News & Events

Recently Published

A Creative Path to Healthy Aging — March 8, 2016, published by The New York Times.

“Now she has her wings!” — November 9, 2014, founder of Arts for the Aging, Lolo Sarnoff, dies at age 98.

Read how Art and music erase limitations in the October 2014 issue of The Beacon.

Cherishing Silver is our most recent Annual Report.

What We Saw Today is a viewbook of artwork, images and writing from AFTA programs.

AFTA accepts applications for new Teaching Artists on a rolling basis – learn how to apply here.

Upcoming Events

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MAY 15, 2016: AFTA Cup Team Tennis Tournament

Arts for the Aging will host the 26th Annual AFTA Cup, a team tennis tournament that will take place at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, May 15, from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.  An awards presentation will take place at an “AFTA-Party” on the evening of June 10 at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Washington.  Proceeds from the tournament will help to support AFTA’s award-winning arts engagement workshops for older adults in the D.C. metro region who need it most.  More information and online registration is available here or contact AFTA at (301) 255-0103.


JUNE 10, 2016: AFTA-Party & Video Premiere

Stay tuned for details on our upcoming AFTA-Party & video premiere at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Washington D.C. on June 10.

Recent Events

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DECEMBER 11, 2015: Dream Ship exhibition opening reception

Arts for the Aging ‘s exhibition of multi-media works created in classes taught by AFTA’s artistic faculty with frail and vulnerable older adults in the D.C. metro region opened on Friday evening, December 11, with a well-attended reception.  Curated by Jarvis DuBois, the exhibition is running now through January 6, 2016 at Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20009. Photos from the Opening Reception may be viewed here.

Support for this exhibition is made possible by the Rotary Club and Rotary Foundation of Washington D.C. and the Philip L. Graham Fund. Dream Ship image, above center: a sculpture by Judith in AFTA workshops with teaching artist Carol Siegel at Alexandria Adult Day Services Center.

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OCTOBER 27, 2015:  AFTA Gala, Creating New Horizons

AFTA’s 27th Annual Gala, Creating New Horizons, was held at The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati, also known as Anderson House, where Trish and George Vradenburg (center image) were given the 7th Lolo Sarnoff Founder’s Award, celebrating their humanitarianism and philanthropy, their dedication to addressing the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, and their lifelong engagement in the arts. Chairs of this year’s gala were Olga and Bob Ryan.  A silent and live auction was held of original sculptures by Lolo Sarnoff and vintage haute jewelry from her collection; works were exhibited created by seniors (like Maebell Saunders pictured left) in Arts for the Aging programs responding to the Founder’s body of art.  View the full gala program here, photos from the evening here, and coverage from the Georgetowner here.



JULY 30, 2015:  3rd Annual KevinMas

Arts for the Aging trustee Kevin Bryan invited a group of  friends and fellow AFTA supporters to help him celebrate his birthday by making a donation to one of his favorite causes, AFTA. The rooftop at I Ching Restaurant and Bar provided the perfect backdrop for watching the sun set over the city while sharing an evening with old and new friends–and all for a great cause! View more photos from the evening here.


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MAY 17, 2015: You play, seniors win.

Arts for the Aging hosted its 25th Anniversary Lolo Sarnoff Memorial Tennis Tournament at beautiful Bretton Woods, in Germantown, Maryland.  The mixed doubles round robin matches and finals were followed by celebrity exhibition matches with Chi Wan Kim, Dan Waldman, and Manny Ortiz, and junior champions Shannon Hanley, Lilly Lynham, Elizabeth Scoffy and Karla Portalatin.  Proceeds support AFTA’s award-winning arts engagement programs for seniors.  At the barbeque and awards reception, congratulations went to tournament winners Diane Straus and Jim Faruki (Flight A) and Jodi Castro and Russ Ridings (Flight B).  Success of the tournament would be impossible without a dedicated committee co-chaired by Bill Weber and Jim Faruki, joined by Rob Arner, Stacey Freeman-Gottfried, Rich Gottfried, Alan Hermesch, Rose Hobson, Marianne Manschrek, Kuni Matsuda, Cherrie Orteza, Joan Ronnenberg, Suzanne Shwetz.  To our generous sponsors, our sincere appreciation: Silver ($1,000+), The Honorable and Mrs. Kingdon Gould, Jr., KONTERRA/Gould Property; Bronze ($500+), Don and Nancy Bliss, Garry Perkins/Accelerated Development and Support Corporation, Ace ($300+), Kuni Matsuda, and Paul Meehan/Edgemoor Investment Advisors, Inc.  To our additional contributors including Rob Arner, Citi Open, Gingles, LLC, Ann Keiser and our volunteer Carisse Phillips, many thanks.  View photos from the event here and the event program here. 

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February 11, 2015: AFTA Hours launches

Celebrating the season of love — of family, friends, partners, companions — friends of Arts for the Aging gathered together at Slate Wine Bar + Bistro in D.C. for the first in a series of AFTA Hours Dinners that will feature demonstrations of our award-winning programs, tastings of specially selected wines and delectable food tastings, all in the name of AFTA’s terrific cause.   Stay tuned for more artful, culinary experiences like this one.


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JANUARY 14, 2015: Capricorn Party

Under the gracious patronage of the Embassy of France, friends and admirers of the late founder of AFTA, Lolo Sarnoff, gathered together with Arts for the Aging to commemorate her remarkable life and legacy.  The “Capricorn Party” was so named after the grande dame’s legendary annual birthday celebration. A slide show of photographs depicting Lolo over decades was the backdrop to guests who paid tribute during an open-mike with stories and fond recollections of the beloved Swiss-German artist, scientist and philanthropist.  AFTA’s teaching artists led the crowd in a rendition of Johnny Mercer’s Too Marvelous for Words and saluted the founder with her personal favorite, Johann Strauss’ The Blue Danube Waltz. Many expressed solidarity with France in light of recent tragic events in Paris.  We could not have hosted an evening so befitting to Lolo’s elegance and finesse were it not for Ambassador Gerard Araud and all at the Embassy of France.  Among her many accolades, honorary doctorates and awards, in 2008, Lolo Sarnoff was named by the French Government a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her dedication to science, the arts and cultural life in Washington.  For this His Excellency Pierre Vimont declared so beautifully our mutual admiration for Lolo’s “uprightness, resolve and generosity.” For event photos from Gene Carl Feldman, visit our Flikr stream here.


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OCTOBER 22, 2014: 26th Annual Gala

Arts for the Aging hosted its annual fall gala at Society of the Cincinnati at Anderson House on October 22 with a reception, arts performance by Verge Ensemble, and toasts honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  In an evening emceed by artist Bill Dunlap, the 6th Lolo Sarnoff Award — so named after our nonagenarian founder — was presented to the Supreme Court Justice by longtime friends Bill and Dorothy McSweeny, and patrons gave a touching interactive tribute led by AFTA teaching artist Miles Spicer with members of Downtown Clusters Geriatric Day Care Center, inviting everyone in a serenade of the pop standard, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter”.  Justice Ginsburg cited AFTA’s founder for her “love of music and art, and caring about the right things” — a moving sentiment for the occasion, Celebrating Lifelong Creativity.  Event photographs are available for viewing here (by Gene Carl Feldman), and also at these links from Washington Life, DC Hotspots and The Georgetowner.  For the evening’s program, click here.


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JULY 31, 2014: 2nd Annual Kevin-mas

Arts for the Aging trustee Kevin Bryan invited his circle of friends to make a difference for his birthday by making a donation in support of AFTA’s mission.  On July 31 at Slate Wine Bar + Bistro in Washington D.C., dozens gathered to do just that.  The evening included delicious happy hour specials and some terrific door prize give-aways, including personal trainings, bike rentals, massages and restaurant certificates.  Photographs from the evening can be viewed here.


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JUNE 29, 2014: You play, seniors win.

Arts for the Aging hosted the 24th Annual Mixed-Doubles Tennis Tournament benefiting AFTA at beautiful Bretton Woods, in Germantown, Maryland.  Round robin matches, finals and recreational play for all tennis players took place in the afternoon, followed by junior champion and celebrity exhibition matches, and a barbeque and awards reception. Click here to see the tennis program. Photographs from the day are here.


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NOVEMBER 5, 2013: Cherishing Silver – 25th Anniversary Gala

Reception hosted by His Excellency Manuel Sager, Ambassador of Switzerland, and Mrs. Christine Sager with the Host Committee Chair, esteemed artist Bill Dunlap; tributes to Swiss-German artist, scientist, entrepreneur, humanitarian, philanthropist and nonagenarian, AFTA Founder Lolo Sarnoff; presentation of the 5th Annual Sarnoff Award to Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (ret.) for distinguished philanthropy, community service and engagement in the arts; and a multi-cultural interactive performance of works from cabaret, film and stage with Cabaret Sauvignon, an opera-cabaret group featuring Peter Burroughs, Carlos César Rodríguez, Jennifer Suess and special guest Randa Rouweyha.  The evening’s program can be found here and event photographs are here.  Our press coverage can be found at The Washington Post’s The Scene, Washington Life, The Georgetowner and Hollywood on Potomac.



SEPTEMBER 9, 2013: V.I.P. reception and tour of the Marden House

Friends of Arts for the Aging spent an intimate evening with AFTA 25thAnniversary Co-Chair, distinguished artist and WETA commentator Bill Dunlap, and Founding C.E.O. and Chairman Emeritus of AOL, Jim Kimsey.  The night was hosted at the Marden House, Frank Lloyd Wright’s gloriously restored masterpiece and photographs can be found here.


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MAY 19, 2013: Tennis Tournament for All Ages 

His Excellency Jonas Hafström, Ambassador of Sweden, and Mrs. Eva Hafström were Honorary Chairs of another fabulous Annual Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament — our 23rd for the event, and their 6th year hosting. Though rain washed away most tournament play on Sunday morning,  exhibition matches in the afternoon on the Swedish Embassy Residence court were followed by a fabulous evening dinner reception, award ceremony and silent auction also at the residence. We were wowed by junior exhibition players Lilly Lynham, Shannon Hanley, Lizzie Baker and Valerie Ho in an all-USTA-Mid-Atlantic-ranked face-off and celebrity match players Mark Ein, Richey Renenberg, Dan Waldman and Gordi Ernst.  Much gratitiude to Junior Tennis Champions Center C.E.O. Ray Benton and Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein who arranged the exhibitions.  Co-chair of AFTA’s 25th Anniversary WUSA9 anchor JC Hayward gave a warm greeting to guests and toasted AFTA’s mission.  Saluted were Ambassador and Mrs. Hafström for their dedication and commitment to helping ensure the success of this event for AFTA during their time here in the U.S. — they head back to Sweden in June 2013 — and a dedicated tennis committee led by this year’s new event chair Bill Weber and outgoing and long-time chair, AFTA trustee Kuni Matsuda.  Thanks so very much to our sponsors, court hosts, patrons, volunteers and friends who made it all possible.  Coverage can be found at Swedish Scene and at; the evening’s program is available here and more photos can be found on Flickr (by; additional thanks to Kuni Matsuda and Brandi Rose).  Contact if you’re interested in joining the 2014 tennis committee.


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APRIL 25, 2013: Celebrating Artful Living

AFTA kicked off its 25th anniversary year at the Embassy of Finland in April, under the gracious patronage of Her Excellency Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Ambassador of Finland.  There, friends and supporters of AFTA met honorees the Silver Singers, a chorus of Chinese elders from Family Matters Asian and Pacific Islanders Senior Center who have persevered with AFTA teaching artist Anthony Hyatt through cultural divides and language barriers to create a chorus.  Now they make music together and find courage and delight in performing it.  Reaching one of the highest achievements in the field of creative aging, the arts now live at the senior center even when AFTA is not there!  It was an enchanting evening – we were dazzled by our 97 year old founder Lolo Sarnoff who joined us, and by special guests Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and WUSA9 anchor JC Hayward, co-chair of AFTA’s 25th anniversary year.  Event coverage can be found via Washington Life and Swedish Scene. You can also view photographs here ( and the event program too from the evening.


OCTOBER 22, 2012: Fall Benefit Party

“A Benefit Suited for All Ages.” On October 22, 2012 at D.C.’s Carnegie Institution for Science AFTA held its Fall Benefit Party Celebrating Art & Science and announced the kick-off of next year’s 25th Anniversary for which acclaimed artist Bill Dunlap will serve as Honorary Chair. Highlights included a champagne pre-reception, opera and spanish dance performances, a keynote address from the National Endowment for the Arts and tributes to a founding circle of longtime contributors. See more in our event photographs, from the evening program, and in coverage from The Washington Post, Bisnow and Swedish Scene.

“The Arts Know No Age.” Read what Montgomery County Gazette Seniors had to say about Arts for the Aging’s CoOPERAtion program with teaching artist Peter Burroughs, from May 2012.

What a sunny day it was for June 2012’s 22nd Annual Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament raising proceeds to benefit AFTA.  Round-robin play took place on private home courts in Greater Washington D.C., and semifinal, final and exhibition matches were at Fairfax Racquet and Fitness Club. The tournament’s reception and awards ceremony, hosted by His Excellency Jonas Hafström, the Ambassador of Sweden, and Mrs. Eva Hafström was lovely! You can view our blog and the tennis program for more details and photographs from the event.

“A Grand Success.” In November 2011 was the elegant success of the 23rd Annual Benefit Gala at the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It featured presentation of the 4th Annual Lolo Sarnoff Award for Vision and Creativity to Dr. Dorothy Kosinski, Director of The Phillips Collection. View here for the event program and press coverage with Washington Post,,,

Recent Programs

Read more in our e-news about AFTA programs in the community.


Read about The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on the Physical Health, Mental Health, and Social Functioning of Older Adults, published in The Gerontologist.

Creativity Matters: The Arts & Aging Toolkit explains why and how older adults benefit from participating in professionally conducted community arts programs. It offers detailed advice and examples on program design, implementation and evaluation and is available, free and online, at

Bringing the Arts to Life: A Guide to the Arts and Long-Term Care identifies current model programs in long-term care communities that demonstrate how the arts play a key role in moving toward person-centered care by engaging older adults in the artistic process.

ARTS FOR THE AGING | PHONE: 301.255.0103 | FAX 301.230.0411 | EMAIL: INFO@AFTAARTS.ORG