The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center’s “Melodies & Memories” program is a proud recipient of the 2013 MetLife Foundation Creative Aging Program Grant. The MetLife Foundation Creative Aging Program was funded by MetLife Foundation and administered by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. The grant is awarded to nonprofit arts education organizations who have demonstrated the capacity to develop programs that can increase older adults’ social engagement and mastery of one or more art forms.
The WHBPAC’s Creative Aging Program, “Melodies & Memories,” is an original performing arts program designed to foster the continuous development of skills and knowledge throughout the lives of older adults. Since the program was introduced in the fall of 2010, it has steadily grown into a sequential arts mastery program, with each session building upon the previous session. Program participants gain skills in music, theater and reminiscence storytelling and then work together to create a culminating performance for the community.
The WHBPAC will use the grant to expand “Melodies & Memories” to include a new section for beginners. The expansion will allow veterans who have been participating in the program for the past three years to receive more advanced instruction in theater and music while at the same time engaging new seniors.
The National Endowment for the Arts’ landmark Creativity and Aging Study showed that professionally-led arts education programs can have positive effects on the general and mental health of older adults. Older adults who participated in programs supported by the MetLife Foundation Creative Aging Program also experienced a statistically significant improvement in their moods, reinforcing the findings in the National Endowment for the Arts study.
Click here to view the National Endowment for the Arts’ Creativity and Aging Study.