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Communities: Promoting lifelong learning and wellbeing

Our community outreach programme takes inspiration from our world-class architectural collections and the buildings and places around us.

Using basic materials and stationery, we encourage participants to experiment with new ways to create art at home. Credit: RIBA, British Architectural Library

We work with a range of audiences including older learners (those aged 50 and over), people living with dementia, and those who are blind or partially sighted. While our onsite programme has been paused and our HQ building closed temporarily because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we continue to reach out safely through digital channels or via phone groups.

For individual learners

Events and resources to support individual creativity and learning.

Online events
Get creative at home. Book a free place at the RIBA’s new monthly art workshop ‘Explore and Make: Online’ for those aged 50 or above. With us online, you will explore buildings and architecture to inspire your artwork. No experience is required, suitable for all abilities.

The next workshop will be 25 March 2021. Booking is essential and spaces are limited. Spaces for future workshops will be released soon.

Online resources
We have created a range of resources for adults to support creativity at home. Topics covered include using sketchbooks, digital drawing and experimental art techniques. Resources are free and can be downloaded here.

For groups

All group events are social and interactive; we encourage conversations and questions throughout.

Online events: Exhibition tours
Community groups can book a free guided online visit to explore our Freestyle architecture exhibition and enjoy getting creative in an art-making workshop inspired by the exhibition. Online visits are guided by RIBA staff and last 1.5 hours via a videoconferencing platform.

Online events: Art workshops
Community groups can also book free artist-led practical workshops inspired by architecture, which encourages participants to experiment with new ways to create art, such as drawing with erasers, tape, scissors and thread. No prior artistic ability is required.

Phone groups
We work with other organisations and their phone groups who reach out to those unable to use digital technology. Using architectural themes and our collections as talking points, we can speak with existing groups to initiate discussions and the sharing of memories and knowledge.

How do community groups organise an event with the RIBA?
Online and phone events can take place anytime between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Community groups are welcome to contact us to arrange a visit for a time slot suitable to them. Please email Wilson at for more information or with preferred times and dates.

For online events, RIBA staff will join your group on your videoconferencing platform; for phone groups, RIBA staff will join your conference call. Once a visit has been confirmed you can send us an invite to your online group or meeting. With the creative activities, participants/groups supply their own materials. We use basic art materials and household stationery and we will supply a list in advance.

Creative workshop during Silver Sunday at 66 Portland Place, London. Credit: RIBA, British Architectural Library

National events

The RIBA regularly takes part in large-scale events which celebrate the contribution of older people to our society, such as Silver Sunday and the UN's International Day of Older Persons.

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