Growing an Older Audience was an innovative arts engagement programme commissioned by the Arts Council South East. Through a complex and diverse programme of exhibitions and events, it engaged a 70+ audience – at risk of social detachment – with cutting-edge contemporary visual art.

Participants described an emotional and rich experience; meeting new friends, feeling connected, feeling happier.


I probably have a more rounded opinion of painting and art, because of my introduction to Fabrica. Going to See Culture Together participant

The programme improved the knowledge and skills of Fabrica staff, as well as the codes and practices of the organisation as a whole. A complex network of partnerships was created, delivering meaningful impacts to a broad cross- section of the local community.


This defining project instigated and secured several ongoing groups and events which continue to this day, such as Going to See Culture Together, Conversation Piece and Experimental Life drawing.

I can only say that if I couldn’t come here I would be quite upset. If I lost out on not going to a life class I would be quite bereft almost I think. Drawing Event participant


Though the project officially ended in 2012, we have continued to see its impact on our programme of exhibitions, events and projects to this day. Projects like Creative Connections, Draw for Life, Textile Flow and Men in Sheds are a testament to the relationships we have made with other organisations, funders and, most importantly local
older people, through Growing an Older Audience.

I felt alive for once. It was also the right exhibition for me. Second Sight participant