The Creative Ireland Programme

Creative Ireland Programme is guided by a vision that every person in Ireland will have the opportunity to realise their full creative potential. It is an all-of-government initiative, from 2017 to 2022, to place creativity at the centre of public policy.

Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin T.D. announced an exciting 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.

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

Commenting on the need for creative activity for older people, Minister Catherine Martin T.D. said:

“The effect of the pandemic on our older citizens has been devastating. Through necessity they have had to isolate themselves away from family and friends and in doing so have lost the social links that generate contentment, confidence and mental wellbeing. My department knows the arts and creative programmes can help to rebuild the social connections that have been lost.”

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 programme of creative programmes will be 20 fully accessible short videos that will encourage the slow looking of their Collection. IMMA will hold fortnightly remotely accessible Azure dementia-inclusive sessions as well as providing once a week slots for nursing home groups. With the support of Creative Ireland, IMMA will give older people the opportunity to take a virtual trip around some of the famous museum collections in the world. The museum will also provide printed resources to encourage accessible engagement with artworks from IMMA’s collection. These and other activities will expand IMMA’s national reach to older people who have been impacted by Covid19 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 our local authority partners around the country.

Highlights include projections of slow motion video portraits of older people in Carlow, a Community Notebook project in Kildare, Modern Day Mummers in Leitrim, an intergenerational film project in Louth with young people and their older neighbours recounting their experiences of lockdown, the publishing and recording of a 77 year old’s diary in Meath and mobile opera concerts in Waterford.

Commenting on the participation of local authorities in Creative Ireland’s Positive Ageing and Creative Well Being Programme, Minister Catherine Martin T.D. said:

“The enthusiasm and energy behind the projects that will be delivered by the local authorities is extraordinary. They are truly imaginative and are innately responsive to the needs of their community. I am delighted to be able to support such thoughtful and engaging projects for our older citizens.”

For more information on the Creative Ireland Programme Creativity in Older Age programme, please go to

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