ISSN 2050-5337 - ISSUE 5

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  • Freshly inspired from attending the annual National Center for Creative Aging Leadership Conference, I was asked to guest edit an issue of the international journal, Creativity and Human Development, with a focus on Creativity in the United States of America. It was without hesitation that I chose to highlight the incredible work in the field of Creative Aging in this issue. Creative Aging encompasses a broad spectrum of professionals working with older adults through the arts. This includes professional artists, creative arts therapists, arts educators, doctors, nurses, social workers, and health care administrators, to name but a few, together with older Americans and their families who engage in Creative Aging Programs. The field of Creative Aging has evolved rapidly in the United States in the past decade. Creative Aging professionals provide vital services for aging Americans, helping them to live independently for longer and improving health and wellbeing for those in long term care. The Creative Aging Movement has also helped shift the national discussion on aging, from one of illness and marginalization of old people, to a more positive understanding of the capabilities and potential of older adults.Founded by Dr. Gene Cohen and Susan Perlstein, the National Center of Creative Aging (NCCA) is the hub of the field, identifying best practice programs nationwide, disseminating valuable resources to professionals and families of older adults, coordinating research opportunities, and organizing an annual conference. The 2015 NCCA conference marked a notable milestone in the field, as several NCCA initiatives were developed and expanded in coordination with The Whitehouse Conference on Aging, with hundreds of best-practice creative programs well established across the country and evolving research initiatives.
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  • When we talk about healthcare in the USA, we are often talking about treating illness and how much it costs. If we think about our health as a pyramid-shaped iceberg with good health being the wide base upon which growth and wellbeing are supported, and illness at the very top, we see that only the tip of the iceberg gets all the attention. What about that much larger mass of ice submerged under the surface of the water - the part of the iceberg that caused the Titanic to sink? The ideas of health promotion are beginning to address that largest part of the health pyramid. That large submerged part of the iceberg is where we have the greatest possibilities of keeping people healthy and living healthy as long as possible.
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  • What does creative aging look like? Music and movement brings people together. Musician and teaching artist, Anthony Hyatt, takes us into a day in the life of the Quicksilver dance company, a troupe comprised of older adults. Describing how he mirrors and responds to troupe members, deep and meaningful connections are revealed.
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  • Why Creative Aging? Susan Perlstein, founder of Elders Share the Arts, and the National Center of Creative Aging, recounts the shift in beliefs about aging and emergence of arts in health for older Americans, paving the way for the development of creative arts programs to promote the health and wellbeing of older adults. Creative Aging has captured the hearts of artists and older adults, and attention of policy makers and researchers.
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  • Lesley University empowers students to become dynamic, thoughtful leaders in education, mental health counseling, and the arts. Located in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to the world’s best-known universities, Lesley combines an intensely creative environment with the practical experience students need to succeed in their careers. Each year, 2,500 undergraduate and 5,300 graduate students pursue their degrees at Lesley. Along with our more than 86,000 alumni, they’re discovering the power of creativity to overcome obstacles, foster connections, and reveal fresh answers to the world’s problems. Highly evolved and uniquely conceptualized, our pace-setting Master's, Certificate, and Doctoral Programs in Expressive Therapies provide a meaningful connection between the arts, theory, and practice in clinical training. As one of the most recognized Expressive Therapies programs in the world, our students are expertly trained and qualified providers of mental health services.
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  • How can partnerships expand the possibilities for creative aging? Inspiring the next generation, artist and art professor Anne Mondro describes the course and collaborative art program she developed with her art students at the University of Michigan and older adults living in a nearby Ann Arbor community.
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  • What does a creative aging program organization do? Arts for the Aging has delivered best practice creative arts programs to the greater Washington, DC area for more than two decades. A leader in the field, Executive Director Janine Tursini shares her perspective on the possibilities and challenges, and a glimpse of the rich programs AFTA offers.
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  • How can dance and movement re-ignite the soul of a person with dementia? It’s all in the movement. Through case vignettes and broad expertise, dance/movement therapist, Donna Newman-Bluestein, illustrates the power of non-verbal communication for people who have dementia through dance/movement therapy.
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Traditions and technologies

These three articles, in their different ways, challenge us to consider the relative value of old and new traditions and technologies
and what we can learn from them to help us create a better future.

  • Japan- Theatre, respect, permanence and contradictions

    by Alexander Devereux Read More
  • Changing how we interact with the printed word

    by Diane Kessenich Read More
  • The real creativity crisis

    by Mark Runco Read More
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Welcome to Creativity & Human Development. This is not your average academic journal. We bring together peer-reviewed academic papers and feature articles in an exciting magazine style journal which breaks the boundaries of tradition. Some articles are free to read, for others you will need to subscribe. This is free and easy for individuals. If you are a student or lecturer, please ask your university to subscribe. All income supports this independent, non-profit journal.

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