Anti-ageist Birthday Card Project

Changing the Narrative is seeking applications from Colorado artists to design anti-ageist birthday cards. We are looking for designs that defy stereotypical and negative views of aging, ones that celebrate the one thing that all of us have in common—getting older.


The application period is September 10-28, 2020.

Why an anti-ageist birthday card campaign?

If you follow our blog, you know that we share lots of stories of older people who are doing interesting things, giving back, taking care of others, starting businesses, working on the front lines. These stories represent the diversity and reality of today’s older adults, who are living longer and playing vital roles in society.

If you buy a birthday card for an older person, however, this is not what you’ll see. Instead, you’ll be inundated with negative stereotypes about getting older. You’ll see grumpy old men and wine-swigging women complaining about sagging. You’ll see older people portrayed as sleepy, crabby, and weak. And, you’ll see lots of ableism.

The general theme in many birthday cards: Getting older is all downhill, a period of decline, depression, and dependence. Want to see some examples? Search for these words: “ageism birthday cards”.

We know that ageism is both prevalent and harmful (it’s not just a joke). Many studies show that ageism has negative effects on our health and financial security, and a recent survey showed that 82% of people age 50-80 experience ageism in their everyday lives. We even inflict these ideas on ourselves because we’ve internalized the ageism that surrounds us.

We need alternatives—birthday cards that CELEBRATE age.

A better, locally-sourced alternative

So—we are looking for Colorado artists who can disrupt the trend of ageist birthday cards. The cards will provide an alternative that celebrates aging, and connects people to the movement to end ageism. We are looking for designs that you would be happy to give to your family and friends, because the cards celebrate the awesome people they are, and yes, that they are having a birthday!

We will be selecting multiple artists to produce the designs. We are looking for different styles (because we have different tastes, right?). You can use mixed media and designs—whatever speaks to you as a celebration of growing older.

Right now we are looking for artists—here’s how to apply.

We will engage up to 20 Colorado artists and compensation is $500 per design. Changing the Narrative will retain rights to the artwork to produce birthday cards and related designs; the artist will also retain rights and can continue to use the designs and produce and sell birthday cards as well—the big idea is that we want anti-ageist birthday cards out there.


Step 1. Watch this video.
Step 2. Fill out this form on or before September 28, 2020.

Our team will use your answers and the artwork examples you provide to select up to 20 artists. We will notify those selected by the end of the day on October 2, 2020.

If selected, we’ll send you a short scope of work that includes the dimensions and format, a release giving us permission to use the design for the birthday cards and various promotional products, the payment amount, and the timeline; we’ll ask for the signed scope back by the end of the day on October 5, 2020. We will ask you to produce the design by October 19, 2020, and allow for one round of revisions.


Share this with someone who is. We can end ageism. Together.