Mass artistic challenge launching in the North East will champion the importance of creativity for those living with dementia.
This June marks the launch of Creative Age Challenge, an innovative campaign raising awareness and funds for dementia-friendly creative opportunities.
We'd love you to get creative and get involved by taking part in our 100 Word Story Chain Challenge from June 2.
Simply visit equalarts.org.uk and develop the digital story. All entries will be subject to approval and will be edited into a final text.
The story will be started off by older people living with dementia who take part in our Creative Age sessions alongside writer David Napthine.
Piloted in 2017, Creative Age Challenge saw cultural venues and community groups design wearable glass, sketch 318 postcards, model 200 terracotta figures, and knit 100 sheep.
Kate Parkin, our project lead, said: "We’re hoping to grow Creative Age Challenge to cultural venues across Europe creating a social movement celebrating creativity in dementia and the community. We’ve got a real mix of venues taking part from Ullapool across to Italy.
“It would be fantastic to create a piece of writing that has online contributions from people aged four to 94.
“At our regular Creative Age sessions, we see the benefits that exploring their imaginations can bring to those involved. It’s not about remembering but about living in the moment and celebrating abilities.”
Anne Walton regularly attended Creative Age at the Arts Centre Washington with her husband Reg after he received a dementia diagnosis.
She said: “We are 12 ordinary people brought together by dementia. It was for my husband and me an opportunity to be able to spend a bit of time together on an equal footing, being creative, concentrating and having fun. Not looking back, not looking forward just being in the here and now.”
During June Creative Age participants, schoolchildren and residents from Wood Green in Gateshead will create their own challenge in response to the exhibition Our Kisses are Petals, by Turner Prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid.
Lubaina, whose exhibition is currently showing at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, said: “Encouraging people to feel part of my work is important to me. I want visitors to feel they are inside the art, bringing it to life. I’m really looking forward to hearing how the groups from Equal Arts respond to the exhibition.”
Among those pledging to take on Creative Age Challenge 2018 are the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle, Arts Centre Washington, the Marino Marini Museum, Florentine Museum and Institute of Prehistory in Florence, Italy, The Customs House in South Shields, An Talla Solais (Ullapool Visual Arts) in Ullapool, Chichester Festival Theatre, Lakeland Arts’ Abbott Hall in Kendal and Battle Hill Primary School in Newcastle.
People are invited to take part in Creative Age Challenge at Hatton Gallery in Newcastle on June 7 between 2pm and 4pm.
Posy Jowett, participation co-ordinator at Arts Centre Washington, added: “We host two Creative Age groups made up of warm and inspiring people whose talents should be celebrated. Our challenges will champion their work, aiming to spread the messages of Creative Age to our local communities.”
To take part in the story chain challenge or to find out more about Creative Age Challenge visit www.equalarts.org.uk