Magic Me brings generations together through creativity to build stronger, more connected communities. Projects are led by freelance creative artists: musicians, dancers, photographers, writers and drama specialists. Activities stimulate conversation and exchange of ideas. Participants are often diverse in culture and faith as well as age group.
This came at the perfect time. I had just moved in and felt unsettled. This has helped me feel settled. You have fun when you’re here with the kids, but then it enthuses your whole day.
Older Person, Extra Care Scheme
Arts & Ages is Magic Me’s ambitious, three-year programme, nurturing partnerships between primary schools and groups of older people in Tower Hamlets through the arts. By working together over a sustained period, Magic Me will support partners to establish a long-lasting relationship and gain the practical understanding and skills to continue bringing older and younger people together creatively.
Arts & Ages will connect individuals and organisations, fostering greater understanding and forging links across communities. Younger and older people will come together to create artworks that reflect what they have to say, and challenge perceptions of who they are, becoming active citizens in their communities.
Magic Me will support schools and older people’s venues to build relationships with a lasting legacy. Over three years, staff will gain an understanding of intergenerational work, and the confidence and skills to bring generations together at their venue.
When we first came they looked at us like we were strangers but they were really nice to us and now it’s like they’ve known us forever.
By providing expertise, artist support and high quality arts provision, Magic Me will help schools and older people’s venues find ways to connect and collaborate for the mutual benefit of children and older people.
Magic Me’s intergenerational work is founded on the belief that everyone can be creative at any stage of life, and ensures that all participants have equal access to themes and activities.
We bring younger and older people together as equal partners with a common purpose. Activities are designed to work better when both groups work together.
Recognising and accepting diversity within both age groups, we celebrate differences and commonalities, enabling older and younger people to develop meaningful relationships.
WHY TAKE PART?
Intergenerational arts improve wellbeing, social interactions, communication and collaboration skills and creative thinking. Through benefitting children and older people, Arts & Ages contributes to wider agendas, complementing and enriching curriculums and activity programmes.
- Children have increased wellbeing and develop social and communication skills
- Children meet groups of older people they wouldn’t usually encounter
- Children present creative work and ideas, sharing their talents and building confidence and self-esteem
- Children work with professional artists, developing creative skills and an understanding of creative careers
- Staff gain understanding and confidence in intergenerational work, and the skills and knowledge needed to welcome groups of older people into the school
- Staff access professional development opportunities through working with Magic Me staff and artists
- Older people have increased wellbeing and feel engaged with the local community, combatting loneliness and social isolation
- Older people connect with other adults in their accommodation or venue
- Older people present creative work and ideas, sharing their talents and building confidence and self-esteem
- Managers and Activities Coordinators gain an understanding of intergenerational work, the skills needed to welcome groups of children into their venue and confidence to build intergenerational activities into their programmes
- New people are invited into care homes, extra care schemes and sheltered housing, “bringing motivation, energy and life” (Extra Care Scheme Manager)
- Talking and creating with a different generation challenges ageist attitudes and misconceptions
- Anyone, from 8 to 88+, can learn skills and experience something new
- People have fun!
Artists, Project Team, Volunteers
Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Headteachers
Older People’s Partners
• Care Homes & Extra Care Schemes (Managers, Activities Coordinators)
• Housing Associations (Head Office and local scheme managers)
• Community Centres
Magic Me staff and artists take the lead in creating the relationship between schools and their local partner organisations for older people
Magic Me will deliver a high quality arts project over one term. Artists work with a whole class and local older people to create a performance, exhibition or celebration
Between projects partners commit to a group of older and young people meeting up once a term and the relationship continues to grow and flourish. Magic Me will help partners stay connected
With the relationship established, partners take on more responsibility for setting up the year’s activities but Magic Me are still on hand to facilitate and support
Partners choose how their intergenerational relationship develops. Partnerships can develop their own style and processes. Magic Me will help develop ideas and artists will deliver shorter projects or events, designed in collaboration with partners.
The partners confidently lead on an intergenerational activity or event, led by ideas that have come from younger and older people along the way, and Magic Me continues to support them.
Photo above from Constellations by lead artist Liane Harris. Photo in featured image from Constellations by photographer Holly Falconer.