To Infinity and Beyond

Visions and strategies for the arts and our ageing societies

Webinar on Jan 13th 2021 – free of charge

Statistics show a drop off in engagement levels for cultural activities in later life. The webinar explores what kind of strategies have been used to secure cultural rights for older people. Webinar also showcases how creative and cultural participation of older people has been promoted around the world during the past decade.

Registration opens on Dec 21st

Register here

A Welcome Letter from your Host David Cutler International Creative Ageing – Looking Beyond A Pandemic

I was delighted to be asked to host this uplifting event to start 2021. Not because of any belief in my hosting skills – clearly no one has been to one of my parties – but because I have learnt so much from my colleagues in Helsinki in recent years and because I believe passionately that creative ageing is a movement that is set to sweep the world.

Read more…



Helsinki time (UTC+2)

1 pm (UTC+2) 1st session (60 min)

Kai Huotari,  Managing director, Cultural Centre Kaapeli
Mari Männistö,  Cultural Director, City of Helsinki

Introducing the program and the keynote speaker
David Cutler, Director, The Baring Foundation

Keynote speech: Creative ageing after Covid-19
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

Short break

2 pm (UTM+2) 2nd session (60 min)

Introducing the speakers
David Cutler

Developing cultural services for the Elderly
Mari Männistö

How culture is a driver for an age-friendly city region
Paul McGarry

Instructions for the breakout rooms

3 pm (UTM+2) 3rd session (75 min)

Around the World

4 parallel session in breakout rooms:

  • USA: Mark Morris Dance Group/ David Leventhal
  • Japan: Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo Met Concert Hall)/Yukiyo Sugiyama
  • The Netherlands: Literary Festival in care homes / Noortje Kessels
  • Finland: National Theatre Touring Stage / Jussi Lehtonen

David Cutler and Mari Männistö


Nicholas Serota has been Chair of Arts Council England since February 2017 and is a member of the Board of the BBC. He is currently Chair of the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education and was a Board member on the recent Cultural Cities Enquiry.

He was Director of Tate between 1988 and 2017. During this period Tate opened Tate St Ives (1993) and Tate Modern (2000 & 2016), redefining the Millbank building as Tate Britain (2000). Tate also developed its national role by creating partnerships with 35 regional galleries across the UK in the Plus Tate network.

David Cutler has been Director of the Baring Foundation since 2003 which is one of the UK’s best known independent grant makers. David leads the Foundation’s arts programme which form 2010 – 2019 exclusively focussed on arts with and by older people. In that role he has written nine publications on creative ageing, including Around the World in 80 Creative Ageing Projects. Prior to the Baring Foundation, David worked in national and local charities focussing on social justice, as well as for a London local authority.

Dr. Kai Huotari (b. 1972) has worked since 2015 as Managing Director at Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo ( ), the largest cultural centre in Finland. Previously, Huotari has held managerial positions at EIT Digital Helsinki, at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, and at DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival.

In 2010-2012, Huotari worked as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley School of Information. He is a member of the board of YLE The Finnish Broadcasting Company and he serves as chairman in the board of Kunsthalle Helsinki, in the advisory board of Creative Finland and in the board of Kaapelin Mediakeskus Oy.

Huotari has a doctoral degree in economics and business administration, an M.A. degree in filmmaking, and a M.Sc. degree in computer science. He has published in the areas of gamification, service marketing and social media.

Mari Männistö works as a Culture Director of the City of Helsinki since October 2019. She manages a team of about 350 professionals being responsible for cultural policy, grants (approx. 17 million eur a year), institutions suchs as Helsinki City Museum, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Helsinki Art Museum HAM, as well as city's seven Cultural Centers. Previously Mari has worked in the field of contemporay art as a gallery director and in book publishing and media business development positions. Mari holds an M.Sc in Economic Science from the University of Tampere.

Since 2003, Paul has led multi-agency urban ageing partnerships, and in 2016 was appointed as the Head of the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub. Paul has had a number of journal articles on ageing published, and given presentations to high-profile events in the USA, Asia, Europe and Australia. Paul has an MA in social gerontology and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. Paul has been a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities Advisory Group, and the Scientific Steering Board for the joint Age-friendly Environments in Europe project.

Twitter Handles: @GMAgeingHub @AgefriendlyMCR
Greater Manchester Ageing Hub website:

David Leventhal is a founding teacher and Program Director for Dance for PD®, a program of the Mark Morris Dance Group that has been used as a model for classes in more than 300 communities in 25 countries. He leads classes for people living with Parkinson's disease around the world and trains other teaching artists in the Dance for PD® approach. He's co-produced five volumes of a successful instructional video and helped conceive and design Moving Through Glass, a dance-based Google Glass App for people with Parkinson's. He received the 2018 Martha Hill Mid-Career Award, the 2016 World Parkinson Congress Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson's Community and was a co-recipient of the 2013 Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award from the Parkinson's Unity Walk. He serves on the board of the Davis Phinney Foundation, is an advisory board member for the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center's Arts and Humanities Program and the Johns Hopkins University/Aspen Institute NeuroArts Blueprint, and is a founding member of the Dance for Health committee of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS). As a dancer, he performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1997-2011, appearing in principal roles in some of Mark Morris' most celebrated works and receiving a 2010 Bessie Award for his body of work.

David Leventhal
Program Director, Dance for PD®
Mark Morris Dance Group | 3 Lafayette Ave. | Brooklyn, NY 11217
office: +1.718.624.8400 x 240 | Dance for PD® toll-free line: 1.800.957.1046
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Trained‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌pianist,‌ ‌Yukiyo‌ ‌Sugiyama‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌determined‌ ‌arts‌ ‌professional‌ ‌and‌ ‌researcher‌ ‌with‌ ‌10‌ ‌years‌ ‌of‌ ‌experience‌ ‌working‌ ‌both‌ ‌in‌ ‌Japan‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌UK.‌ ‌MA(Distinction)‌ ‌from‌ ‌Goldsmiths‌ ‌College,‌ ‌University‌ ‌of‌ ‌London‌ ‌and‌ ‌Graduate‌ ‌School‌ ‌of‌ ‌Social‌ ‌Informatics‌ ‌Aoayama‌ ‌Gakuin‌ ‌University.‌ ‌

Her‌ ‌interests‌ ‌in‌ ‌creative‌ ‌learning‌ ‌lead‌ ‌her‌ ‌to‌ ‌explore‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌practice‌ ‌in‌ ‌performing‌ ‌arts‌ ‌to‌ ‌generate‌ ‌arts‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌creative‌ ‌catalyst‌ ‌and‌ ‌innovation‌ ‌enabler.‌ ‌Recent‌ ‌Project‌ ‌includes‌ ‌the‌ ‌evaluations‌ ‌project‌ ‌for‌ ‌senior‌ ‌citizens’‌ ‌music‌ ‌workshops‌: ‌

Noortje Kessels works as impact producer at literary production house Wintertuin. In 2008, she graduated with honours at Utrecht University, where she studied both Sociology and Literary Studies. She worked as a critic (fiction and non-fiction) for online cultural magazine 8WEEKLY and was an editor of Frame, magazine for literary studies. In 2009 she started working at Wintertuin as a literary programmer. Noortje was initiator and project leader of Wintertuin’s nationwide platform for older people and their stories. Yearly, she organised multiple literary festivals, reading groups, writing workshops and Writer in Residence-programmes in retirement homes. In 2014, Dutch Minister Bussemaker (Education, Culture and Science) selected these activities as exemplary projects for innovative crossovers in the cultural sector. These days, she adapts the methods, programmes and festivals she developed for older people, towards creative writing projects for people with a migration background, terminally ill people and people in detention.

Jussi Lehtonen is artistic designer of the Finnish National Theatre’s Touring Stage, where he also works as a director and an actor. The troupe takes theatre performances out on the road to places like health care institutions and prisons, and contributes community-oriented documentary theatre to the National Theatre’s repertoire. His latest works as director are Undocumented Love (2020), Other Home (2017) and Vapauden kauhu [Fear of Freedom] (2015). Lehtonen defended his Theatre Arts PhD on the actor’s contact with audiences living in care facilities in 2015 at The Theatre Academy of The University of Arts, Helsinki. Lehtonen’s writing credits include "Documentary Theatre as a Platform for Hope and Social Justice" (in: Eeva Anttila and Anniina Suominen (eds.). Critical Articulations of Hope, Routledge 2018); “Imagining What it is Like to be You: Challenges of a Hybrid Community” (Nordisk dramapedagogisk tidsskrift 2019) and Samassa valossa: näyttelijäntyö hoitolaitoskiertueella (Avain 2010) [Under the Same Lights: An Actor on Tour in Care Facilities]. He was given the art award of The Finnish Ministry of Culture in 2011 and the Helsinki City Artist Award in 2020.

  • Ministry of Culture and Education
  • Helsinki
  • Kaapeli
  • The Baring Foundation