Creative Aging

Vision

Accessible music and arts programming enhances the quality of life of all older adults in Memphis and the Mid-South.

Mission

Creative Aging enhances Mid-South seniors' quality of life by stimulating their minds, creativity and sense of self through arts programs that engage, educate and entertain.

Values

  • Older adults lives should be filled with joy and connection.
  • Healthy, vital aging is a priority.
  • Music and arts experiences positively impact older adults physical and mental health by promoting cognitive vitality, reducing isolation, and providing opportunity for connection.
  • Professional arts programming has a measurable, positive impact on seniors’ quality of life and well-being.

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Creative Aging is committed to enriching the lives of seniors in the greater Memphis-area through experiences with music and the arts. In pursuing our mission, we are committed to intentionally advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion by engaging and encouraging participation among all of our community’s seniors. We also strive to hire diverse artists and musicians who appeal to and represent Memphis’ diverse cultural community.

 

2020 Annual Report

Read Creative Aging's Annual Report here.

Our Impact


Numbers Tell the Story

2003

Founded by Meryl Klein

8,338

Senior Community Performances from 2003 to 2019

182

Artists working with Creative Aging in 2019

110

Community Partners

$1,432,686

Performance fees paid to musicians and artists from 2004 to 2019

642

5 year annual performance average

$5

Average program cost/senior

2

# Employees

$344,128

2021 budget

98%

% People served with one or more disabilities

32

# Zip codes represented by senior communities served

34

Zip codes where program participants live

10,000

# Americans who turn 65 each day

129,683

# Adults in Shelby County over 65

29%

Shelby County seniors who live alone

161,795

Projected number of Shelby County seniors in 2030


Our History


Meryl Klein founded Creative Aging in Memphis in 2003 and lead the organization until her retirement in 2017.  With seed money from Sister Armin Cooper and the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ms. Klein pursued her dream of bringing music and the arts to seniors who were no longer able to leave their homes or communities. In partnership with a dedicated inaugural Board of Directors, Ms. Klein believed what science—only then emerging—would later prove: arts engagement improves older adults' health and well-being.

Beginning with a few dedicated artists and committed senior communities, Creative Aging's inspiring arts programs quickly expanded. From 5 artists and senior communities in 2004 to 30 communities in 2005 and 40 communities by 2007, the number of seniors served and artists engaged continues to grow.  With over 115 active, professional artists now on its roster, Creative Aging brings music and arts experiences to 70 senior communities plus dozens of other community locations in the greater Memphis metropolitan region.   

In 2016, Creative Aging added the Senior Arts Series. Reaching seniors “aging in place”, the Senior Arts Series is now in its 5th season and offers diverse musical and theatrical programming for senior audiences. Presented on Theatre Memphis’ Main Stage, the Series connects Memphis' finest arts organizations and individual artists to seniors at an accessible venue for daytime, $5 performances. 

Creative Aging added Senior Studio courses in 2019.  These lifelong learning classes, grounded in over 15 arts disciplines, offer seniors opportunities to learn new skills from experienced teaching artists while building community. The program has grown dramatically since its inception, with over 65 courses taught in 2020 (many by Zoom). 

With each new program and every additional senior reached, Creative Aging continues to pursue its fundamental mission of enhancing seniors' lives through the arts.

Enriching Lives Through the Arts

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