“The Creative Arts group is a vibrant group of representatives from national to grassroots organisations across a wide range of arts activities. We are brought together by a shared passion for excellent practice and interest in the role of creativity in wellbeing. The variety of voices is crucial for new and innovative ideas to emerge.”
When the group was created in 2014 it was recognised that it could have real potential to be a “hot-house” for new ideas and ways of working to make creative arts mainstream for all. The work could bring positive benefits to older people at whatever stage in their life-course; for policy and decision-makers; organisations providing care services and arts opportunities; as well as families, carers and arts practitioners.
Since then the group has evolved and shifted to stay relevant to the needs of members and responsive to the wider sector. In aiming to support the sector and aiding access to the creative arts we’ve recently started running free skills-based workshops. The basic format invites a couple of guest speakers to present for the first hour and then a networking session over the second hour. Topics covered so far have included fundraising, evaluation methods and intergenerational practice and have all come up as suggestions from the group – so if there is anything you think we should have a workshop on, let us know!
In between each workshop we meet as a smaller organising group to work out what the next session could look like. We recognise that each member of the wider group brings their own perspectives, skills and experience so if you would like to come along and add your voice to the planning stage please do!
We want to be a network which complements other organisations networks and also has an impact on access to creative arts for all older people.
A Message from the Chair
I am delighted to be chairing the Creative Arts and Older People group. Our quarterly workshops, which started in late 2016, have been doing really well and are generally attended by around 40-50 people – so a great opportunity to network! However, we are always open to new ideas and new suggestions for how best to support our focal points listed below so please do get in touch if you would like to get involved.
The focus remains on pursuing an achievable activity that makes a positive impact and a real difference. For us, this currently breaks down into the following elements…
Arts as preventative and beneficial to all throughout their lives including older people during their life course.
To widen opportunities and choices in a full range of arts which older people (as well as others) can decide what they want to get involved in.
To influence decision makers and policy makers so that creative arts for older people become a higher priority and does not fall through the net because it is positioned within arts and culture, health & social care, lifelong learning, leisure and sports, libraries and museums.
To include carers and intergenerational opportunities
To bring together a wide range of people from across the arts and health sectors and to help facilitate opportunities to learn from each other’s experience and promote partnership working.
Negative portrayals of older people are commonplace: the media is largely preoccupied with the assumed cost of ageing, reinforcing a view that older people are dead weight in society - non-productive beneficiaries of state largesse; at the same time, however, they are perceived as well off, and in the eyes of some social commentators responsible for both the housing crisis and youth unemployment. Like any group outside the social mainstream, older people are routinely stereotyped and are the subject of many false assumptions and untruths.