What we do
Creative ageing charity Equal Arts developed Creative Age to support cultural and arts venues to widen their offerings for people living with dementia and long-term conditions. Participants engage with ‘in the moment’ creative practice inspired by the collections, exhibitions and programme of organisations. Led by the interests of Creative Age participants, each venue develops its own Creative Age Challenge helping to engage the community and raise sponsorship for continued creative programmes. Creative Age together with Creative Age Challenge focus on co-creativity, developing new audiences and providing older people with the opportunity to explore group ownership and decision-making. The project’s 18-month pilot ran at seven cultural venues across Cumbria and the North East including BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, the National Glass Centre in Sunderland and Abbot Hall in the Lake District. Each venue worked with dementia-focused agencies to support appropriate referrals. Partners included Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Action Alliance. A Northumbria University evaluation demonstrated that attending Creative Age sessions added positively to the social and emotional wellbeing of participants. It highlighted the benefits of challenge events which provided entrepreneurial community focal points, affording participants opportunities for reflection, celebration and intergenerational cross-organisational working.