Connectivity & Community: Celebrating with Over 50s

Posted on 18 April 2019

With Coventry and Warwickshire celebrating their Year of Health and Wellbeing in 2019, the Belgrade Theatre is playing host to a series of special events this spring, exploring the benefits of engaging with the arts for over 50s.

Running from 15-18 May, Connectivity and Community: Celebrating with Over 50s will bring arts and health professionals together with community groups and members of the public for an exciting mix of workshops, discussions, performances and networking opportunities, aimed at fostering partnerships and sparking conversations in the lead-up to Coventry’s year as City of Culture in 2021.

The four-day celebration will begin with a free-to-attend Try Something New Day on Wed 15 May, inviting members of the local community to learn new skills and meet new people in a fun, friendly and informal environment. Throughout the day, there’ll be opportunities to get hands-on with taster sessions run by local facilitators as well as a chance to learn more about the provisions and support currently available in the city and beyond.

Try your hand at activities ranging from tai chi and circle dancing to clay sculpture-making, or stop by our information stalls to find out how organisations such as Age UK Coventry and the Alzheimer’s Society can help you to improve your wellbeing.

Behind the Net Curtains

Then on Thu 16 May, arts and health practitioners are invited to join policy-makers and commissioners for a day of discussion around how arts and cultural practice can support Better Health Outcomes in the region. Developed in response to a 2017 inquiry report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW), this is the first event to be organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Creative Health Alliance (CWCHA) and will explore themes of ageing well and combatting isolation.

The symposium includes a keynote speech from Victoria Hume, Director of the National Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance, and will be divided into two half-days, with morning sessions focused on dementia, palliative and end of life care, and afternoon sessions examining loneliness, isolation and social prescribing. Both full-day and half-day tickets are available to book online or via the box office, priced separately for freelancers and organisations. All tickets include a lunch served 12.30-1pm.

Behind the Net Curtains

The day will conclude with the first of three performances by the Belgrade Elders’ Company, who will present an original piece titled Behind the Net Curtains. Devised and developed by participants over a six-month period, this brand new play sets its scene at a 100th birthday celebration, where friends and family gather to share their stories amidst party poppers and prosecco. All performances are open to the public, and run at 6pm on Thu 16 May, 12pm on Fri 17 May and 2.30pm on Sat 18 May.

Finally, on Fri 17 May, organisations from across the country will gather in Coventry for a day of workshops, sharings and discussions between staff and elders forming part of the National Elders’ Companies Network, a UK-wide collective of theatre companies and arts practitioners working with older people.

The day ends with a public performance of Dinner 18:55, an intergenerational show developed by Leeds Playhouse in collaboration with participants of all ages. Commencing at 5.30pm, the show reflects on our difficulty in taking time out of our increasingly busy lives to spend with others, depicting two generations who make time to share a meal and a conversation.

Behind the Net Curtains

Connectivity and Community: Celebrating with Over 50s runs at the Belgrade Theatre from Wed 15 May until Sat 18 May. Tickets for the symposium are available to book now. Check back to our website for updates on public performances.