Quite an adventure: lessons from digital arts projects with older people
This short report summarises the findings of an evaluation of the Digital Arts and Creative Ageing (DACA) Programme, funded by the Baring Foundation and the Nominet Trust (now ‘Social Tech Trust’). The evaluation was carried out by Imogen Blood, Lorna Easterbrook, and Mark Robinson, of Imogen Blood & Associates and focused on how the use of digital technology in five arts projects impacted on older people, creative engagement, business models, partnerships, and attitudes towards ageing.
I have always embraced the computer age as much as I possibly can, not wishing to be ‘left behind’ but have never actually interacted with digital images before.
Quite an adventure and keen to embrace something new. Although I have played with my granddaughter on WE [Wii].
(Online survey respondent aged in their 70s)
Through the Digital Arts and Creative Ageing (DACA) Programme, Nominet Trust (now ‘Social Tech Trust’) and The Baring Foundation jointly funded five projects to a maximum of £90,000 each.
The DACA programme built on and set out to explore the findings of two previous reports exploring this topic which were produced by the Baring Foundation: Digital arts and older people (2012) and Technically older (2015). For the Baring Foundation, the DACA project is part of a decade-long arts and older people programme.
The projects took place between December 2016 and October 2018 and used digital technology in different ways to engage, promote, create, and share arts and cultural experiences with and by older people (for funding purposes, defined at application as those aged 65 and over). They were:
64 Million Artists. Using existing digital platforms to facilitate and share ‘everyday creativity.
FabLab Belfast: Digital Makers. Hosting designated sessions for older people at the FabLab Belfast, based at Ashton Community Trust.
City Arts. Developing an app to promote virtual access to arts and cultural venues.
Ladder to the Moon. Developing an online tool to promote and record creative engagement in care homes.
Moving Memory. Refining a portable digital kit that facilitates movement-based performance projects.
Photo: © Simon Richardson for BeeeCreative: Dance Re:Ignite on tour with Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company.