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Creative Ageing Development Agency

believes that we all have a right to create and take an active part in creativity and cultural life at any age.

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As the national development agency for creative ageing, we are investigating the profound shifts needed to tackle ageism and support systemic change and acting as a powerful advocate to funders and policy makers.

We want to reshape people’s views of ageing and overcome barriers to creative activity and opportunity. We celebrate and champion the cultural contribution of older people and the value of creativity, curiosity and imagination. We recognise and respect the wealth of cultural traditions across all of our diverse communities and understand that everyone ages differently. This range of life experiences enriches our arts and heritage.

We connect individuals and organisations in communities across England and beyond, who are developing and delivering arts and heritage programmes with, by and for older people. We recognise the breadth of work in this complex field and the wide range of roles that older people play from practitioner to participant. We aim to create the conditions for innovative and impactful work to flourish and to ensure that older people’s views and voices are heard.

We exist to:


Challenge ageism in the arts and heritage sectors and in society more widely


Lead a fundamental rethink and reflection on ageing and creativity


Harness collective energy and impact to support systemic change

We have 4 priorities:


Developing understanding and insight: identifying opportunities and potential pathways to change.


Advocacy: advocating for the power of creative ageing to policy makers, NGOs and potential funders


Convening: coordinating structured opportunities to think, learn and reflect


Campaigning: forming partnerships with the people and organisations that can make change happen

CADA is led by Dr Virginia Tandy OBE.


twitter: @CADA_England

CADA: the Creative Ageing Development Agency was initiated and is hosted by Manchester Museum, in collaboration with the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery. It is supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the University of Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing. Together, our partners have an internationally recognised track record in pioneering, innovative age-friendly practice. We are funded by the Baring Foundation, which made a ten year investment into creative ageing from 2010-2019, and the GMCA


CADA is working to create a powerful national community of practice that is led by older people and respects their right to culture and creativity.

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