Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide

Discover Ohio Arts

Arts and cultural events and opportunities to participate creatively in the arts abound in Ohio. But being a part of the arts isn't just fun—it's good for your health too!

In 2006, results from the federally funded Creativity and Aging Study suggested that participating in an arts program may have health benefits for older people. In 2002 the study recruited 300 people, ages 65 to 103. Half were involved with arts programs, including singing, creative writing, poetry, painting or jewelry making; half were not.

After two years, those in the arts group reported better overall physical health and fewer doctor visits than the others. They also reported fewer falls and better scores on depression and loneliness scales. The study also noted a positive impact on maintaining elders' independence and appeared to reduce "risk factors that drive the need for long-term care".

Why does creative activity have a positive impact on aging? It appears to be because artistic expression helps stimulate the growth of new brain cells in the cerebral cortex, even as we age.

Additional research supports these findings:

A study published online in December by Columbia University's Research Center for Arts and Culture found that artists older than 65 had high levels of personal growth, autonomy and independence, all indicators of "successful aging."

A study published in 2004 in the Journal of Aging and Health found that 124 independent elders who took part in four weeks of theater training showed cognitive and psychological gains when compared with a control group.

An observational study published in 2005 in the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias found that 12 people with dementia demonstrated significantly more engagement, pleasure, self-esteem and normalcy while participating in a painting program than they did during more-traditional adult day care activities.

So how do you find out about what's happening in your area so you can get involved? One of the best ways is to connect with organizations in your community through an event or activity that interests you. By attending an event presented by a local theatre company or museum for example, you can learn more about what that organization is doing, find out if they offer classes or workshops, and have fun in the process.

All throughout Ohio are wonderful cultural activities just waiting to be discovered…. Cincinnati's classic downtown skyline is home to contemporary theatre and gallery spaces and renowned performing arts. The classic Music Hall is juxtaposed against the contemporary Aronoff Center of the Arts. Each hall is filled with music, song, dance and visual arts. The rolling hills of the city create landscape that artists love--and so will arts fans. In Cincinnati, the special arts Passport offered by Enjoy the Arts even gets you discount tickets and special invitations to social events around the city.

Visit Columbus for incredible music, exciting theatre, breathtaking artwork, ballet, literature and one of the best arts festivals in the country. Sunshine Artist Magazine named the annual Columbus Arts Festival Columbus (the first weekend each June) first in the nation out of 1,600 shows for it's fine crafts.

The arts community in Cleveland is thriving—the city boasts the premier collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. With no shortage of places to see great art in every imaginable medium, Cleveland rocks when it comes to art.

Toledo features a bright and bustling arts scene with tons of public art and an always-expanding calendar of events.
Dayton is home to a thriving and rapidly expanding arts scene. With its new downtown arts complex, The Schuster Center, the nationally recognized dance troupe, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and the Dayton Art Institute, there is no shortage of exciting events in Southwest Ohio.

Get involved in the arts – for fun and for your health! Take a look at www.artsinohio.com.

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