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mima to bring art to the lives of those living with dementia

17 September 2015

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) has partnered up with Gateshead charity Equal Arts, as part of a £96,000 initiative to bring art and creativity to those living with dementia across Teesside.

Creative Age is a pioneering 18 month scheme which launches next month in mima and other cultural venues across the North East, including Arc in Stockton and Baltic in Gateshead.

The inclusive project will use art and craft to enrich the lives of older people with dementia and other long-term health conditions, as well as their carers. The sessions will use and respond to work in mima’s collection, inspiring discussion and encouraging the use of imagination.

Erin Rolfe, mima Education Officer, said: “We’re really keen to work with Equal Arts on such a worthy and inclusive project. Our sessions will involve working with artists in developing activities that respond to the collection, the exhibitions and the building as a whole.”

Douglas Hunter, Director of Equal Arts, said: “Traditionally, memory-based activities are offered to people living with dementia, a memory-related illness, and this can cause anxiety in some. Our sessions focus more on people’s imagination and ideas.

“This initiative is a huge step forward for the North East in terms of providing arts provision for people with dementia and those with health conditions such as hearing loss and Alzheimer’s.”

During the weekly Creative Age sessions, approximately 15 participants will work with artists to explore their creativity as part of smaller art and craft projects before culminating in a region-wide sponsored creative challenge to round off the programme.

Sessions start 8 October and will run every Thursday, between 1.00pm – 3.00pm. Anyone wanting to find out more or to register their interest in participating, please call Equal Arts on 0191 477 5775 or email information@equalarts.org.uk.

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