Live Age 2016 Press Release

July 21, 2016

Artists, older people’s organisations and the Universities of Keele and Staffordshire are uniting to celebrate the creative life of older people in this region.
The Live Age Festival will run from 30th September 2016 to 2nd October 2016 to coincide with UK Older People’s Day on 1st October. Dance, music, drama, film, photography, singing, art and craft activities fill a packed three-day programme taking place in  the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Mitchell Arts Centre, Foxlowe Arts Centre (Leek), Gallery 116, the Wedgwood Institute, the Art Stop Stoke, the Emma Bridgewater Factory and other venues across Stoke and North Staffordshire.
Prof. David Amigoni, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Keele University, said: 'Keele University is proud to support the Live Age Festival, 2016. Now in its third year, the University is delighted that this event celebrating artistic and creative activities and opportunities for older people will take place again in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. Live Age is a practical expression of the way in which the University's research aimed at improving opportunities for older people and intergenerational relationships has real impact on the communities we serve and with whom we work. The cultural focus of Live Age is especially important to celebrate this year as we gear up to support Stoke-on-Trent's bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.'

Susan Clarke, Creative Programme lead for Stoke’s City of Culture bid, said: ‘Live Age Festival is fast becoming a much anticipated fixture in the cultural calendar for Stoke and North Staffordshire. I am looking forward to an amazing few days showcasing the richness of creativity with and for older people we have in our area.’
Rachael Lines, artistic director of FRONTLINEdance, said: ‘I look forward to the Live Age Festival every year - it brings many different types of people together and offers a wonderful FREE programme of workshops and performances. It's such an enjoyable and friendly event which is full of talent. I'm looking forward to developing another contemporary dance piece for all abilities to be performed at the festival, and this year I am encouraging everyone, from people who have never danced before to professionals, to invite a parent or grandparent or an auntie or an uncle to dance with them. Please get in touch if you'd like to take part.’
If you would like to get involved or find out more about the Live Age Festival,  please contact Isla Telford, Festival Co-ordinator, on 07505 527230 or, and view the Live Age Festival website at Please follow us on Facebook (Live Age Festival) and Twitter (@LiveAgeFestival). Printed publicity is also available on request. 

  Notes for Editors:
1.                   Live Age 2016 is being financially supported through the Impact Acceleration Fund at Keele University, and Keele University’s Ageing Initiative. Some events are supported through the                         Postcode Lottery and Leek Arts Forum. Events are also being provided through Staffordshire Housing, Stoke’s European City of Sport 2016, Staffordshire Film Archive, Staffordshire                           University, and Age UK North Staffordshire.
2.                   Live Age Festival grew from a research partnership between Keele University’s Centre for Social Gerontology and the New Vic Theatre’s Education Department. Prof.  Mim Bernard, Dr                        Jill Rezzano and Dr Jackie Reynolds are the Festival Co-Directors.
3.                   Partners in the Live Age planning team include representatives from Arts Keele, Keele University, New Vic Theatre, Staffordshire Film Archive, B-Arts, FRONTLINEdance, Letting in the                       Light, Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Mitchell Arts Centre, Hullabaloo Arts Collective, Age UK North Staffordshire, Staffordshire Housing, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the Beth                         Johnson Foundation. The Live Age Festival would not be possible without the contributions of time, expertise and other resources from these partner organisations.
4.                   The main venues for this year’s Festival are the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and the Mitchell Arts Centre in Hanley, Stoke on Trent, and the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek. Other                             venues include Gallery 116, the Wedgwood Institute, the Art Stop and the Emma Bridgewater Factory.
5.                   Contributors to the 2016 programme include BCB’s Clay Foundation, Debbie McAndrew’s Claybody Theatre, and the Ages and Stages Theatre Company based at the New Vic Theatre.                       Further programme details are available on request.
6.                   Several birthdays will be celebrated at the Live Age Festival, including Age UK North Staffordshire’s 25th birthday. City Voices, one of Stoke’s creative writing groups, will celebrate its                        10th anniversary, and the programme includes a special event which will celebrate 300 years since the birth of James Brindley, the famous founding father of the canal system.
7.                   Joan Walley, retired MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, is the patron of the Live Age Festival and is available for interviews.

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