Vitality Arts Glossary

At Aroha Philanthropies, we understand that the creative aging field is broad and many terms are used to describe the activities that are encompassed within it. We have created this simple glossary to better understand the area of Vitality Arts.


Cohort: The final group of funded organizations; “the Seeding Vitality Arts MN Cohort” or “the Seeding Vitality Arts U.S. Cohort”


Culminating Event: (also called Public Sharing) The culminating event generally occurs one week after the last artful aging workshop in a series. Its purpose is to give the participants a sense of completion and validation of their work after eight (or more) weeks. Friends, family and the community are invited. For older event attendees, it provides an encouragement for them to seek out these opportunities themselves. It also allows friends and family of attendees to see their loved ones in a new light – as creative, vibrant individuals.


Sequential Instruction: Sometimes referred to as “scaffolded learning,” this is the practice of progressively learning a skill based on one lesson serving as a building block to the next.


Session: A single class or workshop of at least 90 minutes.


Skill-Based Learning: The goal of the artful aging programs. Workshops that are part of an artful aging program seek to build artmaking skills over time with participants fully engaged in the process and production of an artwork. These programs differ from arts programs traditionally offered for older adults, which tend to be about passive entertainment or passive learning.


Social Engagement: The practice of having participants in a creative or artful aging workshop series engage with each other around the work. This can take the form of group critique, activities that stimulate creativity using exercises that encourage sharing, and working in pairs or small groups. This term is often confused with “socializing,” which doesn’t engage participants around the work.


Teaching Artist: Professional working artist who also has a commitment to arts education. They are experienced in designing curricula and working in a group setting.


Technical Assistance: The practice of guiding organizations in the design and implementation of their programs as well as problem-solving any aspect of their artful aging program including recruitment, budgeting, curriculum, marketing etc.


Vitality Arts:  Aroha Philanthropies’ name or “brand” for its philanthropic work in the artful/creative aging field.


Workshop Series: Consists of a minimum of eight sequential classes or sessions plus a culminating event.

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

 Ray Bradbury