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New ‘Age-Friendly Standards’ launched by the Family Arts Campaign aim to complement existing standards for welcoming families.

Photo of music group
Music for Life at Wigmore Hall

Benjamin Harte

New guidance for arts organisations on engaging older audiences has been created by the Family Arts Campaign.

Building on the success of its good practice charter for welcoming families, the Age-Friendly Standards offer advice for arts organisations and a way to signify commitment to welcoming older people.

The Standards, which are free to sign up to and relevant for any type of cultural venue, event or group, encompass five key themes:

  • Considering suitable programming
  • Providing appropriate facilities
  • Building relationships
  • Communicating appropriately
  • Providing a warm welcome.

65 organisations have signed up to the Standards and have received a logo they can display, including Blackpool Grand Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Significant opportunity

Explaining the introduction of the Standards, Jenny Daly, Head of the Family Arts Campaign, said: “Older people are an important part of the family, with multiple generations living side by side.

“Arts and culture contribute significantly to a positive experience of later life, as well as providing a means to connect young and old.

“The Age-Friendly Standards signify an important shift for the Family Arts Campaign in supporting the cultural sector to facilitate these experiences.”

The campaign cites the results from Age UK’s 2017 Index of Wellbeing in Later Life, which found creative and cultural participation to have the greatest positive effect on wellbeing in later life out of a list of contributing indicators.

Phil Cave, Arts Council England’s Director of Audience and Engagement, added: “The Age- Friendly Standards support Arts Council England’s ambition for great arts and culture to be available to everyone, regardless of their age or experience.

“These Standards provide cultural organisations with the tools to assess the welcome that they offer, and enable them to make a public commitment to welcoming older people.”

Arts organisations are also encouraged to promote their age-friendly events through the Family Arts Campaign’s listings website.