2020 Round 3 Top 3 Finalist

Belconnen Arts Centre

Our project is to deliver bespoke dance programs, which promote health and wellbeing, to people living in retirement villages and aged care facilities across the ACT

Belconnen Arts Centre’s mission is to fuel a love of and engagement with the arts, across dance, music, visual arts and theatre practices, throughout the ACT and beyond. Located in Canberra, and operating since 2009, we connect with our community through a wide range of quality, accessible and diverse arts activities.

Our dream is to connect with the residents of Aged and Residential Care Facilities through the arts. We wish to provide them with equal access to dance programs that have been proven to result in positive outcomes - physically, cognitively and socially. Within the present challenges of the pandemic, we are especially mindful that the sense of disconnection, isolation and loneliness can be extremely detrimental to these senior populations. We know how participation in bespoke dance activities transforms people’s sense of self, their physical wellbeing, and their connection to the broader world. It can be an elixir for a vibrant and fulfilling life, regardless of age, mobility or experience.


The impact of COVID on the community, and especially the over 60-year cohort, has been unprecedented. In particular this has affected those living in retirement homes and aged care facilities, due to their complete lock down. The resultant isolation from family, friends and the outside world has been enormously distressing and challenging for them, their family and friends, and the facility staff.

We dream of making dance the vehicle for a more lively, healthy and connected lifestyle for these aged care residents and their Carers. We will provide an experience and a space to connect with others through a program of live and online dance experiences, that engage the brain, heart and body. The dance program will provide residents with structure, routine and exercise, together with improvement of memory, strength, muscle function, balance and flexibility. This will be liberally sprinkled with laughter – supposedly the best medicine!


This grant will enable us deliver the Dance for Wellbeing program to the growing populations living in Aged Care and retirement villages across the ACT. The grant will cover the cost of running the program for 40 weeks, including the implementation of a COVIDsafe plan, venue hire, promotion, filming and tutors’ fees. With a strong record of leading integrated arts and health programs in the ACT, Belconnen Arts Centre is well positioned to again pioneer exemplary projects promoting health and wellbeing through quality arts experiences for all. Should this application be successful, we would also be promoting it beyond the ACT to interested aged care facilities and dance practitioners, keen to pursue such programs.

Our dream supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals

 

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