cARTrefu is an exciting Wales-wide project that aims to create and increase opportunities for care home residents and staff to participate in the arts by providing eight-week art residencies in one of four art forms: Performing Arts (Dance/Drama), Music, Visual Arts, and Words (Poetry/Prose). The project is being delivered by Age Cymru and is jointly funded by the Baring Foundation and Arts Council Wales. An independent evaluation was led by the Dementia Services Development Centre Wales, Bangor University, exploring the impact of the art residencies on care home residents, care home staff, the artist practitioners, and the wider community.
As the largest project of its kind in Wales, this project delivered 120 residencies with sixteen artist practitioners (four from each art form) delivering eight residencies each over two years.
This paper presents the evaluation results from the two-year project. As a pioneering project working at such a huge scale, we feel important implications have been learned for future projects. Following successful delivery of cARTrefu over the past two years, the project has been awarded further funding to continue until 2019. Along with the results of the evaluation, challenges and successes of this inspiring and significant project will be highlighted to enable the sharing of best-practice for large-scale art projects in care homes.