A £15,000 grant from the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, has supported Dance City to deliver an ambitious dance project aimed at over 55s from communities in the West End of Newcastle.
The grant provided core staff costs as well as funding to grow and deliver a series of micro-projects culminating in two ‘Inspire Festival’ weekend events. The festivals included opportunities for 55+ age groups and their families to participate in activities across two full days including classes in ballet, contemporary, aerial, improvisation and pilates.
Jo Cundall, Senior Advisor, Culture at the Community Foundation explained about the benefits of the project:
“This was a well thought out project that identified a real need for older age groups to have access to activities that can help their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Not only this but it provided a chance for participants to socialise and make new friends which helps combat loneliness and isolation.”
Over the course of a year Dance City had 1,987 engagements (individual involvement with a project) with a resounding positive reaction felt throughout the community, dance groups, older audiences and the Dance City team.
One participant said: “Very uplifting. Growing older doesn’t mean you become invisible. There are so many opportunities at Dance City to make you feel good about yourself.” Whilst another said: “I absolutely loved the weekend. It was my intention to just attend on Saturday however I had such a fantastic time I ended up going on Sunday as well.”
Giulia Coti Zelati, Engagement Coordinator at Dance City added:
“This Community Foundation grant has been pivotal in supporting Dance City to build new and stronger relationships with older people in Newcastle’s West End and city centre.
“As well as the Inspire Festival, activities with our 55+ community, and our 55+ dance company Boundless, this grant has allowed Dance City to continue to strengthen and grow our work with older adults. We have been able to develop relationships with new groups and continue to move towards giving more older adults creative autonomy.”
The Newcastle Culture Investment Fund is open all year round with the aim of supporting Newcastle based organisations to engage residents in culture.