TAI News: Traditional Arts Indiana jumpstarts Traditional Arts and Creative Aging Project

Traditional Arts Indiana will pilot a new initiative that aims to employ folk arts to support and improve the quality of life of older adults in local communities. While the program will eventually roll out to 11 counties in south central Indiana, the first installation will begin in Brown County.

“Traditional Arts and Creative Aging” will work to address the health and wellness of older adults in the state. To begin, TAI will interview older adults and document their creative practices. These discussions will serve as the basis for the production of a Traditional Arts and Aging Activity Guide formatted specifically for elders, providing information and possibilities for improving their lives through creative practice.  Lastly, TAI will finish with a traveling exhibition about traditional arts and aging; the exhibit will be loaned for free to public venues and agencies in the region.   

Jon Kay, who grew up in Brown County and currently directs Traditional Arts Indiana, is leading this two-year initiative. “I am excited to kick off our ‘Traditional Arts and Creative Aging’ project in Brown County,” Kay says. “Over the past decade, I have interviewed so many retired fiddlers, quilters, stone carvers, and other artisans, who I think have a lot to teach us about how to have a rich and vibrant life in your later years. My hope is that this project will leverage their wisdom and talents to improve the quality of life for other older adults.” This program builds upon TAI’s strong foundation in folk arts research and creative aging fieldwork, and is informed by Kay’s recent book Folk Arts and Aging (Indiana University Press, 2016).

A public meeting will be held at Brown County Public Library in Rooms B and C on Thursday, September 28, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Parking is available in the larger parking lot located at the end of East Gould Street. For more information about Traditional Arts Indiana and its programs, contact 812-855-0418 or tradarts@indiana.edu.

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