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Bolder and Wiser - older people and culture

An ageing society will and should challenge everything.One in three of us is now over 50. There are now more people over 65 than under 16. The fastest growing age group is people over 80. Our older population is becoming more diverse

What does this mean for the arts and heritage sector?

Our symposium on UK Older People's Day 2009 explored what an ageing population means to cultural organisations and how engaging with older audiences can be inspirational.

Arrow indicating free resources
Download our Resource Pack to find key facts and figures, policy contexts, useful organisations and further reading to help you in your thinking about how older people can engage with the arts.

You can also watch videos on of the keynote speakers:

Anne Torreggiani, Chief Executive, Audiences London
(1 video)
Brian Groombridge, Professor Emeritus of Adult Education, University of London
(1 video)
Fiona Ross, Director of Creative Learning, Sadler's Wells
(4 videos)
David Cutler, Director, Baring Foundation
(2 videos)
Susan Langford, Director, Magic Me
(3 videos)

Breakout contributors included:

Finding an older audience - The Albany, Entelechy Arts and The Capital Age Festival
How do you find your potential older audiences, and once you have how do you appeal and communicate with them?
Perfecting the visitor experience - Access to Art with The National Gallery
What makes the perfect visit? What are the essentials and what are the extras from a visitor perspective? And how can you facilitate this in your work?
The project behind the portrait - the National Portrait Gallery with Sutton House, National Trust
What's the real story of a project? What were the challenges along the way?  And how do they help you to improve your practice and your capacity to be a good partner? 
Enabling Exchange - Age Exchange
What is reminiscence work and how can it be used artistically and intergenerationally?
Supporting neighbourhoods - Building Exploratory
How do you enable and sustain a committed group?   How do you create ownership without overloading on responsibility? And how do you attract new members and supporters?
Sharing Learning - University of the Third Age with Museum of London
Learn how to engage with the U3A to get that vital project off the ground when funding is tight.

We've also added posts on our blog referencing research and cultural programmes about older audiences.

If you'd like to know more about the symposium or about our work around older audiences click here or contact Helen Ball, Head of Engagement Services - ,


  • Bolder and Wiser Resource Pack
    Filesize: 1.27mb