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Expert: Aging, Arts, Education and Health

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Gay Powell Hanna, Ph.D., MFA

Gay Powell Hanna, is an arts administration leader with 30 years management experience in the arts, education and health related program services, is the executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), an affiliate of George Washington University. NCCA is an interdisciplinary nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and the quality of life for older people regardless of ethnic, economic status or level of physical or cognitive functioning. NCCA provides professional development and technical assistance including service as a clearinghouse for best practices, research and policy development to encourage and sustain arts and humanities program in various community and health care settings.

Dr. Hanna is an associate professor at George Washington University in the Health Sciences Department. She holds a Ph.D. in arts education with a specialization in arts administration focusing on service to people with disabilities from Florida State University; a MFA in sculpture from the University of Georgia; and a bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude in studio art, from Old Dominion University. She also holds certification in program evaluation from Florida State University and a nonprofit management executive certificate from Georgetown University.

Serving as the executive director of the Society for the Arts in Health from 2003 through May 2007, Dr. Hanna led this emerging national nonprofit dedicated to the integration of the arts into health care setting to unprecedented growth in membership, programs and organizational budget. Through faculty positions at Florida State University and University of South Florida from 1987 to 2003, Dr. Hanna directed VSA Arts of Florida, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, providing arts education programs for people with disabilities including people with chronic illness. In 2001, she established the Florida Center for Creative Aging at the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging at the University of South Florida to address quality of life issues.

Dr. Hanna is a contributing author to numerous articles and books, including a monograph, Creativity Matters: Arts and Aging in America published by Americans for the Arts Fall 2008; the Fundamentals of Arts Management, 4th Edition, published by the Arts Extension Service of University of Massachusetts Amherst; Arts Education for the Exceptional Learner, published by the Florida Department of Education; and Aging and the Arts, Generations, spring 2006, The Journal of the American Society on Aging. Dr. Hanna is noted for her expertise in accessibility and universal design.

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