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The Academy for Creative Aging

About The Academy for Creative Aging - 0
About The Academy for Creative Aging - 1
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About The Academy for Creative Aging

Two pathways you can experience

The Academy for Creative Aging’s Professional Development track provides a module-based, certification opportunity that can be used to bolster professional credentials and deepen expertise and understanding of the field for teaching artists and professionals working with older adults in creative environments.

Developed by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, this unique training experience is rooted in extensive research and guided by a team of industry experts. Modules build on each other and must be completed in sequential order. Each module is divided into a series of segments that contain interactive videos, reading assignments, and resources. The course is designed to be completed at the user’s selected pace with the ability to save progress and revisit at any time.

Users are encouraged to keep a journal for notes and reflection. Each module ends with a formative assessment, these prompts will stimulate critical thinking and reinforce the content.

The Academy’s Lessons on Demand track provides individuals and groups with the opportunity to view and enjoy the Academy’s complete video catalog at their own pace. Lessons on Demand is an alternative to the Academy’s certification track, which requires individuals to complete a series of learning modules and assessments, in addition to viewing the Academy’s video learning catalog.

Skills for working with older adults

Research indicates that working with artists can decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation in older adults. The Academy of Creative Aging prepares teaching artists for the unique needs of the aging brain. Our custom curriculum delivers extensive research and evidenced-based strategies through interactive videos and online modules. 


Course Overview

Module one will introduce the concept of creative aging through a series of segments led by industry experts. Topics in this module include:

  • An overview of creative aging and message from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
  • Best practices for working with older adults
  • The effects of working with artists on self-reported loneliness
  • The effects of working with artists on early onset Alzheimer’s
  • The importance of cultural approporiation


Module two dive into the science of how humans learn and effective strategies for structuring lesson plans.  Topics will include:

  • Brain-based learning theories
  • Theories on adult learning
  • Academic standards for arts and humanities
  • Lesson plan structure
  • The importance of assessments and objectives

Modules three through six present example lessons taught by rostered artists with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. These modules demonstrate the theories presented in module one in two in practice by employing The Academy for Creative Aging lesson plan framework. Example lessons include:

  • Classical Indian Dance
  • Still Life Self-Portraits
  • Jazz Singing
  • Theater

Module seven is the culmination of the course with a short summative assessment and evaluation for you to provide your feedback on the course. Upon successful completion of the assessment and evaluation participants are awarded a certificate of completion from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.