First ever arts festival created for WA’s older people

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15 Feb 2018

Amana Living Arts Festival: 12 February to 25 March 2018 

WA’s first ever arts festival created specifically for seniors, the Amana Living Arts Festival, launches Monday 12th February.

From Wu Tao dance classes to bedside harp solos, this six-week Festival will deliver more than 150 events for older people from Perth, Australind and Kalgoorlie. The Festival takes place at over 50 locations including Amana Living sites, community centres and iconic venues such as the State Theatre Centre of WA, Art Gallery of WA and WA Maritime Museum.

Stephanie Buckland, CEO of Amana Living, said the Festival builds on the organisation’s commitment to delivering art programmes for its residents and clients, and was inspired by creative ageing festivals Luminate in Scotland and Meander Valley Festival of Creative Ageing in Tasmania.

“Our emphasis is on helping people to truly live the second half of life and arts have a wonderful role to play in helping older people to have fun, try different things, and meet new people.

Engaging with the arts is also incredibly therapeutic. Health and wellbeing benefits range from combating loneliness and isolation through to alleviating depression, and improving communication and relationships.

We recognise these benefits and have a long history of offering artistic experiences to our residents and clients. Over the years that’s encompassed a range of activities like regular craft classes at our care centres, personalised music therapy, and Project Picasso - an art exhibition by people living with dementia.

However, the Amana Living Arts Festival takes it to the next level. We designed it to ensure every one of our customers, whatever their age, health or ability, has the opportunity to enjoy an artistic experience.  It’s inclusive, accessible and challenges stereotypes about people who use aged care services.

To our knowledge, there has never been an arts event of this size or scale created for older people in WA. We’re proud to be pioneering an event that we hope will become a regular feature in the State’s arts calendar.”

The organisation has brought together artists, musicians, performers, writers, dancers, sculptors and art therapists to deliver bespoke sessions for Amana Living residents and clients. ‘Handpicked highlights’ have also been curated from the Perth summer arts calendar, with exclusive events designed for Amana Living customers.

Festival highlights include:

  • Black Swan State Theatre Company - Page to Stage: discover the process of adapting a novel for stage from the director, a member of the cast, playwright and set designer of The Lighthouse Girl.
  • Wu Tao dance classes for people living with dementia:  similar to Tai Qi and yoga, Wu Tao is a set of choreographed movements done to music.
  • Hands-on Workshops: fun and interactive experiences over a variety of sessions where participants learn different techniques to create one-of-a-kind artworks, jewellery, textiles and bath bombs! 
  • Sculpture by the Sea Tactile Tours:  Sculpture by the Sea will be offering Tactile Tours for Amana Living clients with dementia. The tour will provide a unique insight into the 70+ sculptures and their creators who come from WA, interstate and overseas.
  • Music Through the Ages: West Australian Symphony Orchestra musicians perform well-known and popular music for chamber ensembles at Amana Living locations.
  • Creative Writing Workshops: participants will learn how to use different types of imagery (sound, smell, sight, taste, touch, and movement) in their writing to create enjoyment for the writer and the reader.   
  • Bedside Harp Sessions – harp solos delivered in intimated settings, designed to be calming and soothing for residents with high care needs.

The Amana Living Arts Festival has been made possible thanks to the generous donations from the following sponsors: Anglican Community Fund, Jasol, JLT, Unicharm, Synergy, League Agency.