As people live for longer societies need to adapt. Creativity is key to adapting. We celebrate aging through various activities, programmes and festivals whose culture gently questions expectations of aging.
Our Festival series, for example, showcases the creativity of older people. Here you can encounter world famous older artists alongside those starting to express their lifetime’s experience.
Celebrations bring people and organizations together. Challenging subjects addressed through entertainment become easier to engage with. Our festivals and events offer places for collective encounter.
Around the world older people are becoming a larger percentage of the total population. We are living longer and healthier. In The United States for example, the population aged 65 and over is expected to double in size within the next 25 years. By 2030, almost 1 out of every 5 Americans, 72 million people, will be 65 years or older. The fastest growing segment of the UK population is the age group 85 and older. What kind of old are they going to be?
Every May in the Republic of Ireland approximately one quarter of the country’s over 65 year olds celebrate the fact that they’re growing older with the annual Bealtaine Festival, Ireland’s groundbreaking “celebration of creativity as we age”. Similar events in England, Scotland, Wales, The Netherlands, Australia and Singapore gently questions expectations of old age. Festive enthusiasm overcomes threshold hesitation for individuals and organizations. Challenging subjects addressed through entertainment become easier to engage with.
Celebrations makes the issues of aging public. The scale of the festival brings it into contact with every walk of life. Collaboration attracts diverse resources and is at the heart of the festival’s ethos of inclusion. It offers fertile common ground for seeding new approaches to aging.
Creative Aging International is building on these models. We work creatively with companies, organizations and individuals worldwide developing innovative programs tailored to place and bringing together best practice for thought leadership. Our work transforms for the better how we view and approach aging – as individuals, as artists, as companies, as governments and as societies.
Establish a product that has a profound and visible impact on the popular understanding of aging and arts practice at national and local level.
Enrich the experience of aging by creating an outlet for social connections and enhanced social relationships.
Improve feelings of well-being, psychological outlook and morale amongst participants through the festival programme.
Nurture social cohesion and social capital. Our leadership has achieved this in Ireland. Our model is proven. Can its momentum be continued in other countries?
We seek to partner with organizations invested in improving the quality of life for older people in their country. In America and the UK for instance we look for seed capital or developmental partners for a transformational program:
We are also developing shows and participatory programmes which will work in tandem with existing festivals and within the framework of other organisations.
As the global population ages older audiences will emerge as a dynamic social force seeking arts, entertainment and cultural projects addressing their issues and concerns. This initiative provides the experiences they will seek.
Demographic and socioeconomic trends remind us of the need for creative thinking across public policy issues from health and pensions to housing. Responses are challenged by stereotyping, systemic challenge, scale and fear of our own aging.
We can change this story.
By bringing all key influencers on ageing and culture together and adopting porous structures of networking and collaboration the festival will showcase what a vibrant future with an increased older population looks and feels like. Rather than solve the “problem” of an ageing population it promotes those qualities which help us age well.
Our project is a social enterprise in which income from entertainment reduces reliance on philanthropy over time.
We are developing a number of models and prototypes specific to place and context. Then using this tailored approach across a number of countries. We will deliver on our social ambitions, entertainment goals and revenue targets. Usually in our models philanthropic investment in the start up period enables a project that becomes self-financing over four years.
They are developed to achieve independence from title sponsorship enabling the involvement of multiple agencies.
We’re creating a valuable and accessible focal point for wider engagement between stakeholders and constituent audiences.
For example, with revenue generating ticketed events on week-nights and at weekends, auxiliary programming, discussion programs, tea dances and music events the temporary Festival site offers several strands of ticket income in addition to café and bar sales, music video and broadcast, hires, concessions and merchandise.
Programming offers free events alongside ticketed. It is designed to encourage engagement and promote values.
Income is reinvested in the project as it develops. And that’s just where we start.
We bring the fun and entrepreneurial spirit of the entertainment industry to a social development agenda.
Why not invest in taking care of the older you?
Isn’t it time you began to enjoy growing older?
To find out more, please contact Bea or Dominic for more information here.