Following a successful festival in Worcester at the end of July 2017, the Three Choirs Festival has become one of the UK’s first national cultural organisations to adopt the Family Arts Campaign‘s new Age-Friendly Standards.
Supported by Arts Council England and developed in consultation with Age UK, arts and cultural organisations and older arts attenders in response to a drop-off in cultural engagement in later life, the Age-Friendly Standards provide guidance on welcoming older people – with a new kitemark affirming that an organisation has considered the needs of older visitors.
The Age Friendly Standards address five key areas when welcoming older audiences:
- Building relationships
- Considering suitable programming
- Providing appropriate facilities
- Communicating appropriately
- Providing a warm welcome
The opportunity for arts and culture to play a role in enhancing quality of life for older people is further reflected in Age UK’s Index of Wellbeing in Later Life which reports ‘creative and cultural participation’ to be the most prominent indicator to wellbeing in later life, scoring highest among a large range of contributing factors.
Alexis Paterson, Chief Executive of the Three Choirs Festival, said:
‘We’re delighted to be among the early adopters of these Age-Friendly Standards. While many of our audience describe themselves as retired, lots of them work tirelessly as volunteers during the festival and to help us fundraise throughout the year and we really value the contribution members of our festival community make year after year, whatever their age. As a festival that changes location each year, we face a lot of challenges in trying to provide the best possible festival experience and we welcome these standards as a way of helping us think carefully about how we best look after our audiences.’
Header photo: Organist, Wayne Marshall, talks to the audience following his recital at this year’s Three Choirs Festival © Michael Whitefoot