Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor/President, Graduate Program of Arts Management, School of Art Infomatics, Shobi University

Award Information

Abe Fellowship 2011
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Associate Professor/ President, Graduate Program of Arts Management, School of Art Informatics, Shobi University
Research on the effect of creativity and the effect of cultural programs on aging communities as well as the method of training for educators and teaching artists for such programs, including people with Alzheimer's and other cognitive problems

The purpose of the proposed research project is to study the effects of creativity and cultural programs on elderly people, especially those with dementia or related cognitive function disorders and to identify what are the elements of effective and successful programs which contribute the improved quality of life and well being of elderly. The ultimate objective will be the implementation of such programs of creativity for aging population in Japan. This implementation will require the development and administration of the creative arts programs themselves and also training educators or facilitators who assist the elderly in participating in these programs. The research will also look into the training methods for program facilitators and teaching artists to determine their required skills, mentality, and knowledge. The research will be conducted first through data analysis of documentation on creativity and aging and interviews with planners, educators, participants of the programs and medical professionals who are involved in the clinical study and evaluation of there programs in relationship with Prof. Joan Jeffri, a director at The National Center for Creative Aging. Secondly the field work will be conducted on representative cultural programs in various fields of arts, including but not limited to widely acknowledged MEET ME at MoMA program by the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Time/slips, a storytelling program for people with Dementia. Thirdly I will look into both quantitative and qualitative researches and current study on the effect of arts and creativity on brain through collaboration with Dr. Peter Whitehouse, neurologist, professor of cognitive science. The fourth part of my research will be on training methodology. Field work and analysis on training programs at cultural institutions as well as interviews with experienced art educators and teaching artists will be conducted. The proposed research project is especially relevant to the pressing issues of care policies for aging population in a rapidly aging society, especially in Japan. While the Japanese government has a policy of providing care under the care insurance policy, the mental and psychological well being of the elderly is largely overlooked. The research should influence the policy makers so that arts programs will be developed and implemented at care settings for improved mental and psychological well being and the reduced cost of care for elderly. The project will require 8 months residency in the United States. The field work as well as interviews with professionals and educators in the United States and some other countries will require 5 months in which visits to at least 20 programs will be made. The field work in the United States and other countries is necessary as the cultural programs for elderly and research on them have been developed since 1970s when the first discovery of effect of creativity on brain was made. The results of the research will be compiled as a book and major findings will be made available on Arts Alive website for wider public audience as well as will be published as a research paper through lectures and appropriate academic journals.