There is a probably a wealth of untapped creative opportunities on your doorstep. By developing local links and making new contacts in your area, you may be able to dramatically increase arts provision in your home, sometimes at little or no cost to you.
- Have a staff and relatives meeting and brainstorm. Sometimes the best ideas come from people getting together to talk.
- Contact your local garden centre. Would they consider donating plants or providing volunteers to transform a part of your garden into a planting space for residents and staff?
- Contact your local schools and colleges. Could their students come in and do a performance of some kind? Music and drama students are often happy to have the opportunity to perform in front of an audience.
- Contact your local art gallery or museum. Most institutions have Education or Outreach programmes. Many are actively looking for partners to work with. Would they devise a project for your group? This could be an object handling or arts appreciation session in your home or a creative activity linked to their collection.
- Contact your local book shop. Could they suggest a local author to come to your home and give a talk? Do they know someone who could run poetry sessions or do play readings? Would they donate some books to help you set up a Book Club?
- Contact your local theatre. Would they consider giving you free tickets for a play? Would they organise a performance in your home? Would they do a behind the scenes tour of their theatre for more active residents?
- Could your home provide a space for a local Parents & Toddlers group? Intergenerational arts activities could be developed.
- Visit your local art shop. Would they donate some art materials or sponsor an art project or exhibition? Art shops often have notice boards which could be a good source of contacts for local artists. They might also give you a discount on art supplies if you become a regular customer.
- Would your local church or music group consider helping to set up a choir or doing a performance?
- Approach your local University of the Third Age (U3A) groups and see if they are interested in holding talks or activities for your residents.
- Would your local school consider doing an intergenerational arts project with your home? You could set them an initial challenge such as asking their pupils to draw or paint images of older people they know. Invite them
to come and visit your residents, using the artwork as a talking point. Decide on a project to work on together.
- Set up an Only Connect Pen Pal group linking up your residents with people and groups in the local area or further afield, using letters and creative writing.