Report launched on delivering remote arts programmes for older adults
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Entelechy Arts and Queen Mary University of London have launched a new report on how to deliver remote arts programmes for older adults.

The report, Discoveries in Distanced Arts: The work, wonder, and wear of remote creative programmes, shares insights into how arts organisations can design and deliver remote programmes, based on experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Key findings were also presented in this online event.

The report details the design and delivery of remote one-off and ongoing arts programmes for older adults from the perspectives of the artists, staff members, and volunteers involved.

The ‘Staying Connected’ remote programme is led by Entelechy Arts and the Meet Me… programme is run in partnership with the Albany. The programme consists of a series of creative activities that have been adapted and designed to be delivered in remote environments to help members to stay connected during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This research project, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), gathered information from staff, volunteers, and artists involved in the Staying Connected programme, to learn about their experiences. Areas of interest included the design and delivery of the programme and its perceived impacts on their own and members’ health and wellbeing.

Key findings of the report include:

  • The use of group phone calls to deliver parts of the programme known as ‘working clusters’ because many older adults had limited internet and smartphone access.
  • Several strategies including check-ins, warm-up exercises, and acknowledgement, were embedded into the weekly remote telephone working clusters to encourage individual contributions and active engagement amongst members (older adults).
  • The challenges of remote delivery of programmes by phone, radio, and parcel deliveries changed the nature of the social interactions and the stay-at-home orders increased the level of emotional distress experienced by members and practitioners.
  • The potential need for additional support measures for practitioners including hiring well-being support staff, regular check-ins, and weekly group movement sessions for practitioners for sustained delivery of remote programmes.

Dr Janelle Jones, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at Queen Mary said:

“Our report outlines what arts organisations can consider and do to create new programs or modify existing programs for remote delivery. Our recommendations can inform the development of guidelines for remote delivery which may ensure the viability of arts organisations for their service providers in the current landscape and beyond.”

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