‘My Shout’ to challenge ageism and support greater inclusivity thanks to £62,338 of National Lottery funding from the Arts Council

Farnham Maltings is one of 16 organisations to receive funding from the National Lottery today as the Arts Council announces successful applicants to the Celebrating Age Programme – a total of £1.4 million has been awarded in what is the first of two rounds.

Celebrating Age is a £3million programme jointly funded by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation. It was developed in response to figures from the Taking Part Survey, which show that participation in arts and culture falls dramatically over the age of 75.

The announcement follows new research published this February by Age UK, which found that taking part in ‘creative activities’ such as the arts had the most direct influence in improving a person’s wellbeing in later life. The activities that older people took part in included dancing, playing a musical instrument, visiting museums, photography, singing, painting and writing.

Celebrating Age will support arts and cultural organisations to develop dedicated, high-quality programmes of activity focused on engaging older people. The work supported by Celebrating Age will be created by, for and with older people, placing them at the heart of the activity.

Farnham Maltings, ‘My Shout’, £62,338
With the support of £62,338 from the Arts Council, Farnham Maltings ‘My Shout’ will put older people in the creative driving seat. This new project will bring older people together with professional artists – including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures – to develop four new art works across theatre, dance, film and sculpture that celebrate long lives. ‘My Shout’ has the ambition to challenge ageism, overcome assumptions around growing old and encourage greater inclusivity.

This project builds on Farnham Maltings ‘Arts & Health’ project, which was established in 2013 to ensure older people have the opportunity to engage with the arts.

Gavin Stride, Director of Farnham Maltings, said: “We are delighted to be granted this support from Arts Council England. It enables us to push on with our commitment to provide a full programme of regular cultural events & workshops for the older members of our community. We look forward to working with our many resident arts & crafts specialists including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Re:Bourne Dance Company to expand the inclusivity of the Arts & Health programme.”

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “Arts and culture are there for everyone, whether you are young, old or anything in between. Creativity can have such an important influence on many aspects of our lives, including our wellbeing. We’re delighted to be able to support Farnham Malting’s ‘My Shout’, not just for the opportunities to engage with the arts, but also for the fact that it will be another voice that supports greater inclusivity for older people – particularly those at risk of isolation.”

For more information about Farnham Maltings Arts & Health programme, please visit: https://farnhammaltings.com/artsandhealth/

For more information about Celebrating Age and the full list of successful applicants, please visit: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/celebrating-age

For more information about The Wellbeing in Later Life Index, please visit: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/professional-resources-home/research/reports/health-wellbeing/wellbeing-research/

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