Almuth Fricke

Expert in creative ageing matters and older adult education / Specialist and researcher in cultural gerontology / Networker on accessibility, inclusion and diversity / Board member of AMATEO and Cultural council, 56 years old  

Almuth Fricke, MA, studied Spanish, French and Comparative Literatures and Cultural Management. Since 2008 she has been the director of kubia, the Centre of Competence for Creative Ageing and Inclusive Arts that is based in Cologne, Germany. Before, she was head of the Performing Arts and Education department of a cultural centre.

Almuth is an expert in cultural gerontology and creative ageing. Her main interests are cultural education and learning in later life; active arts participation of all age groups and inclusive arts. Almuth has been involved in a variety of international partnerships and networks and is a member of the board of AMATEO, the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities.

Amongst all of the questions that resonate with you about aging and growing old, which one seems the most essential for you that you would like to share ?

Ageing is not going to the past, but to the future. Sadly, images of ageing are still very stereotyped despite of the heterogeneity of old age around us. Older people are often regarded exclusively as reservoirs of memories, experiences and traditions. Their potential contribution to the present and to the future is overlooked. This perception makes older people often believe that they are not able and worth to bring something new to the fore. The most essential for me is therefore that we give older people the opportunity to contribute by securing their autonomy, self-determination and active participation in social and cultural life and that we give space for a lively intergenerational dialogue.

From your own experiences, tell us about a significant moment or event in your personal or professional life that shaped your perspective around aging.

Due to my professional occupation with the topic of creative ageing during the last 15 years I have met lots of very inspiring older professional and amateur artists who are contributing with their art to creatively reshape the image of ageing and deeply surprise us with their imagination, energy and resilience. It is never too late to begin!

During our meetings last October, you imagined taking some first steps, the first actions. Can you remind us what they were? Can you tell us what happened when you put them into action?

If, in the coming months, you were given the time, energy and resources to set up a (new?) Project with our common questions at heart, what would it be?

According to your experiences and your expertise, where is the vitality, the curiosity, the strength to act in the face of the realities of aging?