Project Will Expand Creative Aging Programs in Libraries

Jan 27, 2023

Older woman in eyeglasses and red shirt sitting in library in front of completed painting.

Participant in a creative aging acrylics program at Lincoln County Library in Kemmerer.

By 2030, older adults (55+) will be the dominant demographic group in the United States and institutions are adapting to meet their needs for meaningful engagement. A total of 132 public and county library systems in Wyoming and Missouri will develop and/or expand arts education programs that improve the lives of older adults through the Advancing Creative Aging Through State Library Leadership Initiative (2023-2025).

Two women sitting on floor playing ukuleles. One is laughing

Finding joy in music through a creative aging program at Sublette County Library.

The Wyoming State Library (WSL) secured a $646,000 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support the $1.2 million project. The WSL will work in partnership with the Missouri State Library, Califa Group and Lifetime Arts to implement the three-year initiative.

Lifetime Arts will train and coach up to 250 librarians and library programmers in creative aging program planning, design, marketing, implementation and documentation. A total of 100 in-person and remote creative aging programs will serve up to 2,000 older adults in Wyoming and Missouri public libraries and build the case for long-term sustainability. Nationally, thousands more libraries and their staff will benefit through networking opportunities and the dissemination of the virtual self-paced course, Creative Aging Foundations On Demand.

“Wyoming is a beautiful state full of artistic inspiration,” said Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus. “We’re grateful our libraries will now have even more opportunity to bring arts education and enjoyment to our communities’ older patrons.”

People viewing artwork hanging on wall

Creative aging program reception at Park County Library.

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