Age & Opportunity will bring music, dance and theatre to people in care settings throughout Ireland

Age & Opportunity will bring music, dance and theatre to people in care settings throughout Ireland

Age & Opportunity is delighted to announce the five artists and six care settings who will participate in the Care Hubs of Arts & Creative Excellence initiative 2020/2021, funded by Creative Ireland’s Creativity in Older Age Programme, with support from the Arts Council of Ireland. This initiative builds on learning and knowledge gathered from previous Age & Opportunity residency initiatives which centred on thoughtful and bespoke arts experiences for older people in care around Ireland.

The key aim of the Care Hubs of Arts & Creative Excellence initiative is to generate arts and care skills and knowledge in six regions around Ireland. Artists’ residencies are at the core of the initiative and will take place from January to April 2021, bringing imaginative and engaging new arts experiences to the residents, staff and families of the care settings and providing a link between the residents and their local community. Bespoke training provided by Age & Opportunity’s Creative Exchanges and Azure initiatives is also designed to inform the artists, regional arts workers and care settings.

These residencies will bring the benefits of arts participation to up to 125 older people who either live in or visit care facilities and 125-250 staff, families, artists and the wider community.

  •        Liz Clark will start her music project Homeplace with participants from Castleisland Day Care Centre, Kerry and Raheen Community Hospital, Clare, composing a song, connecting us to our homeplace and our relationship to it.  At the end of this project, the participants will perform this song, engaging the local community choir/ local musicians to showcase the work to the wider community.
  •        Maud Hendricks and Bernie O’Reilly (Outlandish Theatre Platform) will explore with residents of two healthcare settings, St. John’s Community Hospital, Sligo and Killybegs Community Hospital, Donegal, a pivotal moment in the lives of the residents. Through an exploration of this moment, they will co-create an installation piece to share amongst family, friends, carers and the wider public.
  •        Philippa Donnellan and Olwyn Lyons, working with Clonskeagh Community Nursing Unit, Dublin and Naas Day Care Centre, Kildare, will be inviting everyone to take a step in a new direction and to share an idea or their own moves. People will have the chance to exercise, engage and artistically explore – and to celebrate their life and work in a series of specially choreographed performance events in story, song and dance.

All artists understand they may not be able to enter care settings fully or at all over the residency. The artists have all designed blended residencies that can be dynamic and respond to the needs of each setting, whilst still striving for meaningful engagement with residents. Interactions will be by online, phone and postal means as well as some possible in person visits, depending on the government guidelines at that time.

Commenting on the residency programme, Dr. Tara Byrne, Arts Programme Manager, Age & Opportunity said:

“When this series of residencies ends in May 2021, we hope to have embedded a culture of arts participation across the six care settings, reconnecting residents back to their community and, through the training provided to both staff of care settings and local cultural institutions, to have created a hub of arts and creative excellence in each region.

The impact of Covid-19 will be with us for some time, but we hope these residencies will be part of the process helping us to interpret, to heal and to creatively reconnect with each other as we emerge from the shadow of 2020.”

Funded by Creative Ireland’s Creativity in Older Age Programme, with support from the Arts Council of Ireland.