With the local population aged 65 years and over forecast to increase dramatically in the next few years, Rockhampton Art Gallery has embarked on a program that will help to foster stimulation and lifelong learning for seniors through visual arts.
The program, Ageing Through Arting, has been made possible by a grant of $32,200.00 from Queensland Government Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors via the Advancing Queensland: an age-friendly community grants program.
The program aims to use visual arts to help people of retirement age transition to their post-employment life and continue to be an active member of society.
Recent statistics show that residents aged 65 years and over currently make up 15 percent of the Rockhampton Region population, with forecasts indicating a 30.4 percent increase in the population of retirement age by 2026.
Chair of RRC Community Services Committee Cr Rose Swadling said that with an ageing population, opportunities to engage seniors were vital to the well-being of the community as a whole.
“Ageing Through Arting shows that, although they might not be working an earning a pay packet, seniors still have so much to give,” she said.
“We need to show our seniors that as a community we are inclusive and that we value their knowledge and experience, and this is a perfect way to do this.”
The program will run for 10 months in weekly sessions at Rockhampton Art Gallery. At the end of the period, participants will have a range of engagement opportunities available, from volunteer guides and story and narrative telling from the collection, to program facilitators and participants.
“Seniors will benefit from a sense of belonging and they’ll learn new skills and have opportunities for creative stimulation,” Cr Swadling said.
“With the new Art Gallery on the way, this program will help embed our ageing community as an integral part of the Gallery operation fabric,” she said.
Anyone interested in taking part on Ageing Through Arting should contact Rockhampton Art Gallery on Phone 4936 8248.
Rockhampton Art Gallery is owned and operated by Rockhampton Regional Council.