Seeding Vitality Arts MN


Seeding Vitality Arts MN is designed to support the development of successful arts education programs for older adults across the state of Minnesota, document their effectiveness and share that information broadly.

The initiative has two major components:

  • A FREE creative aging professional development workshop offered as a service to Minnesota nonprofit organizations interested in learning about this growing field and the value of arts education for older adults.
  • A competitive grant program to seed arts education programs for older adults throughout Minnesota. Participation in the workshop is a prerequisite to applying for grant funding.

Eligible artful aging programs are defined as instructional arts workshop series, led by professional teaching artists, that engage older adults in skill-based learning and promote social engagement.

Aroha Philanthropies hosted an orientation webinar on May 16, 2017 at 11:00 am CT to provide further details of the initiative and application process. Click here to listen to a recording of this webinar.

Read on to learn more about the initiative’s two major components: professional development workshop and the competitive grant opportunity.

**We are no longer accepting Seeding Vitality Arts MN applications. Applications were due Monday, August 21.




Organizations that participate in the one-day professional development workshop will learn about the field of artful aging, including:

  • Best practices in program planning
  • The role of the teaching artist
  • Current trends in arts and aging
  • Details about the grant opportunity

This workshop will contain valuable information for organizations interested in developing arts-based programs for older adults, regardless of whether they receive funding through this initiative. The one-day professional development workshop will be held July 19 – 21, 2017 in Minneapolis. 

**We are no longer accepting applications for the Seeding Vitality Arts MN professional development workshop. 



Grant Awards

Organizations that complete the professional development workshop will have the opportunity to apply for a grant to seed new Vitality Arts programs. To be eligible for consideration, each proposed workshop series must include at least eight sessions, plus a culminating event, and serve at least ten older adults.

Up to 15 organizations will receive a grant to support teaching artist fees, artist supplies, direct program costs, documentation, travel and overhead. In addition, funded organizations will receive the training and technical assistance needed to produce at least three high-quality arts learning workshop series for older adults.

Grant award amounts will vary based on the number of workshop series that participants will offer. The cash awards will range from $12,500 for organizations producing three eight-week workshop series, to $25,000 for those offering six eight-week workshop series. Programs may begin as early as April 1, 2018 and must be completed by November 30, 2018.

A second year of funding will be available subject to successful completion of the first year of programming.


Training and Technical Assistance

  • Ongoing technical assistance and program development support will be provided by Lifetime Arts.
  • Live, in-person training for teaching artists from funded organizations will be provided by Lifetime Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota in late November 2017.
  • Information-sharing and peer networking will be available via an online community platform.
  • Publicity, social media and marketing training will be provided by Spoke Consulting to support participating organizations’ efforts.


Program Evaluation

An external evaluation will measure the impact of the Initiative, as well as the goals of the individual programs. Funded organizations are required to comply with all appropriate evaluation components. These may include participation in online surveys, periodic interviews and/or focus groups.

Renewal funding for 2019 programming is dependent on a positive evaluation of the 2018 programming.


Eligible Organizations

To be eligible to apply for the grant opportunity, organizations must:

  • Have 501(c)(3) status
  • Be located in Minnesota
  • Have at least one full-time staff member
  • Have a current operating budget of $75,000 or more
  • Submit the application for the Professional Development Workshop
  • Have one staff member attend the full-day Professional Development Workshop

The following are not eligible for consideration:

  • Individual artists
  • Religious institutions


Eligible Programs

To be considered for funding, the proposed workshop series must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be led by professional teaching artists.
  • They must be based on sound principles of arts education and be student-centered, sequential and hands-on.
  • They must support skill-building in an art form or forms. All visual, literary and performing arts disciplines are encouraged.
  • Programming consists of at least three distinct or repeated series of at least eight sequential workshops of no less than 90 minutes each, plus a culminating event.
  • The workshop series must intentionally facilitate social interaction among participants.
  • They should have the potential for replication and sustainability.
  • The workshop series can be offered between April 1 and November 30, 2018.
  • Organizations must plan to document their programs.

Note: Programs that are primarily therapeutic in nature or that are delivered in a healthcare setting are not eligible.

Click here to view a current list of the funded programs from our inaugural Seeding Vitality Arts U.S. grantees.

Vitality Arts

By unleashing the power of the arts to create joy, find purpose and build friendships, we can reframe the narrative of aging in America. 

Learn more about Vitality Arts…

Photo Credits:
1. Johnson City Public Library
2. SV Creates

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

 Albert Einstein