Thanks to funding support from GMCVO's Ambition for Ageing, The Turnpike is delighted to launch 'Cultural Routes' - a programme designed to champion and support artists and creative practitioners who are over 50 years of age.

This initial funded phase will be delivered between December 2019 and May 2020, and includes a commission for an older contemporary artist, and funded professional development for 3 early career creative practitioners 50yrs+. The programme has been designed in collaboration with Touchstones Rochdale.


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    Selected through an open call, Nadia Peters is our first Cultural Routes Lead Artist. This paid commission opportunity was exclusively for individuals 50yrs+ who considered themselves to be practicing contemporary participatory artists, but who may have found themselves excluded from the mainstream arts sector due to their age. Nadia Peters has been tasked with designing the conceptual themes for the Cultural Routes project and will take the lead on the artform/mediums explored, ensuring that Cultural Routes remains by and for older people, whilst challenging preconceptions on what art by/about older people might look like. 

    The Lead Artist will also take on a mentoring role, engaging 3 local early-career creative practitioners 50yrs+ who are prepared to undertake a period of intensive professional development, identifying their CPD needs and creating personal development plans.  Using this, the creative practitioners will be supported by Nadia to design a series of 6 workshops for approximately 15 participants to realise a final creative outcome.  

    It is envisaged that the resulting final outcome will be premiered in Leigh, Greater Manchester to increase the visibility of work produced by older artists and engage older audiences. It will also be showcased at the age-friendly culture event planned for Manchester in May 2020.


    Cultural Routes has been designed to promote the creativity and ambition of people returning to creative practice later in life. Creative Practitioners Linda Heavon, Angie Ryan and Tina Finch have been selected as the first cohort to receive Cultural Routes mentoring and support from the Lead Artist, whilst working collaboratively to design a participatory arts programme engaging older residents.

    This is a professional development programme without a fee, but thanks to support from GMCVO we are able to offer each practitioner a fund of £500 to support their practice development, and to cover time and expenses whilst taking part on the programme.


    In April 2020 we will launch workshop opportunities for residents aged 50 years and older who are interested in working with artists to create a new piece of artwork for the Age Friendly Festival in Manchester. Workshop dates to be announced. 

     “To rewrite the story of old age (from a narrative of loss or deficit to one of aspiration and growth) is a bold aspiration but Greater Manchester is, and always has been, a progressive and ambitious place…there is an opportunity to develop a new campaign and narrative that draws upon both the lived experience of older people and some of the most creative and imaginative writers, artists and performers living and working today.” – Esme Ward, Manchester Museum (Strategic Lead for Culture, Age Friendly Manchester)

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    © 2019 The Turnpike

    The Turnpike, Civic Square, Leigh, WN7 1EB