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Where the Arts Belong


In partnership with Belong and funded by Arts Council England, Where the Arts Belong is a groundbreaking new project providing enriching arts experiences in specialist dementia care homes across the North West. 

Artists leading the activities, from left to right - Philip Jeck, Roger Hill, Alan Dunn, Mary Prestige, Brigitte Jurack

Bluecoat will provide a 3 year programme which will engage residents from Belong Villages in Crewe, Birkdale and Chester with a series of workshops, interventions, events and experiences created by 6 artists during a series of residency programmes. Each artist has been selected by Bluecoat for their practice and its relationship with ageing, storytelling, movement and sensory experience. 



Research suggests engagement with the arts is beneficial for people in later life and for those living with dementia.

Benefits include: • Improved quality of life • Increased confidence and self-esteem • Enhanced cognitive capacity • Sense of community and social inclusion • Physical health improvements, such as increased joint mobility

The project will see the village welcome a number of ‘artists in residence’ and host live programmes of sculpture, storytelling, dance, sound and film; with members of the community warmly invited to join in.

Residency artists for this programme are;

Suki Chan

London-based artist and filmmaker, Suki Chan, is famous worldwide for her explorations of the perception of time and place, using a range of media. Suki has filmed in a number of diverse locations and sites, including the Middle East, Istanbul and China.

Alan Dunn 

Glaswegian Alan Dunn creates artworks using sound and digital images: collaborating with thousands of citizens to unlock the hidden narrative in communities. Alan also lectures in Art and Design at Leeds Beckett University and has been involved in a number of projects. Most recently, he worked with Age UK to map the experiences of retired seafarers. 

Roger Hill 

Roger Hill is a writer, storyteller and performer, and has worked with groups of all ages and backgrounds for over 40 years. Roger also presents the nation’s longest running alternative music show on BBC Radio Merseyside.

Brigitte Jurack 

Brigitte Jurack is a German sculptor, whose work has been exhibited all over the world. Brigitte is Head of Sculpture/ time based arts at Manchester School of Art (MMU) and runs many sculpture workshops, encouraging participants to discover the joy of making things

Philip Jeck 

Philip Jeck works in a variety of media, including film, sound and installation, to make environments which have been said to be ‘hugely, billowingly poignant’, evoking a ‘sense of joy’. Over his career, Philip has worked with dance and theatre companies and has released 11 successful solo albums.

Mary Prestidge

Mary Prestidge is an experienced dancer, teacher and improviser, working with the senses to ignite the imagination and create new ways of communication. Originally an Olympic gymnast, Mary’s professional dance career began at Ballet Rambert in 1969.

Bluecoat’s Participation programme is widely acknowledged for providing engaging and high quality contemporary arts experiences for people who would otherwise face significant barriers to involvement. This is delivered by experienced artists and creative staff through genuinely person-centred practice in the context of sustained relationship building with vulnerable adults and children and their parents and carers.

Bluecoat was awarded funding from Arts Council England’s new Celebrating Age fund and the Baring Foundation.

To find out more about the project, please contact Tabitha Moses (project facilitator) at

Where the Arts Belong Blog

First Phase of Project Shows Huge Succses - 6 Dec 2019

Jill Pendleton, Dementia Lead at Merseycare, visits Where the Arts Belong showcase - 24 Sep 2019

Artist Suki Chan shares her first cups of tea with residents - 17 Apr 2019

Artist Suki Chan meets residents at Belong Villages for her first artist talk - 3 Apr 2019

Artist Suki Chan on her residency for Where the Arts Belong - 27 Feb 2019

Project facilitator Tabitha Moses introduces the project - Feb 22 2019

About Belong

Belong is a values based organisation, founded on a vision that older people have the right to enjoy the same community belonging and richness of experience that they have always known. They take their lead from their customers, and seek constant feedback on what they can do better. A pioneering approach, their ambition is to offer a radically different alternative to the host of existing care settings.

Belong were one of the early pioneers of the ‘household’ model for people with dementia and their drive for innovation and excellence has earned them recognition and accolades in the industry, but most importantly from their customers. 

Visit their website to find out more 

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