Research and development is an important part of Magic Me’s practice, enabling us to run high quality projects and to understand their impact.
Over the years we have used research projects to focus on particular aspects of intergenerational arts work. For example how to design and run activities with older people with dementia, or elders from the Bangladeshi community. Research has been done in partnership with individual specialists or academics, with expertise in applied arts or care of older people.
We share our findings widely through publishing reports, providing bespoke training and conference presentations.
Current research programme
At The Women’s Library
This year’s collaborative project with the Library and Mulberry School for Girls will be our 10th annual project for young and older women in East London. Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey, Queen Mary, University of London, is capturing the learning and discoveries made throughout the ten projects Magic Me has run at the Library with a research report to be launched on November 7th in East London. The key research questions are:
- What is particular about working with women-only intergenerational groups?
- What are the possibilities offered through developing intergenerational practice in a library or heritage venue?
- How can intergenerational arts work actively involve audiences?
- How do different artforms facilitate relationship building between individuals and groups?
Detail and Daring:
Research into the art and the craft of intergenerational work
By Sue Mayo,with Charlotte O’Dair and Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey is a research report that explores the beauty and challenges of arts projects with young and older people, in particular Magic Me’s Weekend at Wilton’s in partnership with Duckie, January - May 2012.
We know that just putting a group of young people in a room with a group of older people is not enough – everyone needs preparation before they meet, and a structure to work within. This report explores how different artforms – photography, dance, music and puppetry – can support groups in building relationships with one another in different ways. Project artists, participants and teachers contributed to the research, launched on November 14th witha seminar at Clifford Chance LLP.
The Our Generations report has been downloaded by over 10,000 people since its publication in 2009. The Our Generations programme, 2006-09, involved over a thousand people in intergenerational projects in diverse settings across Tower Hamlets – from the library to the park, youth clubs to people’s front rooms. The aim was to compare the benefits and practicalities of intergenerational projects with a range of people and partners.
An outline of the activities by Kathryn Gilfoy, Programme Manager, is followed by the findings of Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey, External Assessor.
Continuing Professional Development 2004 - 06
Very few artists who join Magic Me have had training in using their artforms with intergenerational groups. This programme of 11 CPD days was designed to provide training for our freelance pool, and also, with them, to analyse what it takes to design, run and evaluate projects. Learning continues to inspire our current practice and ongoing CPD activities.
Sharing the Experience
Our first research project explored diverse intergenerational arts projects in many settings, with diverse communities: Somali and Bangladeshi elders, and older people with dementia and living in care homes. Sharing the Experience outlines the practicalities and principles of bringing generations together through arts practice, which will apply whatever the setting. Buy your copy now.