Training Would Help: The training needs of artists who work with older people


The Baring Foundation, Northern Arts

Fi Frances
(1997) Gateshead: Equal Arts, 50 pages


Training Would Help: The training needs of artists who work with older people

To identify appropriate training for artists working with older people.

The study was based on interviews with trainers running related courses, artists working with older people, older people, carers and arts administrators.

Introduction; Outline of the pilot; Some definitions; Artists talking; The picture so far; Conclusions and recommendations; Appendices: Equal Arts; Existing related training; Interviews and discussions; Bibliography.

Six artists who work regularly with older people in the UK, in a range of artforms, were interviewed, using a standardised set of questions. A summary of the points raised by the artists are listed under the following headings: How they learned the work; Difficulties encountered; Sources of support; Training ideas. The report outlines issues which need to be understood and the results of the initial investigation into participatory arts courses currently available in the UK. The report also includes the results of interviews with arts lecturers, trainers, arts administrators and older participants in arts projects. The report concludes that it is possible for artists to work with older people without being asked if s/he is trained for the work. The research found that there is almost no training for working specifically with older people. It recommends that structured research is needed to determine what forms of training are suitable for this work, what the range of training should be, what training resources are needed, how such training could be organised and funded and where it might be placed. Future research should address the need of older people of different cultures, people with dementia, people with non-standard family histories, such as older lesbians and gay men. It needs to examine the different training needs of institutional and non-institutional settings and of arts and care settings. The training needs for the practical application of the artforms, taking account of differences between artform areas including cross-artform work should be investigated. The training in the relationship between arts and reminiscence work should be separately examined. Issues relating to the funding of training are raised and recommendations are made in relation to future longer-term research.

Equal Arts, Swinburne House, Swinburne Street, Gateshead NE8 1AX, UK Tel: 44(0)191 477 5775 Fax: 44 (0)191 477 0775