The Central Role of Creative Aging

Gay P. Hanna


This position paper examines the vital role of creativity in aging. In this context, it explains big C creativity and little c creativity as well as the late-in-life creative age and three types of potential participants in creative programs and activities: those who engage for the first time, those who re-engage, and those who are continuing on a creative trajectory. This paper then profiles aging artists and presents a framework for accessing creative potential later in life based on research by the National endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with the U. S. Department of Healthy and Human Services. This final section of the paper identifies ways in which creative expression can positively and significantly impact the older people, their family, and their communities


art education, aging, creativity

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