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The Age of Creativity Festival is coming

Published on 19 September 2018 03:25 PM

Age of Creativity Festival‘What makes life worth living?’ It’s the question posed to older people by Age UK’s Index of Wellbeing in Later Life, and according to its findings, creative and cultural participation is high on the list of answers.

As a result, the Age of Creativity Festival is more important than ever. But what is it? Farrell Curran, Head of Cultural Partnerships at Age UK Oxfordshire, explains.

What is the Age of Creativity Festival?

“The Age of Creativity Festival is a celebration across England of older people – anyone over 50, which is half the population – taking part in creative and cultural activities, as audience members, participants, volunteers and artists in their own right,” says Farrell. “It’s all about celebrating taking part in activities, producing amazing work and watching fantastic performances. We do it because it’s fun but also because there are significant benefits.”

The festival, which takes place between 1-14 October, is a part of a much wider project to try to embed creative and cultural participation across Age UKs across England. This project has been running for two years, with Age UK Oxfordshire and Age UK, the national charity, working in partnership.

It’s in response to the Age UK Index of Wellbeing in Later Life, which identified creative and cultural participation as the number one thing that older people feel has a positive impact on their wellbeing.

According to our summary, ‘social and civic participation and creative and cultural participation are all important, together making up almost 1/8th of total wellbeing in later life. This suggests that active engagement with the world around you is hugely important to us all, whether you go to the opera or participate in a community group.’


The theme for this year’s festival is ‘partnership’ because, as Farrell suggests, “that’s how the best projects are developed.” An eclectic mix of art forms, including literature, music and theatre, will bring that theme to life.

How can people get involved?

“If people are running activities themselves that are creative and suitable for older people, then we can support that by putting it on a national programme, for free, that other people can access,” says Farrell. “And we can support them through the Age of Creativity website, which has a network page on which they can connect up with other professionals who are delivering creative activities for older people.”

There are opportunities for everyone, says Farrell, no matter how mobile. “A lot of what’s in our programme are specialist activities for older people who couldn’t necessarily just walk into their local arts centre and take part, so it’s reaching out to new audiences.”

Measuring wellbeing in later life

Our Index of Wellbeing in Later Life is a new way to measure this, using rich data sources and state-of-the-art statistical techniques.

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Last updated: Dec 19 2018

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