Creative Aging

Our Vision

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

Our 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.

Our 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.

Our Impact


Numbers Tell the Story

2003

Founded by Meryl Klein

6,965

Performances from 2004 to 2017

85

Artists working with Creative Aging

85%

Performances that are musical

$1,093,193

Performances fees paid to musicians and artists from 2004 to 2017

656

5 year annual performance average

$5

Average program cost/senior

2

Number of employees

$290,000

2019 budget

98%

People served with one or more disabilities

32

Number of zip codes represented by senior communities served

34

Number of zip codes Senior Arts Members attendees

10,000

Number of Americans who turn 65 each day

129,683

Number of 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 and meaningful arts programs quickly expanded.  From 5 participating 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 85 active, professional artists now on its roster, Creative Aging brings music and arts experiences to 65 senior communities in the greater Memphis metropolitan region.   

In 2016, Creative Aging added a major new program, the Senior Arts Series.  Designed to reach seniors “aging in place”, the Senior Arts Series is now in its 4th season, offering 8 events annually.  The Series includes diverse musical and theatrical programming targeted toward senior audiences.  Presented on Theatre Memphis’ Main Stage, the Series brings community arts groups and individual artists to an accessible venue during the day—all for a $5 donation.  

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

Enriching Lives Through the Arts

Connect With Us