The Rural and BIPOC Creative Aging Communities Cohort is a program for arts organizations with a serious and committed interest in better serving Arizona’s older adults by strengthening existing programs and/or developing new initiatives. Combining professional development, assets and needs assessments, and customized consultations, the cohort is designed to equip organizations with new frameworks and ideas for developing, expanding, or deepening creative aging efforts.

The call for applications is open to all rural and/or BIPOC arts organizations based in Arizona, of any budget size and artistic discipline.

For the purposes of this program, rural and BIPOC are defined as follows:

  • Rural: Organizations located outside of Phoenix or Tucson metro areas
  • BIPOC: Organizations who primarily engage older adults who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color and/or organizations whose primary artistic form is a culturally specific, folk, or traditional art form

An applicant must be incorporated as a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt status or be a unit of government. Eligible organizations include arts organizations, local arts agencies and tribal cultural organizations. Multidisciplinary or multipurpose organizations are eligible if they are able to demonstrate that the arts comprise at least 50% of the organization’s public programming. Established creative aging programs or service to older adults is not a requirement, nor does the existence of such programs or services constitute a disadvantage in the selection process.

Application Due Date

11:59pm, Monday, July 12, 2021

Program Duration

The cohort will meet September 2021 – June 2022

Selected organizations will receive a complementary $5,000 grant in support of the implementation of the organization’s plan developed through the Investing in Rural and BIPOC Creative Aging Communities Cohort.

To participate in the Rural and BIPOC Creative Aging Communities Cohort, organizations must identify an individual who will commit to the full cohort schedule as outlined below. This individual should be engaged in and be able to affect the organization’s programming.

Participating organizations will:

  • meet with Arts Commission staff one on one to assess needs and co-design specific learning outcomes
  • 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 plan
  • meet with peer mentor for consultation
  • attend two cohort meetings
  • complete proposal outlining goals and outcomes
  • create and share on your overall experience implementing your creative aging programs

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 other arts organizations committed to serving older adults
  • receive a stipend of $750 for the individual participating
  • be eligible for a $5,000 stipend to support the implementation of the organization’s proposal developed through the Rural and BIPOC Creative Aging Communities Cohort

The Arts Commission will take steps to ensure that persons with limited English proficiency have meaningful access and an equal opportunity to participate in the BIPOC-Rural Creative Aging Communities Cohort. The Arts Commission will take into consideration language access needs of the selected organizations and participants and provide interpretation and translation services as necessary.

The following is subject to change

2-day Intensive – Creative Aging Learning Sessions| September 2021| Virtual

The sessions will be led by local and national experts and will explore the following: Accessibility, Aging and the Arts; Cultural Responsiveness; Asset Mapping and Partnership Building; Methods and Tools of Assessing and Evaluating Creative Aging.

Individual Peer Mentor Consultations | September – November 2021 |Virtual

Cohort organizations will be paired with a peer mentor from the AZ Creative Aging network. This consultation is a time for mentees to ask questions, gather resources, and for the mentors to provide guidance on the organization’s goals.

Create Proposal and Implement Programing | September 2021 – June 2022 | Individually

With the assistance of the Arts Commission and their peer mentor, each organization will create and carry out their project proposal. All program activities must be complete by June 30, 2022.

Mid-Year Cohort Meeting | January 2022 | Virtual

This meeting will serve to understand the organizations’ progress or shift in direction and offer additional and/or different tools and resources towards the organizations’ goals. It also will be an opportunity for the cohort to network and a chance for the Arts Commission to assess and examine common themes.

Final Cohort Meeting | May/June 2022 | Virtual

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

When you’re ready, click on the “Apply Now” button below. This will take you to a website called Submittable where you’ll submit your application materials. Please note that late or incomplete applications will be ineligible for review or funding. All applications must be submitted online through Submittable by the due date: Monday, July 12, 2021 11:59 PM.


Application Materials

Applicant Information

Information collected in this section of the application is used solely for internal and reporting purposes and will not be considered during the application review.

Narrative Proposal

Answer each of these questions. You can type up your proposal narrative, or you can upload it in a video or audio recording.

  • Briefly describe your organization and its mission. (150 words or 2 minutes)
  • Describe any groundwork your organization has laid in the area of creative aging including any partnerships you may have. If no current programs or services exist, please describe your organization’s interest and readiness for doing this work. (400 words or 4 minutes)
  • Describe your organization’s dreams and goals for serving older adults. What would you like to work on or reimagine? What don’t you currently have that you would need? (400 words or 4 minutes)
  • Please describe 1-3 areas you currently feel your organization would focus on if paired with a creative aging consultant. (200 words or 2 minutes)

If you share your proposal narrative in a video or audio recording keep it simple and to the point. The recording should be just you, describing your proposal and answering the questions listed above. Please do not include edits of your work samples or special effects. Production quality of this recording will not be considered in your review. Just make sure we can hear and understand you and keep editing and post-production embellishment to a minimum.

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. Up to 10 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 Friday, August 5, 2021.

Elisa Radcliffe
Arts Learning Manager
Phone: (602) 771-6528
Email: [email protected]

Technical Support

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (855) 467-8264, ext. 2

For the last 6 years, the Arizona Commission on the Arts has offered grants, programs, and learning opportunities as part of the AZ Creative Aging initiative. This work has largely been supported by a generous partner, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, a local foundation supporting organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County. Due to the geographic focus of the initiative’s first funding partner, a vast majority of AZ Creative Aging programming has occurred in Maricopa County. The Rural and BIPOC Creative Aging Communities Cohort is supported by Aroha Philanthropies and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies through the Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging Grant, for programming meant to expand and deepen the AZ Creative Aging network statewide by providing a meaningful investment in Arizona’s rural and BIPOC organizations.

Leveraging State investment in Creative Aging

This work is generously supported by Aroha Philanthropies and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) through the Leveraging State Investment in Creative Aging Grant.

  • Guidelines: Fiscal Year 2022 Rural & BIPOC Creative Aging Communities Cohort