Creative Aging

Creative aging and lifelong learning opportunites have significant benefits for older adults, helping to improve well-being and enhance social connection.

Image of watercolor and graphite drawing showing colorful umbrellas flying between two rows of tall gray buildings in a street

Lifting Up Creative Voices in Central Vermont

Creativity is for everyone, including older adults! Whether you have been a lifelong artist, are returning to creative activities after a hiatus during your career, or are brand new to developing creative skills, CVCOA recognizes creative aging as an integral part of healthy aging. CVCOA utilizes the Vitality Arts and Creative Aging model from E.A. Michelson Philanthropy to inspire our programs.

Humans have an innate desire for expression and creation. Arts projects help us communicate the human experience in fun, meanginful, and impactful ways. Sharing our creative work is a great way to connect with others and build new connections. The arts can also help people acheive a sense of purpose and personal growth and can have a postive impact on social, emotional, mental, and physical health. Click here to read more about why creative expression is essential to well-being.

CVCOA is grateful to the Vermont Arts Council, Vermont Community Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts for generous grant funding to make these programs possible.


Creative Care Kits

In 2020, CVCOA started a Creative Care Kit project to bring arts activities to homebound older adults, helping to enhance social connection through arts and technology. These skills-based, practice-focused, and social-centric kits are a great way for people at various skill levels to engage with creativity and connect with others. Creative Companion volunteers also connect with kit recipients to help inspire and motivate, encouraging storytelling and sharing of creative work. In 2021-2022, CVCOA partnered with the Vermont Arts Council to help build creative aging capacity in Vermont and train teaching artists in creative aging best practices. These professional teaching artists have continued to develop new activities for our Creative Care Kits. This program continues today, providing supplies/materials, activities, and inspiration to older adults throughout the region. 

To view art demos created by teaching artists to accompany the Creative Care Kits, visit our video showcase

If you are age 60+ and interested in receiving a Creative Care Kit or volunteering as a Creative Companion, please contact the CVCOA Helpline at 1-802-477-1364 to learn more. If you are an organization with questions about offering this opportunity in your area, please contact Caitlin Roseen at (802) 595-6971 or [email protected]

CVCOA partnered with the Vermont Arts Council to train professional teaching artists in creative aging best practices through Lifetime Arts. If you are looking to start an arts class or other opportunity in your community, please click here to visit the Creative Aging page on the Vermont Arts Council website for more information and contact information to find a professional teaching artist.


CVCOA offers TimeSlipsTM classes at partner sites throughout Central Vermont. Founded by MacArthur Fellow Anne Basting, TimeSlips is an international network of artists and caregivers committed to bringing joy to late life. As our bodies and minds change with age, people ask – “How can I connect with my mom? My clients? My neighbor?” TimeSlips says try imagination…

Creative Aging Resources

ABLE Library


60 Washington St.
Suite 2
Barre, VT 05641
Toll-free 1 (800) 479-1711
1 (802) 636-0020

Audio, Braille, Large Print and Electronic Books. Offering a collection of large print and digital talking books featuring all genres, print braille picture books, as well as audio-described DVDs.

Maria’s Place


Free engaging activities for older adults and caregivers. At Maria’s Place we believe that activity and life-long learning are cornerstones for a fulfilling life.

Movement for Parkinson’s

1 (802) 881-9673

Dance class, includes caregivers. Email [email protected] for more infomation.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

Find an OLLI program near you!

1 (802) 656-5817

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is a community of adult learners who enjoy year-round courses and events that are diverse, interesting, fun, and affordable. Programs and communities are available throughout Vermont.

River Arts


74 River Street
Morrisville, VT 05661
1 (802) 888-1261

Community arts center in Morrisville, VT offering special opportunities for older adults, including intergenerational drop-in studio space and scholarships for people age 60+ to attend classes at a 50% discount.

The Creative Aging Resource



The Creative Aging Resource is a place to access and share resources that highlight the benefits of arts education for older adults.

This Chair Rocks



People are happiest at the beginnings and the ends of their lives. Only 2.5% of Americans over 65 live in nursing homes. Older people enjoy better mental health than the young or middle-aged. Dementia rates are falling, fast. So how come so many of us unthinkingly assume that depression, diapers, and dementia lie ahead? That the 20th century’s astonishing leap in life expectancy is a disaster-in-the making? Underlying all the hand-wringing is ageism: discrimination that sidelines and silences older people. Check out this book and website by Ashton Applewhite to learn more.


TimeSlips Website


Founded by MacArthur Fellow Anne Basting, TimeSlips is an international network of artists and caregivers committed to bringing joy to late life. As our bodies and minds change with age, people ask – “How can I connect with my mom? My clients? My neighbor?” TimeSlips says try imagination…

UCLA Arts & Healing - Hope Series

Access the Series and Past Videos Online


Created in 2020 at the start of the pandemic, this free, online series supports the resilience of our global community through social emotional arts.

In accordance with our mission, with this series we aim to enhance the innate social-emotional benefits of the arts with supportive practices, such as non-judgmental language and reflection, for self-discovery, connection, and empowerment.

Vermont Arts Council

Creative Aging at VT Arts Council

136 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
1 (802) 828-3291

CVCOA and the Vermont Arts Council partnered in 2021-2022 to build capacity for creative aging around the state. Find more creative aging resources on their website and contact the Vermont Arts Council directly to find professional teaching artists who have been training in creative aging best practices.