We are thrilled to announce the expansion of our successful Creative Aging Program, supported by a grant from the Foundation for Seacoast Health. Building upon the Creative Aging Program’s proven track record of enhancing the lives of adults ages 65 and above with music programming, PMAC now expands the Creative Aging Program to include visual arts.

Expanded Creative Aging Program Offers New, Free Visual Arts Programming: Adults Ages 65+ Can Build Connections Through Collage 

Thanks to the generous support of the Foundation for Seacoast Health, a new PMAC class, Collage – Archiving and Storytelling, will be launching this spring and offered for FREE to adults ages 65+.

We invite participants to join a 6-week journey of self-expression through mixed media collage. 

Over the course of the class, students will make both abstract and representational pieces to tell their personal stories. They will learn to combine sourced media elements—such as found objects and book/magazine pages—and personal elements like mementos and memorabilia, while exploring technique, color theory, and texture building. Led by PMAC teaching artist Jade Ruscio, each class session includes time for both making and sharing work, allowing participants to establish new friendships with fellow artists.

“This class combines the benefits of art education with the powerful exchange of personal narratives,” says Michelle Shoemaker, PMAC Director of Education. “This program expansion resonates deeply with our mission of  building community through the arts–forging bonds and cultivating a sense of belonging through the transformative power of artistic expression.”

PMAC Director of Development Eli Kaynor adds, “We are grateful for the continued support of the Foundation for Seacoast Health. For the past four decades, the Foundation has been a catalyst for positive change across the Seacoast, and PMAC is honored to be the recipient of grant funding that supports efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals through increased access to, and engagement with, the arts.” 

Registration is now open for two separate six-week sessions of “Collage – Archiving and Storytelling.” Learn more and sign up here.


PMAC’s Creative Aging Program uses the power of the arts to elevate the quality of life for older adults through creative expression and social engagement. Recent studies have highlighted the detrimental effects of loneliness, equating its impact to that of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. In Rockingham County, nearly 20% of residents are ages 65 or older, making social isolation among older residents a pressing regional issue. 

PMAC is committed to helping older adults lead healthy, vibrant, and creative lives. As part of this effort, in 2023 the Creative Aging Program launched a new tuition model for adults ages 65+ enrolling in PMAC music ensembles: ages 65+ receive a 50% tuition reduction, ages 70+ receive a 75% tuition reduction, and ages 75+ receive 100% free tuition in perpetuity. This tuition model change, also supported by the Foundation for Seacoast Health, helps ensure that even if someone’s income becomes fixed after retirement, financial constraints do not have to hinder arts engagement. The Creative Aging Program further expanded in Spring 2024 to include visual arts opportunities for ages 65+.


Melissa Schultz 

PMAC Director of Marketing