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28 February 2017

First ‘Celebrating age’ grants made in joint Arts Council England and Baring Foundation programme

Organisations from across England have received new funding for projects involving partnerships between arts and older people's organisations.

Research shows both that participation in arts and culture falls dramatically among those over 75, even though participation in creative and cultural activities is a crucial factor in ensuring older people’s wellbeing.

This programme is designed to work with a range of organisations to increase engagement by older people in arts and cultural activities, in particular through making arts and cultural spaces more open and welcoming for older people, and by taking arts and culture to places where they may find it easier to engage.

Examples of projects that will be funded through Celebrating Age include:

Rural Arts will use £89,635 to increase the participation of people ages over 75 in its ON Tour and Courthouse creative programmes. The organisation aims to use the outcomes of this project to develop a model of delivering Arts and Culture – On Prescription by embedding it in clinical healthcare plans.

Wiltshire Partnership will use an award of £99,931 to offer older people in Wiltshire the opportunity to see live performances in libraries and community centres and take part in music, dance and visual arts activities. The partnership will develop the programme of work in consultation with groups of older people living in the communities and the charities already working with these groups, to make sure the offer is relevant and meaningful.

Wolverhampton Art Gallery will use this £90,800 investment to work with Choices Housing Association, Staffordshire Arts Services and Creative Health (Arts and Health) CIC to produce Still Lively. This two-year programme of visual art activities, exhibitions and events will be created by and with older people. The Gallery and Shire Living Schemes in Staffordshire will become a place to celebrate, create and share their artwork, stories and ideas, inspiring those taking part as well as other visitors.

The Albany Arts Centre in Deptford has been awarded £98,665 for its project with Entelechy Arts who have over 20 years’ experience working with older people. The partnership will build on the highly successful Meet Me at the Albany programme, taking activities out to six sheltered housing sites across Lewisham, as part of the Albany’s ongoing partnership with social housing provider Lewisham Homes. It will develop nationally replicable ways to place great art at the heart of community initiatives, and creatively engage many of the area’s oldest and most marginalised residents.

Other successful applicants were Cubitt Artists Ltd (London), £91,000; Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Theatre Trust Limited (Midlands), £99,975; Artcore (Midlands), £100,000; City Arts Nottingham Ltd (Midlands), £97,200; Pavilion (North), £62,249; Hoot Creative Arts (North), £99,971; mima (North), £90,000; Leeds Theatre Trust Limited (North), £99,950; The Posh Club (South East), £99,173; Farnham Maltings Association Ltd (South East), £62,388; Independent Arts (South West), £85,659; and Live Theatre Winchester Trust, (South West), £75,560.

The Baring Foundation has supported work in the arts with older people since 2010. This is the first funding round of the Celebrating Age programme.