Creative Aging in Baton Rouge

Research in how the arts affect the aging process continues to expand, and the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge is committed to offering resources for the aging community throughout our 11-parish region. Partnering with local organizations and artists, the Arts Council provides an annual day-long event including workshops, interactive presentations, and art demonstrations specifically focused on enriching the lives of the elderly and those who care for them. These events are always free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Our 2018 Creative Aging Symposium took place on November 28th at the Pennington Biomedical Research Complex. Check back for updates on our next event, or sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

For more information about this program, please contact
Rhaea D’Aliesio at or (225) 344-8558 ext. 222.

Photo by Travis Spradling of  The Advocate

Photo by Travis Spradling of The Advocate

Learn More

If you haven’t yet seen it, you must watch this beautiful, inspiring short film entitled My Grandfather’s Memory Book. The subject of the film, Byron Levy, and his son Ron Levy both presented at our 2017 Creative Aging Symposium.

Find extensive research on creativity and aging completed by the National Endowment for the Arts on their website here.

This informative article on how the arts can help us live longer, healthier lives was co-written by one of our 2018 presenters, Dr. Beth Bienvenu, Director of Accessibility for the National Endowment for the Arts.

The National Center for Creative Aging has an incredible list of research compiled on the benefits of the arts in the aging process. You can also sign up for their newsletter to be informed of ongoing national and global creative aging initiatives.

Find your local agency on aging from this directory of Louisiana area agencies published by the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs.

If you feel up to a little light reading, look at the exhaustive research publications of neuro-biologist Dr. Madeleine Hackney, all devoted to understanding the effects of dance (often Argentine tango) in improving motor and cognitive abilities of patients with Parkinson’s disease. We were honored to have Dr. Hackney present at our 2018 Symposium.

This interesting article establishes that doctors in Canada may prescribe visits to an art museum for various health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Listen to this episode of the Arts Council’s weekly radio show, when Danny Belanger, Director of Arts Education and Accessibility for the Louisiana Division of the Arts, discussed the 2018 Creative Aging Symposium and other issues of accessibility of the arts in Louisiana. Mr. Belanger presented at our 2017 symposium.

Internationally-acclaimed music therapist Christine Stevens has a number of videos and resources available on her website. We particularly love this one, created by the Advocate from Ms. Stevens’s presentation at our 2018 Symposium.

2018 Symposium Speakers


Christine Stevens, MSW, MA, MT-BC

Christine Stevens is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and music therapist. Holding masters degrees in both social work and music therapy, Christine inspires people all over the world with her message of music for holistic health, spirituality, and wellness.

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Dr. Madeleine E. Hackney

Dr. Madeleine E. Hackney is a Research Scientist with the Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation at the Atlanta VA. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Emory School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics.


Dr. Beth Bienvenu, phd

Beth Bienvenu is the director of the Office of Accessibility at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she manages the NEA's technical assistance and advocacy work devoted to making the arts accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and people in institutional settings.

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George Bell

George Bell is the current President & CEO of Capital Area United Way. He has worked for Baton Rouge General from 1999 until December 2015, where he served in a number of executive level positions, most recently as Administrator, Baton Rouge General – Mid City. Prior to that, he served as Sr. Vice-President, Physician and Community Relations, including BRG’s Arts in Medicine Program; Vice-President of Physician Relations; and President of Baton Rouge General Physicians, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of General Health System which he grew from 14 physicians to 85+ physicians over 12 years. Mr. Bell is a 1981 Hall of Fame graduate of Nicholls State University with a B.A. degree in Political Science. He also attended The Ohio State University, where he studied graduate level courses in Public Policy and Management, and Wharton School of Business, Health Care CEO Talent Development Course.

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Robin Palmer Blanche

Through her experience facilitating classes at both Charlie's Place and St. James, Robin Palmer Blanche will discuss various writing exercises she has found are most successful in helping participants develop and express their personal narrative before leading conference attendees in a group exercise.   

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Leather Apron Theatre Company

LATCo. is a non-profit comedy theatre collective, striving to bring the funny to Louisiana. Founded by Baton Rouge native, T.C. Matherne, LATCo. specializes in long form improv performance and education through classes and workshops. LATCo. prides itself on constantly pushing the envelope and experimenting with forms, promising for a unique and personal experience everytime.