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Arts Education Programs

The second half of life is the perfect time to learn a new skill or participate in the performing arts! Active participation in the arts can be an important way to expand yourself, build new relationships and nurture better cognitive, emotional and physical health.

In this section you will find organizations that provide on-going arts education, unique one-time courses, performing/participatory arts groups with an open invitation to join,  the latest research on active arts engagement, and national organizations that support art education and engagement.

Ongoing Educational Offerings

Ballet West Adult Education offers a variety of styles and levels in in-person and online classes for adults.

The City Library is a dynamic civic resource that promotes free and open access to information, materials and services to all members of the community to advance knowledge, foster creativity, encourage the exchange of ideas, build community and enhance the quality of life.

Encore Institute at Salt Lake Community College is an innovative program designed for adult learners, with many arts-based offerings.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Utah offers a rich and evolving array of courses, lectures, and special activities, taught by distinguished emeritus faculty, scholars, and community experts.

Red Butte Gardens has a variety of in-person and virtual courses

Road Scholars are passionate lifelong learners, learning through travel, usually over the age of 50. Road Scholars want an in-depth learning experience about destinations, subjects and ideas that intrigue them! Many arts-based tours are available!

Utah Opera offers educational experiences in conjunction with upcoming performances.

Utah Senior Centers provide a huge variety of arts-based classes and experiences! Find a center near you and explore all they have to offer!

For at-home access, check out the new Virtual Senior Center,with online classes and activities!

Utah Symphony offers educational experiences in conjunction with upcoming performances.


Limited-Time Courses

Now Playing Utah!  lists a variety of ever-changing courses throughout the state.


Performing/Participation Fine Arts Groups

Check out a variety of community choirs along the Wasatch Front:

CHOIR! CHOIR! SLC! is a drop-in community choir inspired by the Natural Voice movement in the UK and the singing phenomenon CHOIR! CHOIR! CHOIR! in Toronto, Canada.  Inclusive and welcoming. There is no audition and no need to read music because everything is taught by ear. Currently, due to the pandemic, they are doing Virtual Sing-Alongs once a month via Zoom.  Email if you'd like to receive information and join.

Check out this collection of community orchestras!

New Horizons International Music Association is the umbrellaorganization that provides New Horizons groups with an inclusivephilosophy on which to base music-making activities for adults of all ages. If you used to play a band or orchestra instrument, or would like to learn  - this is the place for you!

Provo, UT

Sandy, UT

St. George, UT

Logan, UT

Utah Old Time Fiddlers: A not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, perpetuation, and enjoyment of Old Time music.   Their purpose is to encourage musicians of all ages, and to provide them with opportunities to improve their skills by performing in public

Grey Matters provides participants living with Parkinson’s Disease, other neurologic conditions, and older adults an opportunity to enjoy the many pleasures and possibilities dance and music offer as a form of complementary therapy.  The class is also open to family and caregivers to enjoy the benefits dance has to offer.

The Gleeful Choir is a chorus for people living with dementia and their care partner. Come enjoy success,contribution, connection and creativity! Free of charge, meets weekly via zoom.

Dementia Friendly Activities: This group is designed specifically to give people living with dementia a chance to connect with each other, explore weekly themes and engage in arts-based conversation or activities. Meets via zoom twice a month. Free of charge.

Exploring Creativity: This group meets monthly via zoom to explore and create different forms of art, discuss insights and connect with each other. Free of charge.

Salt Lake Knitting Guild offers free knitting advise at Millcreek Library on Saturdays from 10-Noon. They also have monthly meetings and offer workshops once a year from nationally known artists.

American Sewing Guild - Salt Lake City Chapter monthly meetings and annual workshops.

Mary Meigs Atwater Weaver’s Guild has monthly meetings, annual workshops, bi-annual art shows.

Learn the art of storytelling with Story Crossroads!

Utah Storytelling Guild aims to nurture, foster and promote the art form of proactive storytelling, and to serve and nurture oral storytellers.



The findings demonstrate that arts engagement, according to participants, resulted in (1) positive feelings, (2) personal and artistic growth, and (3) increased meaningful social interactions. This study concludes that art-based practices promote older people's experienced well-being and increase the quality of life of older people. This study emphasizes the intrinsic value of arts engagement and has implications for research and evaluation of arts engagement.

Read the Paper


National Organizations

EngAGE is a nonprofit that takes a whole-person approach to community and creative, healthy aging by providing arts, wellness, lifelong learning, community building and intergenerational programs to thousands of older adults and families living in affordable older adult and multi-generational apartment communities in California, Oregon, and Minnesota.

LifeTime Arts is a national organization that supports creative aging in organizations, trains teaching artists and promotes lifelong learning in older adults.

Last Updated: 2/7/23