Artists' Residencies in Care Homes Essex

Collaborating and sharing our expertise with four arts companies to challenge pre-conceptions of the arts in care homes

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Artists Residencies in Care Homes shares Magic Me’s expertise in working with Care Homes and challenging pre-conceptions of what arts in care homes looks like with a new round of performing arts companies. 

We are currently collaborating with arts companies Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Fevered Sleep, Gecko and curious directive and four care homes in Essex run by Excelcare UK. The project is funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Working with arts organisations who are at the cutting edge of their art forms and leaders in their field, the project will challenge not just the public’s perception of what ‘old people’ living in care homes want, but also the artists themselves who will be exploring a whole new audience and way of working. Staff and management of the care settings will also gain a greater understanding of what arts can do for their residents and of the hidden talents of the people they care for.

People over 75 are one of the most marginalized groups in terms of arts participation. Ageism is still rife and socially acceptable in a way that other prejudices are not, colouring the way older arts audiences are viewed as less important, not open to new work and even, not ‘on brand’ by some arts organisations. Care homes are the butt of jokes or feared places of last resort, not people’s homes.  Thanks to funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation this project can start to address these prejudices. I passionately believe that just because someone lives in a care home they don’t stop being entitled to high quality arts and culture, or to a participative experience that is more than just something to pass the time.

Susan Langford, Magic Me Director

Find out more about each of our partners here

Residencies will provide a focus for both arts and care organisations in the county and Excelcare will share learning with another 29 care homes that they run in London and the east of England.  Working closely with Essex County Council, Magic Me plans to build a network of arts organisations and practitioners keen to follow the progress of ARCHE both on-line and through jointly promoted events. Our evaluation partners Anglia Ruskin University will highlight learning and best practice in building relationships between arts organisations, artists & care staff: a vital foundation for future innovative arts practice 

Find out more about our work with Essex County Council here and about Anglia Ruskin University’s role in the project here

Find out more about Excelcare here

We’re excited to see how Magic Me helps to deliver new opportunities for engagement in the arts in unusual and new settings. This grant will support Magic Me to extend their Artist Residencies programme, forge new partnerships and build a legacy of improved access to high quality arts for residents. We look forward to supporting the residencies and to learning from the experiences shared as part of this work.

Faiza Khan, Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Featured image for this page is from the Artists’ Residencies in Care Homes Gecko and Lime Court residency. 

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