Research Methods

In Brookdale’s two-year engagement with the Creative Aging Initiative, we gathered evidence about SU-CASA and the broader creative aging ecosystem in different ways:

Observations and conversations

  • Structured observations and interviews in 90 SU-CASA classes at 90 senior centers in 2018:
    • Observing the extent to which they followed the principles of creative aging programming
    • Assessing the perspectives of the teaching artists, senior center staff, and cultural organizations on arts education for older adults in general and SU-CASA specifically
  • Focus groups of SU-CASA class participants at 6 senior centers across the 5 boroughs in 2019
  • Key informant interviews with older adults, teaching artists, senior center staff, representatives of cultural organizations and the borough arts councils, representatives of the agencies responsible for administering SU-CASA, providers of non-SU-CASA arts programming for older adults, and other stakeholders, to gain a rounded perspective
  • A synthesis of the findings from these sources

A scan of the scientific literature

We applied evidence from relevant research to questions about what we know about the benefits of creative aging for older adults, institutions, and neighborhoods.

Recommendations from stakeholders

The creative aging collaboration team convened teaching artists, representatives of cultural organizations, senior center directors, borough arts council leaders, and older adults for a joint discussion about how to strengthen SU-CASA and the creative aging ecosystem in NYC.