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Author: Arts Council NI
Published on 05 March 2013 01:00 PM

Take time out to celebrate the creative contribution of older people in Northern Ireland, as they take centre stage this March during the upcoming Celebration of Age week, which runs from 4th – 8th March.

Organised by the Arts Council, through the Arts & Older People Programme, the weeklong Celebration of Age will include a number of free exhibitions, art workshops and performances by older people around the region. Events during the week will highlight some of the success of the Arts & Older People Programme developed by Arts Council and Atlantic Philanthropies – a programme designed to help older people access and participate in the arts.

Over 3,500 older people have participated in the Arts & Older People Programme activities to date. Members of the public are being encouraged to join in the art workshops which will take place on Tuesday 5th March around the region. The workshops range in style from storytelling with renowned storyteller Steve Lally, poetry with Maura Johnston, visual arts with Anna O’Kane and drama with Big Telly Theatre Company. Age NI in partnership with Lloyds TSB, will present a workshop for anyone wishing to learn how to apply for funding for older people projects.

Bob Collins Chairman of the Arts Council said: “The Arts & Older People Programme truly reaches out to older people in Northern Ireland, especially those in rural areas, increasing access to and engagement with the arts and thus enriching the social lives of those who participate and reducing isolation. It also recognises the reality that older people have a lively interest in all aspects of life including the arts. The Celebration of Age Week is a showcase of some of the successes of the Arts & Older People Programme, with many events taking place across the region. I would encourage everyone, of all ages, to go along to an event near them”.

A free conference will take place on Wednesday 6th March featuring keynote speaker, broadcaster, writer and Labour peer, Dame Joan Bakewell . The conference will bring together specialists in health, culture and the arts as well as decision makers. A number of workshops will include discussion and debate on best practice in working with older people with contributions from ArtsCare, Engage with Age and the Northern Ireland Alzheimer’s Society.

Commenting on the Celebration of Age Week conference Dame Bakewell said “I’m delighted to be involved with the Arts Council’s Celebration of Age Week. Northern Ireland’s population is aging and older people are accounting for a growing proportion of the population. The Arts and Older People Programme strengthens the voice of older people through engagement with the arts and provides opportunities for skills development. The conference is a fantastic opportunity to bring together a number of professionals who champion the rights of older people in our society and will aid in keeping this vital topic on the agendas of local government”.

The Arts & Older People Programme has funded a wide range of visual arts projects throughout Northern Ireland. As part of the Celebration of Age week, galleries, museums and arts venues will host some of the artwork created in these projects allowing the public to view the creativity of our older people.

opens link in new window Download a copy of the Celebration of Age week events (PDF 538KB)

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575