Marie Brett

Marie Brett

As part of the What Next? Arts and Ageing programme, workshops and clinics are taking place from 9-11 November exploring how to meaningfully engage with older communities through the arts. This workshop series offers an opportunity to discuss and reflect with artists, programmers, curators, and local authority arts officers. The workshops are aimed at staff members at arts organisations, artists and other creative professionals, community workers, healthcare professionals and policymakers.

How do arts organisations connect with older people? In 2019, the Creative Enquiry – Arts and Older People initiative consisted of three residencies and engagement projects involving four artists hosted by three organisations: Cork Midsummer Festival with Marie Brett; MusicAlive with Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon; and SIRIUS with Colette Lewis. After two years, these partners are coming together to share their learnings through the What Next? Arts and Ageing programme, which includes a podcast series, workshops and clinics, and an e-publication.

The workshops and clinics are free but booking via Eventbrite is required.

Workshops | 9-11 November 
Three online workshops are taking place via Zoom, with facilitation by the journalist Ellie O’Byrne.

How Do We Embed the Arts in Healthcare Settings?
9 November, 10 am–noon
Kevin O’ Shanahan, Creative Director of MusicAlive, delivers a workshop with artists Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon. There is a major role for the arts in the prevention of ill health, the promotion of good health, and the management and treatment of illness across the life span. Together Kevin, Helga and Susan ask how one might embed arts in healthcare. The residencies in which Helga and Susan took part had many positive outcomes. They worked in Nazareth House nursing home in Mallow and Mayfield Men’s Shed. Meeting these groups as they are, in their own contexts, provided unique opportunities for collaboration. Kevin, Susan and Helga consider how their work was responsive to the participants.

How Do We Apply the Creative Enquiry Model?
10 November, 10 am–noon
Kath Gorman, former Head of Participation and Engagement at Cork Midsummer Festival, delivers a workshop with artist Marie Brett. They present and discuss the key findings and considerations of Marie’s Cultural Lore residency with Cork Midsummer Festival, which included how arts programmes might be made accessible for and with older audiences. This used the model of a ‘creative enquiry’ based on building relationships through a more flexible developmental approach.

What Are the Ethics of Engaging with Communities?
11 November, 10 am–noon
Miguel Amado, Director of Sirius Arts Centre, delivers a workshop with artist Colette Lewis. Colette explored ways of collaborating with older people that are accessible and innovative, considering the specificities of operating within a regional context. Rather than emphasising final outcomes, she initiated relationships for the future. Miguel and Colette discuss the role of the arts in society: How might an arts organisation maintain links with participants after a project is ‘complete’? They provide guidance on the ethical imperative that an arts organisation should have today, particularly when working with older people, and how that might contribute to discussions of wider societal matters.

Clinics | 9-11 November 
Thirty clinics are also available to workshop participants. The clinics will take from 2–5pm each day. The duration of each session is 30 minutes. The schedule is as follows: 2–2.30pm, 2.40–3.10pm, 3.20–3.50pm, 4–4.30pm, 4.40–5.10pm. Participants should prepare a topic they would like to address.

Workshop participants will receive an email from Sirius Arts Centre to confirm which clinic sessions and times they are interested in (if any) and subsequently Sirius will confirm the booking and shares the relevant Zoom links.

  • 9 November: Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon, Kevin O’ Shanahan, Creative Director of MusicAlive
  • 10 November: Marie Brett, Siobhán Clancy, Community Arts Coordinator, Cork City Council Arts Office
  • 11 November: Colette Lewis, Miguel Amado, Director, SIRIUS

Book Here


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