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17 October 2019

Perceptions of creative ageing have been transformed over the past decade

David Cutler
A short opinion survey we conducted with the help of Arts Professional showed that most people feel that the arts sector now gives greater priority to older people than it did ten years ago...

Ten years ago, the Baring Foundation announced its intention to change the focus of its funding from ‘Arts and Refugees’ to ‘Arts and Older People’, and published a mapping study of the state of the field called ‘Ageing Artfully’. Next month, we will publish an independent analysis, by Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt of King’s College London, of what has happened over those ten years in creative ageing in the UK.

Prior to that, we wanted to get a sense of what people working in the arts felt had been happening and commissioned a short opinion survey through ArtsProfessional. The message was one of significant progress made but with more to do.

  • 62% of respondents felt that more arts and culture organisations are seeking to engage old people and 66% felt that they or their organisation now give greater priority to older people.
  • 62% also felt that they and their organisations had adequate expertise to work with older people.


  • 86% felt that older people should be a higher priority for funders.

You can read a response by David Cutler to the survey results in a feature article in Arts Professional.