Festival highlights health benefits of creative pursuits
THE MID North Coast Creative Ageing Festival, from March 2 to 14, will showcase over 25 featured arts and cultural events to the population of its six local government areas, a region known for its high proportion of older residents.
The festival is an innovative, and we hope, annual event which acknowledges the valuable role that seniors play in our community and highlights the importance of engaging in the arts and creative activities to foster good health and wellbeing as people age.
Evidence demonstrates the powerful impact that the arts can have on the health and wellbeing of older people - enhancing quality of life for people who are seeking to remain fit and well as they age and for people who live with a chronic condition such as dementia or depression.
Health benefits through arts activities, such as dancing and singing, include improved mobility and motor control, improved heart and respiratory function, greater self-esteem and confidence, less reliance on medication and personal care, higher social engagement and beneficial effects on mental health.
Featured events will be across a variety of art forms from art and dance to film, music and creative thinking.
There are also free talks, tours, concerts and open days involving groups and services that exist to ensure older residents remain connected and creative.
Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie will each host The Big Chat with visiting experts in arts and health working with local artists and providers.
Major museums will offer free or reduced entry fees and the program will establish a comprehensive resource base of all creative opportunities that exist year round for older people.
The Festival is a partnership between Arts Mid North Coast and the Australian Centre for Arts & Health. Detailed information will be online early February at www.midnorthcastcreativeageingfestival.com.au