Hi Suzanne great to meet you, you co-founded the online magazine, The Advantages of Age, with the objective of challenging the media narrative around ageing. What led you to develop this new organisation?
It was completely accidental! I have a hot tub in my back garden to which I often invite my friends. On this one occasion, I was sitting in the tub with four other women, aged 42-63. We were talking about sex, relationships, our work, our kids. We all said how good we were feeling, liberated and creative. It struck us that the conversations we were having were not being represented in the media. One of the group said, “We should start something called the advantages of age.”
After they left, I looked up to see if the domain name was free and purchased it. Three months later I’d had the site built and Advantages of Age was born!
Advantages of Age work to challenge the prevalent media narrative that ageing means past-it, inadequate and invisible. How have you approached this work?
We didn’t have any strategic plan – it has all flowed organically. Rose Rouse and I started writing articles for the site, linking to other positive stories around age we discovered and approached many of our friends to write articles for us. In March 2017 we were lucky enough to receive an Arts Council grant which had a massive impact on the organisation. We put on three events – the Fabulous and Flamboyant Bus Tour.
and held a racey ‘Taboo’ party at a London based member’s club. In May 2017 a Facebook group was created to build up the community aspect. We’re over 3k members and we now have a part-time Facebook moderator, Eileen O’Sullivan who has come on board and whom also has taken on the job of co-editing the website.
You will be supporting the Ffabulous and Fflamboyant bus tour funded by Gwanwyn on the afternoon of Saturday the 19th in Cardiff. What interest have you had from Wales as regards your work to challenge the media narrative on age?
I was introduced to Leslie Herman by a mutual friend and, since then, we’ve been in touch and collaborated wherever possible. We are keen to work with any organisation who supports our aim. It just makes sense to do so as the more organisations, wherever they may, that encourage pro-ageing, the better! I’m delighted to be able to join the bus tour this year and look forward to meeting the others on the bus.
Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision In your personal experience, are you aware of any barriers to cultural provision?
I feel there’s a lack of support, in general for older performers, groups. The National Theatre’s upcoming Bold Festival, which starts this week is addressing this, which is a start and hopefully will lead to more awareness.
If you were able to fund an area of the arts in what would this be and why?
Wow. Where to start? The Arts are so massively underfunded it feels wrong to have to choose one area.
What excites you about the arts?
The way it can transform one’s perception of another, how it can challenge beliefs, give us access to areas of society that usually remain hidden. Art has the potential to change the world.
Thanks for your time Suzanne
To get involved in the free Ffabulous and Fflamboyant Bus Tour please see the information below.
Following the success of Advantages of Age’s Flamboyant Bus Tour in London in 2017, Get The Chance are thrilled to be onboard! We will be bringing the – Double F – Ffabulous and Fflamboyant Bus Tour to Cardiff in May 2018 as part of the Gwyl Gwanwyn Festival of Creativity for Older People in Wales. The Bus will be at the front of the National Museum from 1pm this Saturday the 19th and will depart at 1.30pm. The event will end at 3.30pm.
More information can be found at the link
We hope you will join us online and on tour!