Now in her late 60s, Carmen Torruella-Quander says, “This project has made me see that what I do is important….ART CART has opened people’s eyes to what artists DO.”
A painter based in Washington DC, Carmen is talking about ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY, an inter-generational, interdisciplinary project created by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging. The project, which began in 2010, is on its way to a national rollout. ART CART matches teams of advanced students in the arts, health and aging with professional visual artists age 62+ to help document their work and save our national legacy — a legacy of the Civil Rights movement, the women’s movement, the history of the country.
WASHINGTON, DC, September 15, 2014. A new study by the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) at the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) shows that artists are highly functioning members of society who experience less loneliness and depression than the general population.
ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY: A Feasibility Study for a National Model of Health Promotion and Wellness Among Older Adults administered eight measurements in social inclusion, morale, productivity, and safe functioning in a studio setting in New York City and Washington, DC. Research participants were 62 years old or over with a mean age of 78. Nineteen older artists participated in the ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY project documenting their work, while the control group consisted of 16 older adult artists who did not participate in the ART CART program. Results comparing ART CART participants to general population surveys (National Long Term Care Survey) showed that at baseline, ART CART participants reported statistically significant better physical capacity compared to older respondents. Sixty percent do volunteer work (twice the percentage of general population). None presented symptoms of depression, compared to 11% to 16% range of people with clinically relevant depressive symptoms reported in the 2008 Health Retirement Study.
Results of the depression, morale and loneliness measurements were also compared to Dr. Gene Cohen’s Creativity and Aging study of choristers 65 and over and were almost identical to the RCAC’s findings, suggesting that both professional and avocational art making and participation may contribute to higher functioning.
ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY is an inter-generational, interdisciplinary project that matches aging professional artists with teams of advanced students in the arts, health and aging to help document their work and save our national legacy. In addition to the health findings, a program evaluation revealed the importance of the core issues of identity and self-esteem, life review, the ability to learn new tasks, and the fact that the artists are now in a better position to produce their art, market it, donate and sell it, apply for grants and protect their legacies by arranging for wills and estate plans.
The original research was funded by the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; the data analysis and dissemination report was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
For the full study please go to www.creativeaging.org/rcac or the NEA webpage, http://arts.gov/artistic-fields/research-analysis/research-art-works-grants-final-papers.
Media Inquiries Contact:
Anne L’Ecuyer, 202-885-3046, firstname.lastname@example.org
The 15th annual Woodstock Film Festival, August 29th – September 1st, 2014, will include the ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY.
Learn more at woodstockmuseum.org.
Columbia Libraries/Information Services’ Center for Digital Research and Scholarship is pleased to announce the addition of the ART CART: Saving the Legacy project to Columbia’s institutional repository Academic Commons. ART CART is an intergenerational arts legacy project that connects aging professional artists with teams of graduate students to document and archive their creative work. Art works and oral histories from twenty-five New York City and Washington DC-based artists can now be found in the ART CART collection in Academic Commons.
The addition of the ART CART collection to Academic Commons provides researchers, scholars, artists, private collectors, and the general public with free, unrestricted access to the works of these twenty-five living artists, who are aged between 63 and 101 years old. Their media include drawing, painting, quilting, installation art, photography, and sculpture.
Academic Commons is Columbia University’s digital repository where faculty, students, and staff of Columbia and its affiliate institutions can deposit the results of their scholarly work and research. Content in Academic Commons is freely available to the public, and now contains more than 12,000 items of research.
The ART CART project began at the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) at Teachers College in 2010, which relocated to the National Center for Creative Aging in Washington DC in 2011 to take the project to a national platform. In New York City, student fellows from Columbia’s Programs in Occupational Therapy and the School of Social Work worked on the project with students fromNew York University, the Pratt Institute, and The New School. In Washington DC, student fromAmerican and Howard Universities and the Corcoran College of Art + Design partnered in a community-based project model that included The Phillips Collection and IONA Senior Services.
Joan Jeffri, founder of the RCAC and ART CART, said: “Having the ART CART collection live in Academic Commons enables us to spread the word about living artists in a meaningful and thoroughly documented way. For the artists, it provides a place of pride in this institutional repository in which they can keep a lasting record of their work.”
Marilee Shapiro, a contributing artist to ART CART at 101 years old, said: “I am very grateful to be in this great program. Every old artist’s anguish is what to do with one’s body of work. Destroy, abandon it to its fate? Along came ART CART to the rescue.”
Rebecca Kennison, Center for Digital Research and Scholarship Director, commented: “The addition of the ART CART collection to Academic Commons is in keeping with our aim to house a diverse, vibrant range of research items in Columbia’s digital repository. We are excited to make this important art legacy project openly available to all who wish to access it.”
The ART CART collection will continue to be updated with new works by the current twenty-five artists as well as by artists new to the project. It can be found in Academic Commons at http://bit.ly/ARTCART.
The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) works to increase the utility and impact of research produced at Columbia by creating, adapting, implementing, supporting, and sustaining innovative digital tools and publishing platforms for content delivery, discovery, analysis, data curation, and preservation. The Center engages in extensive outreach, education, and advocacy to ensure that the scholarly work produced at Columbia University has a global reach and accelerates the pace of research across disciplines. CDRS is one of six entities that comprise the Digital Programs and Technology Services branch of Columbia University Libraries/Information Services.
Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources:library.columbia.edu.
The Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) provides data and ideas for applied research, education, advocacy, policy making, and action. Its seminal research, ABOVE GROUND, was the foundation for the ART CART project. Both are founded and run by Joan Jeffri.
The National Center for Creative Aging is the auspice for the Research Center for Arts and Culture. The national clearinghouse at the nexus of creativity and aging, it is dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and quality of life for older adults.
ART CART is an interdisciplinary, intergenerational, inter-professional project that matches teams of advanced students in health, aging and the arts with professional visual artists age 62+ to help document their work and save our national legacy. Founded in 2010 by the Research Center for Arts and Culture(RCAC) at the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), the program is now going national!
Wednesday, May 14
6 p.m. Reception and Silent Auction*
7 p.m. ART CART Presentation
College of Community and Public Affairs
Binghamton University Downtown Center
67 Washington St., Binghamton
Invitation to follow.
The Binghamton-Ithaca region will be one of four ART CART sites in 2015, through a partnership between Binghamton University, Cornell University, Ithaca College, Broome County Arts Council and Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.
“Ninety-five percent of older artists don’t archive their work,” said Joan Jeffri, who directs the Research Center for the Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging, in Washington, D.C. She’s also the director of Art Cart, an intergenerational project that partners older artists with students who help them document and archive their lifelong art work.
To determine the health impact, Jeffri conducted research study through Columbia University, where she taught for 22 years. She presented her preliminary data at the 66th Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting held in New Orleans in November.