Looking to the future: Dementia and Imagination at the Utopia Fair

Dementia and Imagination, an exciting Bangor University led project which gives people with dementia an opportunity to get involved in art, will be one of a number of stall holders at Somerset House for their UTOPIA 2016 Fair.

UTOPIA 2016 is a collaboration between three London neighbours: Somerset House, Kings College, London and the Courtauld Institute and Gallery, in partnership with the British Library, the AHRC, the British Council, London School of Economics and Politics, M-Museum in Leuven, Guardian Live and Verso.

Visitors to the Dementia and Imagination stand will be able to take part in making sessions with artists, helping to imagine the future of dementia supportive communities.  This follows on from successful Dementia and Imagination workshops in Newcastle and Chesterfield, England, and Rhyl and Ruthin, North Wales.

School children and people living with dementia, care staff, health professionals, artists and researchers came together at the workshops to think about how we might imagine and create dementia supportive communities through the arts. Each workshop was led by professional artists from one of the three research partner arts organisations: Denbighshire County Council Arts Service, Equal Arts and associate artists from Nottingham Contemporary.

Dementia and Imagination are at the event as part of the partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Connected Communities programme. The Connected Communities Programme aims to build powerful collaborations between researchers and communities to generate distinctive research insights on the changing role of communities in sustaining and enhancing our quality of life and to produce legacies of value for both future research and for communities. The Programme is led by the AHRC in partnership with other Research Councils and a range of other organisations.

Dementia and Imagination is a UK-wide research study being led by Bangor University working in partnership with a number of universities and organisations. The research is looking to understand how art may help people living with dementia, their relatives, carers and communities. To do this, the research is looking at the social, practical and economic benefits of art. You can find out more about the research on the website: dementiaandimagination.org.uk and on Twitter: @dem_imag

The Utopia Fair is being held at the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court in Somerset House. The event is free to attend. The Fair will be open from the 24th to the 26th June at the following times: Friday 24th: 5pm 10pm; Saturday 25th: 10am 6pm; Sunday 26th: 10am 5pm.

Publication date: 24 June 2016