ArtFelt – bringing generations together

11 October 2018

An exciting new arts project is bringing together young children from an Edinburgh nursery and older people from a local care home to explore and celebrate their creativity.

This unique collaboration between Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation and Starcatchers, Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years Organisation, recognises the positive impact that strong intergenerational partnerships can have on communities and the role the arts can play in helping to strengthen these relationships.

The children, from Forbes Nursery Greenhill, Edinburgh, and residents of Morlich House, Edinburgh, will collaborate with artists over three months (October – December 2018), taking part in a range of creative activities first separately and then together, culminating in an event to share what they have been working on with families and friends.

A key aim of ArtFelt is to evaluate the impact that artist-led activities can have on intergenerational partnerships.

It also aims to increase the confidence, knowledge and skills of both artists and the professionals working in the nursery and care home.

Anne Gallacher, Luminate’s Director, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Starcatchers on ArtFelt.   Scotland’s population is ageing, and Luminate’s work consistently shows that creativity has no age.  In ArtFelt we are looking forward to collaborating with some of our youngest and oldest citizens – connecting people through creativity, and building relationships across the generations.”

Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive of Starcatchers, said: “Intergenerational relationships are so important. We’ve seen first-hand through our other community engagement projects how much joy and inspiration can come from an adult and child taking part in artistic and creative activities together. The experience can help build new relationships and strengthen existing ones as well as help build individuals’ confidence and self-esteem – whatever their age.”

ArtFelt artist Deirdre Nelson will work with residents in Morlich House, visiting once a week during October 2018. Early Years artist Kirstin Cunningham will do the same at Forbes Nursery Greenhill. The children will join Morlich House residents, with both artists, during six sessions in December before inviting family and friends to celebrate what they have been working on.

ArtFelt will be independently evaluated by Ruth Stevenson of Ruthless Research with a final evaluation available for shared learning in 2019.