As the Covid 19 crisis continues to unfold, providing support for those in involuntary isolation is becoming a major issue in many countries. Japan is no exception, as its society is ageing at a rate unparalleled anywhere in the world.
In the UK, the birth rate is falling and the population is similarly ageing rapidly. For the last ten years, museums, theatres, halls and other cultural and arts organisations have been working to tackle the issue of the isolation of older people. In collaboration with government, social services, and healthcare professionals, these organisations have developed a range of initiatives to confront this issue within their communities harnessing the power of arts. However, after the first lockdown on 23 March 2020, these initiatives became obsolete. With life turned upside down, organisations were forced to come up with new solutions.
In this forum, David Cutler of the Baring Foundation, who has been promoting creative ageing in the UK for many years, will share how UK arts organisations have responded to the challenges brought by the pandemic. Other speakers include Catherine Cassidy of the Scottish Ballet, Lizzie Hoskin of Manchester Camerata, and Maddy Mills of Entelechy Arts, who will share stories.
This session aims to explore how arts institutions engage and support the wellbeing of the older population who are increasingly isolated due to the pandemic. It will also shed light on what role culture and art play in society.
Date/time: 18:00-19:30 (JST), Thursday 18 March 2021
Organised by: British Council
Participation: The event is free (with Japanese-English simultaneous interpreting).
To participate, please sign up via our online registration form.
Platform: Zoom (a link for accessing the forum will be sent to participants)
David Cutler (Director, Baring Foundation)
Catherine Cassidy (Director of Engagement, Scottish Ballet)
Lizzie Hoskin (Head of Camerata in the Community, Manchester Camerata)
Maddy Mills (Director, Entelechy Arts)
Director, Baring Foundation
David Cutler is Director of the Baring Foundation, one of the UK’s best known independent grant-makers. The Foundation works within a human rights framework to challenge discrimination and disadvantage. Before this David has worked in local and national voluntary organisations devoted to social justice and in local government in London. He has studied at Oxford University and the London School of Economics. He has served on a number of boards including Amnesty International UK and a Commission overseeing relationships between the voluntary sector and the Government. David leads the Foundation’s arts programme which For ten years focussed on creative activities with older people, especially vulnerable older people including lonely and isolated people, people living with dementia and people living in care home. The Foundation worked closely with all four national Arts Councils and the British Council. As well as directly funding arts activities, the Foundation published over forty reports, including a short report on activity in Japan after an artists exchange funded with the British Council and an international report.
Director of Engagement, Scottish Ballet
Catherine Cassidy has over 20 years’ professional experience of using dance in a wide range of community settings, from health to education and reformation. In her 10 years as Director of Engagement at Scottish Ballet, Catherine has ensured that what audiences see and hear on the stage is what they will be participating with in their communities or dance studio. She has led the company to become specialists in dance health. SB Health includes three projects for people living with neurological conditions, including, Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland, dementia-friendly Time to Dance and Elevate for people living with multiple sclerosis. SB Health also includes two projects for young people’s wellbeing, including The Close, for pupils in special unit schools, and Safe to Be Me, a schools project supporting primary 6 pupils to explore themes of identity, respect, acceptance, ethnic and family diversity, and LGBTQ communities. Catherine graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1998 and worked both nationally and internationally as a choreographer, dance artist and producer. Catherine has undertaken the role of Specialist Advisor for the Arts Council of England, Creative Scotland and Imaginate Children’s Festival.
Head of Camerata in the Community, Manchester Camerata
Lizzie Hoskin started her role as Head of Community for Manchester Camerata orchestra in January 2020, having previously been a radio producer for national BBC daytime programmes for over 15 years. Her love of music and the variety of different audiences it serves made this role at Camerata a perfect fit. Since March 2020 and the pandemic, Lizzie has been working from home in Manchester but has been enjoying developing and producing online content for both schools, elders and carers for people living with dementia. As Manchester Camerata is a registered Charity, Lizzie is in charge of fundraising (Trusts & Foundations) in order that we can continue to deliver our work. In her spare time, she also volunteers to produce radio programmes for https://m4dradio.com/ for Music for Dementia, a UK nationwide charity.
Director, Entelechy Arts
Maddy Mills is the newly appointed Director of Entelechy Arts, joining the organisation after 5 years as Producer for Artistic Programming at Southbank Centre where she delivered a portfolio of high profile festivals, immersive exhibitions and special projects. Her work is grounded in the belief that feeling connected to a community - in whatever form that takes - helps people lead healthier and happier lives. The arts is a powerful vehicle for storytelling, providing a platform to underrepresented voices and encouraging a more equal society. Previous roles have seen Maddy work as Festivals Manager for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and internationally as Associate Producer for Baku 2015 European Games where she oversaw a nation-wide cultural programme in over 50 regions across Azerbaijan. Maddy was Producer for the Bloomsbury Festival for 5 years, a programme which welcomed over 50,000 visitors each year and worked with a network of over 80 partners in central London. She also ran her own cultural producing and placemaking company, Hidden Cities, which through its work advocated for how a strong cultural offer can make a positive impact on the economic potential of a geographic area. In her early career she was heavily involved with delivering community festivals and unique street theatre, including taking a giant squid farm to the streets of Brighton and animatronic street furniture across the UK. More recently, in 2019, she founded the Family Volunteering Club, a growing initiative to better connect families with local charities and community organisations on their doorstep, through a dynamic programme of fun and engaging volunteering opportunities for kids to experience with their grown ups. Having originally grown up in the north of England in Cumbria, Maddy swapped rural living for London, and enjoys being part of a vibrant and energised south London community.