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Connected Culture
Belgrade Theatre

Creative Gymnasium: an arts and health project for the 50+ community in Coventry

Posted by Belgrade Theatre on 23 July 2012

Creative Gymnasium : exploring and examining the benefits of drama and arts activities for improving and maintaining the well-being of the 50+ population of Coventry

The Belgrade Theatre’s Community & Education company delivers a range of community arts activities both at the theatre and in venues across the city, seeking to give a voice to the diverse communities of Coventry through the use of theatre and other art forms. Our work is based on the premise that drama is a powerful tool for the building of creative, confident individuals, and communities with a strong sense of local identity. As such the work can make a powerful contribution to the city’s regeneration agenda.

The 50+ community have been identified by Coventry City Council as a priority health group (particularly in regards to ‘isolation’). The Council partnered with the Belgrade Theatre to look at the effects that taking part in arts activity can have on a person’s mental and physical health and well-being. Key stakeholder groups involved in the project are Age UK Coventry and research staff at Coventry University, who have undertaken the evaluation process.

The Belgrade Theatre devised this pilot project in partnership with the stakeholder groups and delivery began in October 2011.

Since October 2011, over 100 participants have actively engaged with the project through taster sessions, talks and workshops. 11 workshop programmes have been delivered and these have taken place at the Belgrade Theatre, and other community venues. In June 2012, a number of participants from the various groups came together to create a brand new theatre production called ‘Shine On’. ‘Shine On’ was performed three times at the Belgrade Theatre in June 2012.   

For more information about this project, please contact Antonia Beck (Project Manager) at abeck@belgrade.co.uk or 02476 846735


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