Projects leading the way internationally
OUR projects across Tyne and Wear are being held up internationally as a leading example of how arts and creativity can benefit older people.
Equal Arts director Alice Thwaite travelled to Tokyo with the British Council to share with Japanese organisations how creative initiatives in the North East are supporting older people and those living with dementia.
For more than 30 years the charity in Gateshead has been exploring the impact of arts on wellbeing by providing creative opportunities with older people and training for care staff across the region.
Recent projects include Meet Me @ The National Glass Centre, a weekly session for people living with dementia and their carers and HenPower, the hugely successful project that brings hens and related creative activities into care settings.
Equal Arts is also part of a national research project on Dementia and Imagination, where artists are delivering projects with residents in care settings exploring the impact of visual arts on wellbeing.
Alice said: “It was fantastic to be able to share the work we are doing here in the region on an international level and alongside other leading arts organisations in the UK making a real difference in the field of creative ageing. “Japan is hosting the Olympics in 2020 and they are thinking about the Cultural Olympiad being a focus for creative ageing.
“They have the opportunity to change the perception of ageing from being a problem to showing how exciting a time it can be, to celebrate ageing and offer new programmes and interests to their older population. Japan is set to have 40% of its population estimated to be over 65-years-old by 2050.
“It was hugely inspiring for us to hear from artists and theatre companies about their work while giving Japanese organisations the opportunity to see how those interested in this area are starting to network here in the UK.”
Alongside Equal Arts the UK delegation of arts organisations included the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Arts for Health Cornwall, Luminate and National Museums Liverpool and Sadler’s Wells.
The UK delegation was funded by the British Council, the Baring Foundation and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Image copyright: British Council, photograhy by Kenichi Aikawa
Share this Article
Please help us fund more projectsDonate