Older People and the arts

Tristram KentonI’m researching this topic right now.  Thinking particularly about how older people are engaging with the arts in London, what stops them, what motivates them and how we as arts organisations can make sure we’re listening to our older audiences, visitors and participants.   We’ll be bringing together people with experience in this field and a wealth of related information on 1st October at our event at NCVO in London. In the run up I’ll be posting stories, research, and resources here.

Inevitably any thinking about older people leads you into discussions about the impacts of the increasingly aging population, health, retirement, age prejudice and more.  What I’m seeing is that the more artists and organisations are prepared to think about these issues the more successfully they are in creating meaninful arts with and for older people.

If this is an area you’d like to develop or think about, here are 2 resources you should know about.

  1. The Arts and Aging Toolkit, is a truly helpful and comprehensive resource from the US National Center for Creative Aging.  Use it both to help make the case for arts and older people work and to plan your own projects.
  2. The Baring Foundation, will be funding 5 million pounds of core costs grants over 3 years to arts organisations in the UK working with older people.  First grants will be awarded in June 2010, with a mapping document of current practice due for release in September this year.  Check the link for full details.

More soon…   any comments, info appreciated

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