. and Westchester Library System (WLS) are pleased to announce the first of two rounds of grants to ten Westchester libraries. Through an extremely competitive panel process, ten libraries were selected and will receive a total of $23,493 to support free art programs for older adults. Libraries receiving Creative Aging Grants include: Briarcliff, Montrose, Mamaroneck, Mt. Kisco, Yonkers Riverfront, Ruth Keeler/ South Salem, Scarsdale Public Library, John C. Hart Library/ Shrub Oak, Somers, and /Tarrytown/ Sleepy Hollow.
Collaborating with local teaching artists, libraries will present a series of skill-based artist residencies culminating with a free public event. The workshops in this cycle include those in music, literary, performing and visual arts. All workshops are free, and available to all county residents.
Lifetime Arts’ President/CEO Maura O’Malley applauded the commitment of the librarians and teaching artists to this program. “There were many terrific proposals submitted, all of which demonstrated great opportunities for arts learning. We look forward to supporting another ten programs later this year,” stated Ms. O’Malley.
For many libraries, these grants help to provide services that they otherwise would not be able to offer. As the county senior population grows, libraries are tasked with providing programming that goes beyond the traditional book club. "All of our programs are funded through our Friends Group - so we are truly grateful for additional funds that bring innovative programming to our community,” commented Library Director Maureen Petry from Warner Library in Tarrytown.
Creative Aging grants cover the majority of the actual cost with additional funding coming from programming budgets, friends groups and library foundations. The Creative Aging projects at the library all focus on the beneficial and powerful role of the arts in enhancing the quality of life for older adults and as an important contributor to positive aging. Led by professional teaching artists, in the comfortable setting of the local library, the residencies foster mastery and promote meaningful social engagement—two key ingredients for positive aging.
“We are very fortunate to participate in this collaborative partnership with Lifetime Arts, Inc., stated Terry Kirchner, WLS Executive Director. “This initiative is an important model, and is instrumental in furthering our mission to help libraries serve our underserved populations, including the growing population of older adults in Westchester.”
Creative Aging – The New York State Libraries Project is a National Leadership demonstration project funded through the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services with additional funding provided by the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. Over the next two years, the project will support programming in four New York State library systems – serving 1800 older adults in 60 libraries – including twenty Westchester County libraries - through 2013. Additional partnering library systems include Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Clinton Essex Franklin Library System in northern New York State.
For program information visit: westchesterlibraries.org or lifetimearts.org.
About Westchester Library System
WLS serves as a center of innovation for the community, providing model programs, affordable and easy-to-use information technology, and support services that enable libraries to continuously improve the quality of life in their communities. The System serves patrons through 38 member public libraries in 44 locations, reaching more than 500,000 cardholders of all ages and walks of life. For more information, see www.westchesterlibraries.org.
About Lifetime Arts, Inc.
Lifetime Arts is a nonprofit organization working nationally to support the health and wellness of older adults by promoting the inclusion of professional arts programs in organizations that serve older adults; training artists to develop the creative capacity of this population; and fostering lifelong learning in and through the arts by increasing opportunities for participation in community based programming. Through a variety of services and initiatives they provide technical assistance in the design, funding and implementation of creative aging programs, helping organizations build livable communities for all ages. In recognition of their innovative programs, Lifetime Arts received the 2012 Creativity and Aging in America Leadership Award/Lifelong Learning from MetLife Foundation. Their work with public libraries is featured in Stories for Change: Best Practices Re-Defining the Arts to New Audiences, an international compendium published by Partners for Livable Communities. For more information see www.lifetimearts.org