The Arizona Commission on the Arts is seeking applications from teams to participate in the Southern Arizona Creative Aging Cohort. The Southern Arizona Creative Aging Cohort offers small teams, made up of diverse members of your community, a unique opportunity to explore the many ways creative aging can be put to work for positive community impact.

Combining professional development, assets and needs assessments, and customized consultations, the cohort is designed to equip teams with new frameworks and ideas for developing, expanding, and deepening creative aging efforts.

Who Is It For?

The Southern Arizona Creative Aging Communities Cohort will be made up of teams of three individuals who are committed to implementing sustainable creative aging programming in Southern Arizona. Eligible teams include individuals who live and work south of the Gila River. The team must include participants from each of the following groups:

  1. Teaching artist, with a priority to individuals who reflect the community being served
  2. An employee of a local arts organization or a local arts agency
  3. An employee of a senior center, residential facility and/or health and aging service provider

Participation Requirements and Benefits

Participating organizations will:

  • attend 2-day creative aging learning intensive
  • plan and conduct a meeting with older adults in your community to assess needs and desired programming
  • work with the Arts Commission to identify consultancies that align with your creative aging project
  • complete and implement a pilot creative aging project in your community
  • attend two cohort meetings
  • share your overall cohort experience with ACA staff
In exchange, participating organization will:

  • receive the professional development and consulting services provided through the cohort
  • receive education materials, tools and other support
  • establish a peer network of artists and organizations committed to serving older adults
  • receive a stipend of $1,000 for each individual participating
  • be eligible for a $5,000 stipend to support the implementation of a pilot creative aging project in your community

Southern Arizona Creative Aging Cohort

The 9-month Southern Arizona Creative Aging Communities Cohort will include:

Creative Aging Learning Sessions | September 2024 | Tucson

2-day intensive learning sessions focused on introducing arts and aging research, including the fundamentals of creative aging program design.

Personalized Consultations| October ‚Äď December 2024 | In-person and Virtual

Teams will have the opportunity to identify areas for customized training and learning.

Mid-Year Cohort Meeting | January 2025 | Virtual

This meeting will serve to understand the teams’ progress. It also will be an opportunity for the cohort to network and a chance for the Arts Commission to assess and examine common themes.

Pilot Creative Aging Project | January ‚Äď May 2025 | Southern Arizona¬†

Through the learning sessions and personalized consultations, teams will receive support in designing a pilot creative aging project within their community, to be implemented in the first half of 2025.

Final Cohort Meeting | May 2025 | Virtual

This will be an opportunity for the teams to reflect upon their residencies, share learnings with the cohort and provide space for them to consider how to move their work in creative aging forward.

How to Apply

Submit applications via email to [email protected] by 11:59pm, Thursday, May 30, 2024. ¬†The application should be saved as one PDF document if possible, using the following naming format: [CommunityName]_SAZCAC.pdf

Written sections of the application should contain a document header with the name of the city/town or neighborhood, typed in at least 11-point font, and numbered sequentially.


Answer each of these questions.

  1. How would you define the role of creative aging in your community?
  2. Describe your team, their assets, and qualifications. Why are they a strong fit for the team?
  3. Provide a short bio for all three members of your team.
  4. Describe any groundwork your team has laid in the area of creative aging, including any partnerships you may have. If no current programs or services exist, please describe your team’s interest and readiness to do this work.
  5. Describe your team’s dreams and goals for serving older adults. What would you like to work on or reimagine?
  6. Describe your thinking or the process you undertook in putting together your team. Did an individual take the lead? What roles do you expect to play?

If you require accommodation in completing the application, or otherwise participating in the application process, please contact the Director of Arts Learning, Elisa Radcliffe, by phone at (602) 771-6528 or by email at [email protected].

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by Arizona creative aging practitioners and Arts Commission staff. The panel will seek a balance of arts disciplines and geography within the participant cohort. At least 5 arts organizations will be selected.

Applications will be assessed for a desire to serve older adults through participatory engagement, an interest in learning about the aging and healthcare services field, a willingness to examine old paradigms and explore new ideas, a desire to be a part of a peer network, and an ability to fully commit to the program schedule.

Applicants will be notified of their application status by July 1, 2024.


Open: April 1, 2024

Deadline: May 30, 2024 (8 weeks)

Applicants will be notified of their application status by July 1, 2024.

This activity is made possible by a grant provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in partnership with E.A. Michelson Philanthropy.