£200,000 initiative to transform access to arts for people living with dementia
We have teamed up with cultural venues across the North East for a £200,000 initiative helping transform access to arts for people living with dementia.
Our inclusive project offers friendly and creative sessions for older people with dementia, long-term health conditions and their carers.
Douglas Hunter, director of creative ageing charity Equal Arts, said: “We’ve been working with older people for 30 years and felt there was an ideal opportunity to encourage arts venues in the North East to widen their offer for people with dementia.
“Traditionally memory-based activities are offered to people living with dementia, a memory-related illness, and this can cause anxiety in some. “These creative sessions are inclusive, friendly and focus instead more on people’s imagination and ideas.
“This initiative is a huge step forward for the North East in terms of providing arts provision for people with dementia and those with health conditions such as hearing loss and Alzheimer’s.”
During the initiative those attending the weekly sessions at galleries and cultural venues will get to explore their creativity with artists.
Funded largely by Comic Relief and Arts Council England, the series of day services will include Creative Age at BALTIC, helping make the arts and creativity more accessible to people living with dementia.
It’s the first time the gallery has provided day services for those living with dementia in Tyne and Wear.
Sarah Bradbury, Community Programmer BALTIC said: “We are really excited to be at the forefront of cultural venues widening their offer to support people living with dementia through access to contemporary art and learning new skills.”
Equal Arts will roll the project out creating dementia-friendly arts sessions at various cultural venues including The Maltings in Berwick and the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.
Erin Rolfe, Education Officer at mima, said: ‘We’re really keen to work with Equal Arts on such a worthy and inclusive project. Our sessions will involve working with artists in developing activities that respond to the collection the exhibitions and the building as a whole.”
Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive of ARC, added: “Creative Age is a fantastic project and we are delighted to be one of the venues leading the way for friendly, open, creative sessions for people living with early-stage dementia.”
The initiative will culminate in a region-wide Creative Age Challenge with participating groups staging a sponsored creative challenge of their choice during a week of awareness.
Anyone wanting to find out more or to register their interest in attending the sessions can ring Equal Arts on 0191 477 5775 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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