Image shown: Azure programme at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

Image shown: Azure programme at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

A new programme of creative activity for older people to be delivered by the Creative Ireland Programme through its strategic national partners and the local authorities has been announced by the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin T.D.

The Creativity in Older Age Programme has been designed to counteract the social side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will begin in July 2020 and will be rolled out over the next 18 months.

The following projects will be delivered by the Creative Ireland Programme’s key strategic partners:

Age and Opportunity will deliver a series of creative residencies in six care settings around the country. These creative residencies will last six months and will concentrate on dance, music and performance.

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) will deliver a programme of projects designed to give meaning to the difficulties experienced by dying, death and bereavement. These will include the curation of a poetry collection By Your Side that will assist with articulating feelings around dying, death and loss.

The Creative Ireland Programme will support a research project with The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) to measure the effects of participation in social and creative activities on the health and wellbeing of adults aged 50+.

Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) will develop Renew, a multi-arts (music, art, writing, dance and poetry) programme specifically for older people cocooning which will be part of the Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing. WHAT will continue its highly successful Healing Sounds on the Wards live music programme at University Hospital Waterford to the end of 2020 and extend its Open Gallery Dementia Friendly Art Viewing Project.

Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA): Included in IMMA’s extensive, creative public programme will be 10 fully-accessible short videos encouraging viewers to take a slow-looking approach to IMMA’s Collection, accompanied by printed guide resources. IMMA will hold monthly remotely-accessible ‘Armchair Azure’ sessions for people living with dementia and their families and friends, as well as providing fortnightly bookable slots for nursing home groups. With Creative Ireland’s support, IMMA will give nursing home activity coordinators an opportunity to access the support of artists and arts facilitators in developing and delivering engaging creative activities for nursing home residents. These and other activities will expand IMMA’s national reach to older people who have been impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.

Mercer’s Institute of Successful Ageing, St James’s Hospital (MISA): An artist-in-residence programme will work with older people who are patients within St James’s alongside the patient’s families and hospital staff. They will create new works to reflect their experience and those of their service users.

The Creative Ireland Programme will support Sing Ireland’s Ageing Voices project to produce resources and best practice training programmes for musicians and carers working with older people when it is safe to do so.

In addition to the national programme, Creative Ireland will also deliver 25 creative projects for older people with local authority partners around the country.

For more information on the Creative Ireland Programme ‘Creativity in Older Age’ programme visit


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