ARU Magic Me - ARCH Project - Dare To Imagine

Full Report 7 Magic Me Magic Me exists to combat ageism: our vision is a world where everyone can enjoy their unique creativity and full potential. We believe everyone has a past, present, future and an imagination – a wealth of stories, ideas and dreams to inspire art making. Magic Me is a pioneer in intergenerational arts practice, sparking dialogue between generations and across cultures. For more than 30 years Magic Me has partnered with care homes and schools in Tower Hamlets, east London and practising artists to create powerful artworks and performances, which challenge how society thinks about ageing. Today Magic Me prioritises widening access to the arts and community building in Tower Hamlets and improving the quality of life for individuals in care homes in London, Essex and beyond. Since collaborating on Creative Journeys in 2017, we have grown working partnerships with care providers across Essex, including our current Magic Moments programme. Initially commissioned by Essex County Council in 2021 to combat loneliness amongst older care home residents during lockdown, Magic Moments offers high-quality, impactful, creative, sensory activities, which improve the quality of everyday life for residents, delivered by care home staff, trained and supported by skilled artists. The Artists’ Residencies body of work draws on Magic Me’s specialist knowledge of bringing arts into care homes and connecting meaningfully with residents, particularly those living with dementia. Before the current ARCH programme in Essex, the first ARCH programme in 2015-17 paired four leading performance companies Duckie, Lois Weaver, Punchdrunk, and Upswing, with four Anchor care homes in London, bringing circus, altcabaret and immersive theatre to residents. From the very start of Magic Me, research and evaluation reports, now regularly published on our website, have helped us to examine and refine our practice and share our learning. In partnerships with Queen Mary and Goldsmiths, University of London and others, they include: Getting Everybody Included (2001), exploring arts with people with dementia and staff who work with them; Our Generations (2009), comparing the benefits and practicalities of intergenerational projects with a range of people and partners; and Detail and Daring (2012), exploring the beauty and challenges of arts projects with young and older people. Magic Me team involved in ARCH: • Susan Langford - Director / Founder • Kate Hodson - Programme Director • Bethany Haynes - Maternity cover for Kate Hodson, May 2020 - Feb 2021 • Emily Bird - Project Manager • Sally Knocker - Dementia Specialist, Trainer and Consultant • Georgia Akbar, Lily Ash Sakula, Sue Mayo - Magic Me Associate Artists • Danuta Lipinska, Mike Phillips - Ageing & Dementia Care specialists and trainers @MagicMeArts Photo opposite shows Magic Me’s Magic Moments project