Ageing and Cultural Institutions
In the context of ageing, cultural institutions are repositioning themselves for greater relevance in rapidly evolving societies. Cultural institutions such as museums and libraries operate as place-based ‘anchor institutions’ that add value to their communities, cities and regions. Historically many cultural institutions were elitist and exclusive in approach. However cultural institutions now seek to maximise the diversity and reach of their programs and cohorts.
With their programs and activities, they could readily support age-friendly environments, social inclusion and age-integrated societies. To date, the potential to actively engage with elders as knowledge bearers, communicators, volunteers and learners is largely untapped. Bringing multi-generational and multi-cultural groups together in cultural institutions has the potential to build and strengthen communities and contribute to the health, wellbeing and quality of life of our older citizens.
Lena Gan from the Ageing and Demography unit is part of two recently formed research teams that include staff from multiple faculties at the University of Melbourne and Museums Victoria looking into the untapped potential of the role of cultural institutions in the context of our rapidly ageing population. Faculties include: Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Arts, Architecture, Building and Planning, and Education.