About the programme
The Celebrating Age partnership between the Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation has run two open rounds (2017 and 2018), and so far funded 32 number of projects, with projects across art forms from dance, to theatre to music to spoken word, and in both rural and urban areas.
A key principle of this funding is that arts organisations must work in partnership with a non-arts organisation in order to take arts and culture into everyday places where older people may find it easier to engage. Productive partnerships have been formed with, for example, libraries and housing associations.
About the projects
Three examples of many great ones include:
The ‘Time and Tide’ project is a collaboration between Independent Arts with Southern Housing group as a community partner. Supported by professional artists, older people have produced works of art from sculpture to tapestry, drawing on the local history and landscape of the island.
Leeds Playhouse (formerly West Yorkshire Playhouse)
In early 2018, the Playhouse ran a ‘festival of dementia and hope’ called Every Third Minute. The festival programme was co-produced by a group of curators which included five people living with dementia and four of their supporters. The festival involved professional productions and new commissions about dementia, performances co-produced with people living with dementia, and a tour of care homes.
Every Third Minute won a National Dementia Care Award 2018.
Ideas Test are leading on a choir and community project called Sea Folk Sing. In its first year, it focused on the theme of reconciliation to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. Local composer, Emily Peasgood, co-composed a new piece of music called Never Again based on participant stories, which was sung at various locations in November 2018 including the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, in and around Strood Station and on the train from Sittingbourne to Sheerness.
Feedback from participants
You forget that you’re never too old to stop learning.
Participant, Independent Arts, Isle of Wight
This has really enriched my life! I used to sit at home a lot, but now I see my friends. I love to be sociable!
Participant, Stratford Arts Social at Stratford Circus, East London
Something seems to have shifted in me during the sessions and has given me a completely different outlook… I can’t explain how or why this happened.
Participant, Moving Memory, Kent
It takes me away from the four walls of the flat and gives me something to look forward to.
Participant, Still Lively visual arts hub, Wolverhampton Art Gallery