‘Every arts organisation in the UK should have a programme specifically aimed at older people’. Discuss

On Wednesday (19 October), ten members of the Elders Company came together in front of a public audience to debate the motion the debate was rich, wide-ranging, and lots of fun.

Novelist, Sarah Butler, who is leading the Elders Investigate programme creatively documents the event:


Five pitted against five.
There are things to be said about money
about health
about joy
about stereotypes.
And in this room, on this afternoon, you say them.

You want us to understand how the arts have helped you,
to belong
to be understood
to be safe
to shine.

But you won’t be compartmentalised,
or put into a box –
an old box, an over-there box, a never-mind-about-them box.

The lines keep on shifting.
And what we think,
what we all seem to think,
is that there is nothing better than that moment of connection
across difference, across age, across any line you might care to draw.

What we think,
what we all seem to think,
is that there are bridges to be built
lessons to be learnt
energy to be exchanged
from old to young
young to old
and back again
and back again.