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55+ Adults at MCA

Creative Aging

Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) established Creative Aging programs in 2017 after being one of fifteen organizations in the state of Minnesota to participate in the Seeding Vitality Arts MN initiative. Thanks to generous funding from Aroha Philanthropies MCA teaching artists and administrative staff received training and support to create unique workshops that were offered for minimal fees to Winona area community members who are 55 years or older.

Today MCA continues this important work thanks to the support Aroha Philanthropies, Elizabeth Callendar King Foundation, and Southeastern Minnesota Art Council (SEMAC). MCA also brings arts to individuals and groups of assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and more. For more about Creative Aging in Facilities or to bring a Creative Aging program to you, click here.

Why Arts?

Creative Aging programs are designed to improve the health, well-being, and renewed sense of purpose for older adults. Research from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) – and others – found that social isolation constitutes a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality, especially in older adults. Research has also shown that loneliness may have a physical as well as an emotional impact. For example, people who are lonely frequently have elevated systolic blood pressure.

In addition to these workshops, MCA welcomes Older Adults to explore other opportunities to engage in and observe art through our wide array of classes, exhibits, and performances. MCA can help you re-discover your love for an instrument or start learning one for the first time or just help brighten up a chilly evening by taking in a performance by our Jazz Combos or Dance Repertory Company.

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.

Playful Postcards Participant

July 2020

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!

Playful Postcards Participant

July 2020

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!

Playful Postcards Participant

July 2020

Word Art: Faux Calligraphy (virtual)

Learn lettering and faux calligraphy techniques to apply to greeting and post cards from lines, heights, slants and strokes, to rhythm, spacing, width and pressure. Participants will receive class materials via mail, and by the end of the session create four unique greeting cards. Students will receive a kit of materials including everything needed.

Dates/Time: Tuesdays Jan. 25 - Mar. 22, 2:30-3:30pm
Ages: 55+
Instructor: Lisa Douglas
Location: Zoom
Fee: $24
*This activity is made possible through a grant from Aroha Philanthropies, a non-profit arts organization working to improve quality of life through creative self-expression.

Adults 55+ Percussive Music Class II

Continue to explore the world of drumming and percussion in a fun and relaxed way in this follow-up percussive music class! This 8-week class will build on the concepts learned in the first class from the fall of 2021. Anyone 55+ is allowed to join this class, but please note it is the second class in a series. Basic knowledge of rhythm and/or percussion is recommended.
Dates/Time: June 22-Aug. 10, Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30pm
Ages: 55+
Instructor: Kayla Jannsen
Location: MCA
Fee: $60

Creative Aging: Expressive Arts

Would you like to use art as a form of self expression? Join this beginner's course to explore methods and materials such as watercolor, markers, pastels and collage. This 8 week will be great for the artistically curious to find out more about themselves. Expressive Arts will finish with a gallery to display each individuals' work.

Dates/Time: Wednesdays Mar. 9 - May 4, 4:30-5:30pm
Ages: 55+
Instructor: Brianna Haupt
Location: Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts
Fee: $24
*This activity is made possible through a grant from Aroha Philanthropies, a non-profit arts organization working to improve quality of life through creative self-expression.

Schedule Creative Aging Programs

MCA’s Creative Aging programs are customizable to fit the needs of your organization. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask! Contact MCA’s Creative Aging Program Coordinator, Catie Deysach, at to discuss your options.


Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts
1164 West Howard (10th) Street
Winona, MN 55987

Phone: 507-453-5500
Fax: 507-453-5507


Contact Us


Winter 2022 Hours (Jan. - Mar. 26)

Monday- Thursday- 8am-6:30pm

Friday- 8am-3pm

Closed April 15th & 18th

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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