97-year old visual artist: “Well, I’m above ground.”
“This study of aging visual artists in New York City offers a unique look at a population that has implications for us all. The stereotypes of aging, which I have both defined and battled all my professional life, are compounded for artists for whom stereotypes abound.
Not only does this study combat the misperceptions of aging, it sheds new light by the unique solutions artists embrace in living—for retirement (they don’t), for social networking, for communication (over three-quarters communicate weekly or daily with other artists), and as productive members of society, working in their studios on a daily basis. It deals with older people’s sense of mastery from a variety of New York communities in this city of immigrants. It shows them as productive, self-aware and savvy. And it provides some new ways of thinking about all of us as we age.
While this is not a medical or psychiatric treatise, through in-depth interviews and a methodology to identify hidden populations, it gets to the beating hearts of a population that lives as well as works creatively, a population that offers some new models to the growing freelance population, the baby boomers and the rest of us who would grow old.”
— Dr. Robert N. Butler
President and CEO
International Longevity Center, USA
Executive Summary available in English, Spanish and Chinese. The full report is available only in English.
» Download the Executive Summary
Press & Multimedia
9.1.08 Americans for the Arts: Creativity Matters: Arts and Aging in America
6.18.08 NPR’s All Things Considered: “Perfecting the Art of Frugal Living”
2.21.08 NY Times: “Moving Soon to An Apartment Near You”
2.1.08 Nat Creole: Interview With Joan Jeffri
1.1.08 Teachers College Inside Magazine: A Profile of “Above Ground”
12.18.07 WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show: “How the High Cost of Living in New York Affects Artists”
12.4.07 ReServe Elder Services, Inc.: PHOTOS: Above Ground Launch at Sotheby’s
12.4.07 WNYC: “New York’s Aging Artists Concerned About Cost of Living”
12.3.07 Bloomberg: “New York’s Steep Rents May Cause Exodus of Artists, Study Shows”
12.3.07 New York Sun: “New York In Danger of Losing Its Artists”
11.12.07 AP/ABC News: “Study: Aging Artists Remain Resilient”
12.4.07 RCAC: Press Release: Above Ground Launched
6.22.05 RCAC: Feasibility Study: RDS and Aging Artists in New York City