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Philbrook Museum Launches Creative Aging Program

(TULSA, OK. June 7, 2023) — Thanks to a generous grant from E.A. Michelson Philanthropy as part of its Vitality Arts Project for Art Museums initiative, Philbrook Museum of Art will launch Stay Gold Sessions for guests 55 years of age and older.
Participants will work directly with professional teaching artists to explore the intersection between art and nature while enjoying the social connection of creating art with others. Registration opens Wednesday, June 7. First session launches Saturday, July 8.
“We’re thrilled to bring more creative opportunities for older adults in Tulsa,’ says Tracy Truels, Philbrook Director of Learning and Audience Engagement. “With the support of E.A. Michelson, Philbrook will be able to act as a hub for teaching artists and students to learn and have fun together, with the galleries, gardens, and studio as their classroom.”
Philbrook has a long and impactful history of working with children and young people on learning through art and creativity. Similar programming for adults has been on pause in the pandemic era. The time has come to reestablish these connections. With the launch Stay Gold Sessions, Philbrook joins more than 50 of the foundation’s current and past Vitality Arts grantees, whose programs have engaged thousands of older adults across the country.
“In just a few years, Americans older than 65 will outnumber those younger than 18 for the first time in the country’s history,” said Ellen Michelson, founder and president of E.A. Michelson Philanthropy. “Overall, across all demographic groups, people are living longer and staying mentally and physically healthy as they age. Yet the number of inspiring programs and activities for older adults is not expanding at the same rate. Investing in these creative aging programs is about recognizing this major demographic shift, and leveraging the power of art and art museums to do so. We have had tremendous success with these programs to date, engaging thousands of participants who consistently tell our grantees how grateful they are to be able to participate. Now, I am excited to expand our vision with an outstanding array of new museum partners.”
Stay engaged. Stay creative. Stay gold!
About Philbrook Museum of Art
Philbrook Museum of Art is committed to being Tulsa’s most welcoming and engaging cultural institution, providing a unique trifecta of experiences: a historic home, world class art museum, 25 acres of gardens. 
Philbrook Museum of Art opened on October 25, 1939. The addition of a 70,000 square foot wing in 1990 turned the historic home into a modern museum complex. A major garden renovation in 2004 cemented the Museum’s reputation as “the most beautiful place in Oklahoma.” 
Through bold action and strategic investment, we create a space for new ideas, diverse stories and perspectives, and social connection. The Philbrook Collection features more than 16,000 objects with a focus on American, Native American, and European art. Serving over 160,000 visitors annually, Philbrook shines a light on Tulsa’s storied and complex past while building a diverse and creative vision of the city’s future.
About E.A. Michelson Philanthropy
Over the last nine years, E.A. Michelson Philanthropy has pioneered programs in creative aging through its Vitality Arts program area, working with a diverse array of visual and performing arts institutions, including: Anchorage Museum Association (Anchorage, AK); Craft Contemporary (Los Angeles, CA); Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ); Louisiana State Museum (New Orleans, LA); Minnesota Opera (Minneapolis, MN); Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte (San Juan, Puerto Rico); Naples Botanical Garden (Naples, FL); and The Olana Partnership (Hudson, NY), among others. These programs and others supported by the foundation have served several thousand older adults, helping them to discover and build their artistic skills and their connections to others. Participants often begin these classes with little to no background or history in art making, but finish the course with a completed project or performance.

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