Wyoming Arts Council Receives $20,000 Grant from the Wyoming Community Foundation

WYOMING — The Wyoming Arts Council has received a $20,000 grant from the Wyoming Community Foundation’s McMurry Library Endowment Fund. Through a partnership between the Wyoming Arts Council, the Wyoming State Library and Lifetime Arts, the grant funds will be used to provide training and coaching to teaching artists and librarians throughout the state where they will learn innovative direct programming for older adults.

“We are excited to bring librarians and artists together in an effort to share our strengths so that all library patrons can benefit from these programs,” says State Librarian Jamie Markus.

As with the rest of the country, Wyoming has a growing community of elder adults. One effective way to address adverse health effects associated with aging is with intentional arts engagement. The field is referred to as Creative Aging.

“There is a growing consensus among both healthcare professionals and arts administrators about the positive health outcomes associated with Creative Aging programs for our elders,” says Josh Chrysler, health & wellness specialist at the Wyoming Arts Council. “These funds will allow us to train Wyoming artists and traditional cultural practitioners to use their creative practice to improve the overall health and wellness of the elders in our communities.”

Lifetime Arts is a national arts service organization that offers a positive, modern, artistic and social lens through which to serve, inspire and engage America’s growing population of older adults.

To date, they have launched over 700 community-based programs, serving more than 10,000 older adults and have trained nearly 2,000 teaching artists and librarians, arts organization and senior service staff members to design, implement, and institutionalize these programs.

“Lifetime Arts is pleased to collaborate with this important cross-sector alliance to advance Creative Aging in Wyoming.  We are looking forward to providing resources and guidance to librarians and teaching artists to help develop, deliver and sustain arts education for older adults throughout the State’s libraries. Creative Aging programming embraces older adults as learners, expands the impact of teaching artists and provides community organizations with a positive and creative approach to programming.  Importantly, this project provides an innovative model for cross-sector alliances for states across the country,” says Maura O’Malley, CEO and Co-Founder of Lifetime Arts.

The training is tentatively scheduled for late summer 2020. For more information or to learn how to get involved, please contact Taylor Craig at the Wyoming Arts Council at taylor.craig@wyo.gov or 307-274-6673.

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