The above quote epitomises the current 'Art on Your Doorstep' project, which we are running here at Rural Arts with funding from the Baring Foundation, Arts Council England, and North Yorkshire County Council's 'Stronger Communities' fund. Our project, which is based in England's largest rural county, North Yorkshire, is taking place in the busy market town of Thirsk where we have focused our delivery within a 10-mile catchment area, aiming to reach out to older residents in over 20 small village communities.
Running for two years until end of March 2019, we have been seeking to increase the participation in arts activities by the over-75s through offering a wide range of creative opportunities with wrap-around support services, such as transport and help with participation.
The programme is new and has used all kinds of arts and crafts, music, writing and theatre. Exciting opportunities have included a monthly art cafÃ©, providing an hour of arts and crafts activities and, for those who are less mobile, musicians performing on a weekly supermarket shopping bus, a series of artist-led 1-2-1 sessions in participants' own homes and a mobile shop delivering information about the project to older customers alongside their chicken delivery!