Wyoming Arts Council

Wyoming Arts Council

The Wyoming Arts Council provides leadership and invests resources to sustain, promote, and cultivate excellence in the arts.

Creative Aging Profile

Older woman in green shirt using her hands on a white fabric medium.

The Arts Council defines Health & Wellness arts programs as activities that encourage the participation in or the creation of visual, written or performing arts, and are designed for or promoted to audiences within the Healthcare, Aging, Military, and Disability sectors.

Agency Initiative

One man with a violin talking to another man playing a guitar.

The Wyoming Arts Council Strategic Plan (2016-2020) includes the goal and objectives listed below. Creative Aging is a significant part of this initiative.

Goal – Implement Health and Wellness Initiatives through the Arts.

  • Objective 1 – Develop and implement arts programs and services for mental and physical health and wellness.
  • Objective 2 – Develop partnerships with businesses/corporations, non-profits, and government entities to provide arts programs and services for mental and physical health and wellness.
  • Objective 3 – Identify areas of focus (aging communities, veterans/PTSD, mentally disabled, Alzheimer’s/dementia, etc.).

Ideally, programs begin as a partnership between a Health & Wellness entity, an Arts Organization, and an Artist and strive to include not just the participating artist, but care partners, staff, family members, and the broader local community.

And future goals include:

Community of Practice Group – hold regular conference calls (bi-monthly) to discuss a specific topic relevant to Health & Wellness and the Arts.

Artists & Venues Directory – identify artists and venues interested in Health & Wellness and the Arts. Include a specific designation including area of emphasis in the Arts Council’s online Artists & Venues Directory for artists.

Provide resources/training for artists and venues to create and maintain Health & Wellness arts programs.

Identify funding – research the possibility of a designed grant category or supplemental grant in the Community Support Grant category. Seek funding from outside the Arts Council to support the initiative.

Agency Creative Aging Resources & Tools

Artists & Venues Directory – identify artists and venues interested in Health & Wellness and the Arts. Include a specific designation including an area of emphasis in the Arts Council’s online Artists & Venues Directory for artists.

Statewide Advisory Group – advise and assist with establishing priorities, select pilot projects and evaluate success. (Consists of WAC staff, WAC board committee, representative from service organizations and artists; and occasional in-person meeting and conference calls to review the Health & Wellness through the Arts work completed and advise and assist with work proposed. See Partnerships for group members.)

Community of Practice Group – hold regular conference calls (bi-monthly) to discuss a specific topic relevant to Health & Wellness and the Arts. (Consists of highly invested individual who are engaged in Health & Wellness issues, want to share best practices, and are interested in collaborating.)

Email / Social Media Website Outreach Plan – disseminate resources and information with a broad group of artists, practitioners, clients, funders, etc. both interested but engaged. Managed and maintained by WAC staff.

Folk & Traditional Arts Mentoring Project Grants are designed to support the transmission of Wyoming’s finest traditional and folk skills through the natural process of in-person, hands-on instruction.  A master artist selects a worthy apprentice to mentor over time in order to advance the skills of the apprentice from proficient to excellent.  All art forms (music, dance, craft, etc.) are encouraged.

Additional Creative Aging Resources

Wyoming Center on Aging (WyCOA) – a member of the H&W Arts Advisory Council – The establishment of the Wyoming Center on Aging (WyCOA) is a result of the efforts of the staff, leadership, and Advisory Council to the Wyoming Geriatric Education Center and the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wyoming.  The benefits of a Center on Aging include connecting Wyoming residents, researchers, service providers, and educators, as well as fostering innovative aging research, training care providers, disseminating evidence-based practices, and serving as a resource for older adults and their family caregivers.

Wyoming Department of Health Aging Division – a member of the H&W Arts Advisory Council – The Wyoming Department of Health’s Aging Division is committed to providing care, ensuring safety, and promoting independent choices for Wyoming’s older adults.

Wyoming Dementia Care – a member of the H&W Arts Advisory Council – Here & Now: Art classes for caregivers and their loved ones at the Nicolaysen Art Museum.

Poetry Out Loud/Poetry for Life – connecting participants in the Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud recitation contest with local senior service provides to create a multi-generational poetry experience. In spring and summer 2017, the Sheridan High School National Honors Society members worked with local senior facilities, including Brookdale Sugarland Ridge facility and Sheridan’s Senior Center Day Break Adult Day Services.

Demographics

By 2030, Wyoming’s population over the age of 65 is expected to grow from approximately 90,000 in 2016 to 138,000, a 56% increase. Wyoming’s entire population is expected to increase by less than 12% during that time; therefore, the vast majority of growth will come from the senior population.
Low population density and long distances to travel for many medical specialists make delivering services challenging. As the number of people requiring services increases and the
ratio of working age adults to retiree decreases, Wyoming will have to find ways to “do more with less.”
Photo of Anne Hatch

Creative Aging Point Person

Annie Hatch, Folklorist/ADA Coordinator/Health and Wellness through the Arts Specialist

Anne F. Hatch, Wyoming Arts Council, manages the Folk and Traditional Arts program and the Health and Wellness through the Arts initiative. Annie has 25 years of experience in public folklore and arts administration in the American West. Her work includes creating programs that support Wyoming’s traditional arts through events, exhibits, and documentaries and developing collaborations to provide services to artists, organizations, and general audiences. When not participating in cultural activities, she enjoys riding her mule, Chester, and gaming with her family.