City Arts has been awarded £97,200 to challenge perceptions of ageing and dementia through a programme of arts and cultural events that will bring older and young people together.

Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation are investing the money as part of their National Lottery-funded Celebrating Age programme.  Celebrating Age was developed in response to figures from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Taking Part Survey which show that participation in arts and culture falls off over the age of 75.

With strategic support from Nottingham City Council, we will run two new city-wide projects for older people and those living with dementia: Words of Wisdom and Classical Fusion. Nottingham City Council will work to ensure that opportunities to engage with these projects are open to as many older people as possible.

In partnership with Writing East Midlands and the UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature team, Words of Wisdom will bring older and young people together to be inspired by the writers they love. Events and workshops will take place at cultural venues, libraries, memory cafes, Age UK venues, day centres, hospices, care homes and lunch clubs.

City Arts will work with the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall to produce Classical Fusion. Together they will commission artists to work with older people to create a new performance featuring music and dance. The final piece will premiere at the venue before being showcased in Nottingham as part of the Age Friendly Cities older people’s celebration in 2020.

Kate Duncan, Creative Programme Manager at City Arts, said: “As we get older we sometimes find ourselves becoming isolated, lonely and cut off from the cultural life of our community. This vital investment will help City Arts work towards ensuring every older person can access the great art and culture Nottingham has to offer.”

Sharon Scaniglia, Principal Arts officer at Nottingham City Council said: “this is fantastic news and the project will demonstrate how we can work collectively to address the health and wellbeing of our older people through the arts, giving them a voice and allowing them to contribute to society.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “City Arts already does great work helping to overcome social isolation for older people in Nottinghamshire and beyond. It will be great to see this latest investment supporting the team to use creativity as a bridge between generations, as part of what promises to be a great line-up of events and performances.”