THREE major Liverpool institutions have been successful in receiving £100k funding from Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation for a new 3-year initiative to make creative spaces more welcoming for older adults.
Art.Full is a Liverpool City Region-wide arts programme which positions older people as active producers and decision makers in their own creative journey. Through a partnership between FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Open Eye Gallery and Happy Older People (led by National Museums Liverpool) the project will form a peer-led creative community for older adults, with the ability to shape the city’s cultural offer.
Jane Beardsworth, Director North, Arts Council England, said: “Art.Full is a great illustration of why we developed our Celebrating Age programme. Engagement in creative projects is a great way to combat social isolation and increase community involvement. It will give people who are over 60 across Merseyside the opportunity to determine their own creative journeys. I’m delighted that we have funded this project and I look forward to seeing how it develops.”
Each partner has a key role to play: FACT will create a programme designed to attract older audiences to the gallery, to develop a better understanding of what accessibility means. At Open Eye Gallery, in collaboration with key partners, curators will work with older people across Merseyside to demystify the commissioning process by co-authoring new artworks.
Meanwhile, HOP will work to engage older people in Liverpool’s wider cultural offer, creating a long-lasting, impactful legacy to improve engagement with over 60s. The programme will also support other cultural spaces and organisations to become more open, positive and welcoming places for older people.
Mike Stubbs, Director and CEO, FACT said: “FACT understands the importance of making art accessible to people of all ages, particularly older generations who may feel alienated by new technologies. Art.Full puts engagement and accessibility at the heart of the gallery.”
Carol Rogers, Executive Director, Education & Visitors, National Museums Liverpool said: “We are delighted to be part of Art.Full, a Liverpool City Region-wide arts programme between FACT, Open Eye Gallery and National Museums Liverpool, creating a shared ambition to support and empower older people in taking ownership of the arts in their region. Support from ACE and Baring Foundation is gratefully welcomed and will be invaluable in helping us contribute to increasing the number of older people being reached, and engage with, the regions amazing arts and cultural offer through the Happy Older People Network.”
The full programme and new methodology learned from the project, will be shared widely and tour across the North West.