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To address the growing demand for meaningful and structured activities in adult day centers, senior centers, affordable housing facilities, and nursing homes, Zola Monroe Art Group (ZMAG) created the Arts for Seniors Program. The primary objective of this initiative is to offer valuable community-based learning and therapeutic pursuits for senior citizens.


Art is an effective tool for providing senior individuals with purposeful interaction and engagement, regardless of their previous artistic experience. Moreover, we offer therapeutic interventions that aim to restore a sense of dignity and control for seniors in their daily lives.


At Zola Monroe Art Group, LLC, we understand the significant impact that creative processes have on seniors as they adapt to life's challenging circumstances. Our techniques have proven beneficial even for nonverbal seniors or those suffering from visual or auditory impairments.


ZMAG's workshops go beyond standard art classes. We cater to students at all skill levels with step-by-step instructions guided by experienced teaching professionals. Our curriculum features classwork, homework, group critiques, and study notes provided at the end of every session. Each year, we host an annual Arts for Seniors exhibition to showcase our seniors' hard work and dedication across various art mediums. Additionally, we offer art therapy workshops and celebratory events such as Senior Sip sessions.


Explore the amazing artwork created by our devoted seniors in their dedicated Arts for Seniors gallery.

ZMAG's St Albans collage


Arts Programs Are Essential In A Community To Help Older Adults Get Involved And Remain An Important Part Of Their Communities.

Since 2010, Zola Monroe Art Group, LLC has promoted and organized distinctive group workshops and programs for senior citizens. We are pleased to report that we currently provide senior care for over 300 people in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas. 


We are proud of our community-based arts programming. Our goal has been to assist older people—as the guardians of culture—so they can continue to be active members of society and give younger generations access to wisdom and talent accumulated over a lifetime. In thriving communities, these connections foster a strong feeling of meaning and purpose.Our goal is to regularly involve seniors and their care partners in the multidisciplinary arts to improve their health and quality of life. 


ZMAG's mission is to demonstrate and advocate for the value of dignity and compassion in the care of older individuals in the Washington, D.C., region and beyond, as well as the fact that arts intervention tactics offer approachable and uplifting solutions to deal with deteriorating abilities as we age. 


The inward "surge" of happiness or pride we experience when we create something we are proud of is something that almost everyone can relate to. Studies demonstrating the benefits of creative expression, particularly for older adults, on general physical and emotional wellbeing are consistent with this feeling.

What Determines the Success of This Art Program? 

Most importantly we assist seniors in achieving these three objectives: 


  • acquiring fresh knowledge 

  • enhancing social interactions 

  • stimulating their minds 


Seniors who participate in these multi-session group workshops will: 


  • regularly meet with a distinct goal in mind 

  • grow in steps from week to week

  •  incorporate active participation 

  • be directed by trained art educators

  • programs typically conclude with a celebration and display of the students' work

When we designed the Art for Seniors programs, we kept these guidelines in mind. Each week, members of our music, dance, and visual art workshops work hands-on to develop new skills while being guided by our expert instructors.These workshops help seniors take themselves seriously as artists and give them something to strive toward. 

Program benefits

When an older person create art, this eliminates boredom. Yes, it can take a bit of trial and error to manage these things, but the benefits are clear and very impressive. Arts bring identity and power, making it easy for the seniors to express themselves through the arts. . The art experience is also bringing in a wonderful sense of socialization as well.


Besides, creating something brings in more confidence for seniors. It offers a sense of self-esteem and more competence than you might imagine. Not only that, It encourages them to look forward to the days ahead. Then there are physical health benefits. Thanks to using their hands creating art, seniors can boost their blood flow naturally. They can also enhance the overall dexterity in their arms, fingers, and hands. It’s a terrific opportunity and one of those things that can make a huge difference.


Creating art also allows seniors to get satisfaction and enjoyment, knowing they made something they enjoy. Plus, it keeps their mind active, bringing in more creativity and pushing the boundaries innovatively and robustly. To make things better, seniors can use this as a way to talk about the things in their life, relieve pressure, and boost their cognitive functions naturally. 


Old Friends

Respect is a crucial component of any successful arts program for older individuals. Rather than creating a program for “patients,” “participants,” “residents,” “seniors” or even “older adults,” they should be thought of as artists. Once considered artists, both older adults and their artwork are treated with the same dignity and five-star service as any other artist in the community. At ZMAG's, we ensure the use of high-quality materials; she titles and frames the artists’ work, then displays it in a culminating gallery show. We also teach artistic concepts during the art-making process so both artists and any companions or volunteers have a shared vocabulary to critique their work beyond basic positive and negative reactions. All of these practices are ways to show artists that the time, energy, and care that they put in to their work is valued… and respected. 


Grace encourages offering creative opportunities that are complex looking, but not complicated to create based on the skills, abilities, and cognition levels of participants.  She also encourages programmers to consider the end result – is it something the artist would truly be proud of? Will each artist have the opportunity to make something unique? ZMAG's visual art class, which follows the principles of the OMA concept, focuses on abstract painting. We  provide a very broad instructions to participants, which are simply meant to act as ways to make a blank page more approachable. She also offers a multitude of different materials which provides opportunity for depth, layering, and texture, making the project appear complex even if using simple techniques. These techniques allow participants to create art that has a focus, is accessible for various abilities and allows for individuality. 


A successful arts program will allow space for artists to make their own choices. At Kavod, straying from the instructions is celebrated; participants are encouraged that there is no right or wrong in art. Art makers are in charge of “what good looks like” – they are the keepers of their canvas. 

Any successful arts program for elderly people must incorporate respect. They should be treated as artists, not as "patients," "participants," "residents," "seniors," or even "older adults," in any program that is designed for them. Formerly regarded as artists, older people are now treated with the same respect and first-rate care as any other local artists. At ZMAG, we make care to use top-notch supplies; we title and frame the artists' work before showcasing it in a culminating gallery presentation. Throughout the creative process, we also impart artistic concepts so that participants can analyze the work of the artists with more nuance than just good and negative responses.
 The time, effort, and care that artists invest in their work are acknowledged and respected through each of these actions.

Based on the participants' talents, abilities, and degrees of cognition, ZMAG supports providing creative chances that appear complex but are straightforward to produce. We also urge programmers to think about the finished product and ask themselves if the artist would be truly proud with it. Will each artist be able to create something original? We provide participants very general guidelines that serve only as a means of making a blank page more approachable. We also supply a wide range of materials, allowing for depth, layering, and texture, which makes the project appear complex even when employing straightforward methods. These methods enable participants to produce art that is focused, usable by people of different abilities, and supportive of individuality.


An effective arts program will provide artists the freedom to make their own decisions. ZMAG encourages participants to deviate from the rules because there are no right or wrong ways to create art. In control of "what good looks like," artists are the guardians of their canvases.


 OUR PLAN 2023-2024

The program offered by Zola Monroe Art Group is underpinned by the conviction that the arts can significantly improve the quality of life for senior citizens. The program offers new creative options for older persons and is created to create opportunities for lifetime learning, social interaction, and skill mastery.

Creativity is hardly the exclusive province of youth. It can blossom at any age—and in fact it can bloom with more depth and richness in older adults because it is informed by their vast stores of knowledge and experience.
—Dr. Gene Cohen, Geriatric psychiatrist

CLEVELAND PARK LIBRARY Acrylic (Art Studio) Workshop

ST. ALBANS Mixed Media Collage (Art Studio) Workshop

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