Seeding Vitality Arts



Aroha Philanthropies launched Seeding Vitality Arts (formerly “Seeding Artful Aging”) in Spring 2016.

As a subset of the broader field of creative aging, vitality arts programs inspire and enable older adults to learn, make and share the arts in ways that are novel, complex and socially engaging. Successful vitality arts programs are led by teaching artists whose creative process and understanding of older adults bring joy, connection, improved health and well-being, and a renewed sense of purpose to older adults in community and residential settings.

The initiative is designed to support the development and expansion of successful vitality arts programs, document their effectiveness and share that information broadly.

Through this initiative, Aroha aims to:

  • Demonstrate the power and impact of creative aging programs to a broad national audience.
  • Encourage arts and cultural organizations to develop participatory arts education programs for older adults.
  • Encourage organizations that serve older adults to develop arts education programming.
  • Disseminate program implementation models.


In 2016, fifteen nonprofit organizations were selected to participate in national demonstration project through a two-part application process. These organizations represent a broad array of communities to demonstrate the impact of the programs in a wide variety of situations. Selection of organizations balanced urban/rural communities, small/large organizations, culturally specific communities and geographic locations across the United States. 

Grant awards for the national initiative from $15,000 to $50,000 for programming to begin on or after January 1st, 2017 and be completed by November 30th, 2017. Grants may be renewed for a second year, dependent on first year program evaluation outcomes. Potential total grants to each organization thus may range from $30,000 to $100,000 over the period of the initiative. Each award must not exceed 20% of the organization’s total expense budget. 

Organizations selected to participate receive an array of additional benefits and services. For details, see the Initiative Components page. 

Note: The selection process for the national initiative is now closed; no new applications are being accepted.


On May 5, 2017, Aroha launched a second Seeding Vitality Arts initiative for Minnesota-based nonprofit organizations. For details, see Seeding Vitality Arts MN Initiative Components.

Inaugural Cohort

Chosen from a highly competitive field of more than 200 applicants, these 15 organizations form the first cohort of grantees to partner with Aroha Philanthropies to support the development and expansion of artful aging programs.

We believe that the Seeding Vitality Arts initiative will demonstrate the potential impact of such programs for older adults, arts organizations, senior service providers, senior residential communities, and diverse groups everywhere.

Meet our U.S. grantees…

Photo Credit
Aroha Philanthropies video, A Dose of Creativity

“They’re only crayons. You didn’t fear them in Kindergarten, why fear them now?”

 Hugh MacLeod