The People’s Story was a history project that took place in two English communities, Enfield Island and Edmonton. It was developed and implemented by Age Exchange, a pre-eminent advocacy organization for positive aging and creative aging.
Age Exchange carries out numerous arts activities with and for older adults and has developed its own approach to reminiscence art. The People’s Story project employed a wide variety of documentation, participatory activities, reminiscence workshops, music, and performances, with the goal of helping residents reclaim or re-imagine the history of the two towns. The project was inclusive, aiming to involve as many members of the community as possible, including younger people.
An intergenerational theatrical production was a key project element. It was the culmination of other elements, including interviews, recordings, workshops, and an exhibit. People participated in the theatrical production who had never acted before. A youth group and an older people’s group were taught new skills in performance and shown how “to transform a memory into a scene or a song.” Interaction between the younger and older members of the cast was intensive, especially during the many rehearsals and two performances. This project stands as an example of how a creative aging organization can adapt its tools for working with older people to an intergenerational situation. All participants were equal in the endeavor and all benefited in multiple ways.
Creative Aging > Intergenerational Programming