In the spring of 2022, Age & Opportunity set out to research the Arts and Older Person Sector through the Mapping the Arts & Older Person Sector Project. This research, led by volunteer Antoinette Hensey with the assistance of the Arts Programme found key points of information about the Arts and Older Person sector within Ireland, which we aim to address in our Arts & Creative Charter for Older People.
This research included the following:
- Older people usually represent arts participants and audiences, with just over 15% taking on more leadership roles such as artists, facilitators, producers, and critics*
- The most popular projects cited for older people were visual arts and literature-based, with no representation of circus, street art and spectacle and little performing arts*
- The majority of projects represented were funded by local authorities or the Arts Council. Almost 15% of the projects were self-funded.*
- Half of the projects surveyed were evaluated.*
*Based on our Arts & Older Person Sector survey which had 41 respondents.
Meet the Researcher: Antoinette Hensey
Researcher Antoinette Hensey has worked as a craft person, artist and songwriter for all her working life and continues to engage in these pursuits. Upon the completion of a course in Social Gerontology, she spent a number of years volunteering as a case-working advocate for older people, where she gained valuable insight into the challenges older people may encounter in their lives.
These combined experiences as an artist and advocate for older people led her to volunteer with Age and Opportunity for the Resources for Older Artists Mapping Project where she was involved in the early stages researching the available information on this subject and designing the survey.