COMPAS' range of program options makes sure there's something for everyone.


COMPAS' award-winning residencies provide an opportunity for participants and group leaders (for example, students and teachers) to work alongside a professional artist who acts as a guide through the creative process and connects with themes and learning areas. Participants learn an art form, build a mastery of skills, and make connections to a variety of topics. Residencies begin with advance planning, as together we modify or create a program to complement and enrich existing curriculum and/or to meet specific goals or learning standards. Residencies take place at your site and can last from one week to multiple months.


A workshop offers the chance for an artist to lead a stand-alone project with a group of 30 or fewer. Workshops are often done in a series and are very effective for groups that operate in a “drop-in” environment such as a library or community center. They also can extend learnings from a COMPAS performance. For example, after a performance a spoken word artist may lead a workshop with individual classrooms that are studying poetry. Workshops typically last 50-60 minutes; a minimum of two is preferred. Workshops may also take place in OST (out-of-school) programs, evenings and on weekends.


From Aztec dancing to Hawaiian music or African storytelling, performances engage a larger group with a balance of performance, demonstration and interaction. Our artists come from around the world and are excited to share their culture through music, dance and presentation. Many programs provide study guides with background and preparation information, artist biographies and resources for further information. Length is typically 45-60 minutes. Some performances also have companion workshops. Performances are for groups of up to 300 audience members.

Artful Aging Residencies

Artists who have additional training in teaching older adults work side-by-side with participants, guiding them to learn new creative skills and create their own visual art, writing, music, dance or theater piece. Programs start with a friendly Artist Meet-and-Greet and a Community Celebration (an event to celebrate and demonstrate the participants' accomplishments) caps off each residency. To meet the needs of your site and the people you work with, Artful Aging residencies can be structured as a Camp or as a series of Classes.

  • Artful Aging Camps include 12 hours of hands-on time working with the artist (done in 2-hour blocks, either during an intensive period of 3 days with both an AM & a PM time block, or spread over 6 days within a 2-week period).
  • Artful Aging Classes include 8 or more sessions, each lasting 90 minutes to 2 hours, with the artists. Classes can be held once a week or we can customize a schedule for your unique environment.

We encourage organizations that are new to the joys and benefits of Artful Aging programming to host one or two Professional Development sessions prior to an artist's first session with participants. This will ensure staff, volunteers and participants get the most from their time with the artist and help your organization grow its creative capacity.

Artful Aging Samplers

Artist Samplers are now available! If you aren't sure which type of project—or perhaps which artist—best suits your needs, here's a chance to get just a taste of what the COMPAS Artful Aging program can offer.

Artist Samplers bring one of our certified Artful Aging artists to your site for a 2-hour workshop. Projects are designed to be completed in this time frame.

Professional Development

Available for all our program areas, COMPAS professional development sessions train your staff and volunteers on how to extend the work of COMPAS artists by integrating more art-making into your environment. For people new to the arts, we also offer training to familiarize staff with creative approaches which can help them get the most out of working with an artist.

Costs of Arts Programs

Costs vary by program type. Please contact COMPAS for details.