ARU Magic Me - ARCH Project - Dare To Imagine

44 Dare To Imagine Power of the participatory arts The power of participatory arts was seen across the findings and highlighted the importance of the ARCH programme for both arts organisations and care homes. During the residencies, the artists demonstrated the ease of engaging with residents through the arts. I think the music that they loved became such an important thing…[music is] such an easy thing to talk to someone about. Even someone with dementia, it’s, “Do you like this music?” or, “What songs do you like?” It’s a conversation starter…Even if you’re not dancing to it, just play the music they like, and it’s a start. That’s what I’d love to pass on now…find music and find just touch and movement. Just keep it simple. You’ve got a body and there’s a speaker. That’s an in. Arts organisation post-residency There were many examples of “special moments” where the arts generated meaningful impact. It was actually lovely to see their [artists’] emotions…[Artist] danced with [resident], who we’d only got to know recently. And to see her move and [artist] was in floods of tears, but it was all happy tears. It was just that moment was perfect… Because she’s not been here very long, this lady, so we obviously learn as we’re going along…[her son] said how fantastic that she’s had this experience and how happy she is. So that was lovely. It’s lovely for the family as well to see them in that moment. And we didn’t know any of that about this lady. Obviously, [arts organisation] had captured that moment. Care home post-residency …the power of movement, specifically, which really came out with one particular resident. It was the power of moving in her way, but moving with us and moving over time and having a few different experiences of moving… It was really her expressing herself, and in the middle of this improvisation, she stopped and she started crying. She said, “I don’t know what’s happening…” We said, “We completely do know what’s happening. You are expressing yourself,” and she took a deep breath and she carried on. Arts organisation post-residency The residents and staff alike were proud of their involvement in the project and were keen to share it with families and their local communities. To say that we’ve done that in a care home and that it’s worked, you know. We shout about it really, don’t we? Care home post-residency In the post-residency group interview with one of the care homes, they reflected on how the ARCH project delivered “far more than” the performers and acts they had brought into the home before. We can do the basic stuff…… But what I’ve found with this… was the impact it has had on everybody… the piece of music that was put together was breath-taking… It was art to another level… Because I felt that the music and how they came up with the piece, it was just a place for me that I could relate to. And be able to put that music on and take me to a different area. Care home post-residency