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Courtyard receives early Christmas present to boost arts for older people
HEREFORD'S Courtyard has received a timely boost before Christmas to continue its development of arts for older people.
Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation have given £250,000 to the Edgar Street centre as part of the pairing's Arts and Older People project.
In partnership with Shaw Healthcare, the Courtyard will set up projects in 32 of Shaw's care homes across the country.
These projects will be led by four arts practitioners who specialise in visual art, theatre, dance and poetry over a three-year period.
Alice Saunders, project co-ordinator at The Courtyard, said: “This is a unique and valuable opportunity for The Courtyard to share and develop our work on a national level working alongside experts within the field.
"Acclaimed dementia poet John Killick, theatre director Liz Postlethwaite, dance artist Diane Amans and visual arts curator Rachel Mortimer will train and mentor 16 practitioners who will work on creative residencies that will capture the imaginations and provide a voice for the older people they will be working alongside.”
Relationships and social interaction will be at the heart of the project, allowing older people to express their ideas, likes, dislikes and opinions throughout the project.
In February this year, The Courtyard became the first arts venue to join the Dementia Action Alliance, establishing the centre as a leader in the development of dementia friendly arts venues and programme a range of activities.
Peter Knott, Midlands area director of Arts Council England, said: “The Courtyard’s approach to providing arts activities for older people and people living with dementia has been inspiring.
"In Herefordshire, the project has reached more than 6,500 people and I am really pleased that with the support of this funding they will be able to continue this good work in other regions.
"The Courtyard has a proven plan to make their work in care homes across the country sustainable and the projects they have planned will help make the quality of life for those individuals and their families much better.”
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