Since 2017 Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) has offered Creative Aging arts programs that inspire and enable older adults to learn, make and share the arts in ways that are novel, complex and socially engaging. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the format of offerings it has not stopped MCA from providing valuable programs geared towards adults 55+. 

On September 10th MCA will begin it’s second of five Creative Aging art workshops designed for older adults. In August students learned over Zoom how to create beautiful oil pastel works of Winona landmarks including Sugar Loaf and the Winona bridge over the Mississippi. Throughout September- October older adults are invited to register to participate in Playful Postcards: Artist Study. This unique class will inspire students to paint with watercolor pencils, collage with fun paper and more using a postcard to be sent to a classmate as a canvas. Earlier in the Summer MCA offered the first edition of Playful Postcards and it was a huge success with 88% of participants trying new techniques and exploring new art material and 75% feeling more socially connected to others due to participating.

What participants of our first Playful Postcards class had to say:

Fabulous program! I explored new techniques and observed in new ways. Sharing the postcards helped me to set aside a regular time for engaging in the process. I knew someone else was waiting. I also learned from the approaches others took to the same prompts!


I so appreciate the time, creativity, work, and collaboration given by everyone who designed this unit. There was obviously the difficult task of not being virtual but also giving materials accessible, useful, friendly yet not childish, interesting and new but not academic. All, a difficult balance and the designers did an admirable job of making it work. Thank you!


Participation gave me permission to do something I enjoy. I learned about the other participants via online searches and found so many people or activities we had in common. I, also, began to have new insight into artists’ techniques illustrated in a series of art history classes that I have taken: the preliminary sketch (or iPhone photo) used as a foundation for a more elaborate painting ; creating a painting in panels, working on one at a time as almost a project in itself (divided photo into six sections and drew the piece section by section). The entire experience provided much needed anxiety relief and diversion from our current crazy/scary world.

Upcoming Playful Postcards class details and description:  

Playful Postcards: Artist Study

MCA’s Playful Postcards program is back, this time lessons will be focused around famous artists. Participants will have the opportunity to get creative and have a little fun sending and receiving colorful postcards. Each student will receive a special art kit to keep that includes everything you need to get started including blank postcards, stamps, watercolor pencils, paint brush, glue stick, fun paper, and weekly lesson plans. All you will be asked to do is to explore new art techniques inspired by an artist then create and send a postcard a week to a classmate. Miss. Brianna will also check in with students throughout the program via a desired contact via digital platform or by phone which will be determined at a later date. (includes all art supplies & Winona Delivery or pick-up)*

Dates: Sept. 10-Oct. 29 (self-paced)

Instructors: Brianna Haupt

Fees: In-person $24 (includes at-home art kit with pick-up or delivery in Winona or for an additional $12 kits can be mailed anywhere in the US) Need based scholarships are available. 

These activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund and a grant from the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation. 

Register Now!

Additionally, MCA is thrilled to announce that Catherine Deysach has joined the administrative team as the Creative Aging Program Coordinator. This position was made possible thanks to a generous grant from Aroha Philanthropies. Ms. Deysach brings a wealth of education, arts and programming experience and excited to help MCA continue to find new ways to bring joy, connection, improved health and well-being, and a renewed sense of purpose to older adults in community and residential settings. Learn more about MCA’s Creative Aging programs here.

About Aroha Philanthropies

Aroha Philanthropies is devoted to the transformative power of the arts and creativity, inspiring vitality in those over 55, joy in children and youth, and humanity in adults with mental illness. We believe that learning, making, and sharing art enriches everyone throughout their lifetime.

Aroha Philanthropies works to improve the quality of life of people 55+ by encouraging the funding, development, and proliferation of arts programs designed to enhance longer lives, and by advancing the development of professional teaching artists working with those in their encore years.

Learn more at