by Timothy Carpenter
Pablo Picasso once famously quipped, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
There is a relatively new phenomenon that, truth be told, started decades ago, as phenomena often do — it’s called “creativity and aging.” A landmark study by researcher Gene Cohen M.D., who passed away this past year, proves that older people who engage in arts programs taught by professional artists show improved health — fewer doctor visits, reduced medication usage, overall improvements in physical and mental health. The programs studied drew upon a range of art and cultural disciplines, such as painting, pottery, dance, music, poetry, drama, material culture and oral histories in a creative context.
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