Discoveries in Distanced Arts

a fish made of wood and painted in bright colours
brightly coloured painted bird
Rows of gnomes
a womens eyes with face covered by gold cloth

Discoveries in Distanced Arts: The work, wonder, and wear of remote creative programmes.

About the research

Led by Queen Mary University of London and Entelechy Arts, the research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation.

Staying Connected is a series of programmes keeping older people in Lewisham (South East London) enjoying creativity and one another’s company, when they’ve not been able to meet in person during 2020 & 2021. It includes programmes led by Entelechy Arts and the Meet Me… programme ​which is run in partnership with the Albany. You can read more about these programmes here.

In this 18 month project, longitudinal research will investigate the impact, or impacts, of Entelechy Arts’ remote programme on older adults’ connection, health, and well-being.

The project team comprises Dr Janelle Jones, Dr Claire Howlin, and Elizabeth Quinn (Queen Mary University of London) and Maddy Mills, Christine Lee and David Slater (Entelechy Arts).

Learning and findings

On Wednesday 24th November 2021, Entelechy Arts hosted a free online event to share learning and practical tips for how to develop remote creative programmes, co-created with older people, based on the first stage of this research project.

Insights shared included challenges and successes in the design and delivery of remote program​mes, the wonder and engagement that can be brought to artistic practices through flexibility, and strategies for managing the emotional wear associated with new ways of working.

Below, you can watch the recording of the event and download the report, researched by Queen Mary University of London, containing the key findings we discussed during the event, including:

– The use of group phone calls to deliver parts of the programme known as ‘working clusters’ because many older adults had limited internet and smartphone access.

– Several strategies including check-ins, warm-up exercises, and acknowledgement, were embedded into the weekly remote telephone working clusters to encourage individual contributions and active engagement amongst members (older adults).

– The challenges of remote delivery of programmes by phone, radio, and parcel deliveries changed the nature of the social interactions and the stay-at-home orders increased the level of emotional distress experienced by members and practitioners.

– The potential need for additional support measures for practitioners including hiring well-being support staff, regular check-ins, and weekly group movement sessions for practitioners for sustained delivery of remote programmes.

Download the report

If you would like to give your feedback after watching the recording, please click on this link.

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