Over 2,000 older people to gain from new Arts Council Northern Ireland projects

The beat goes on - Arts Council of Northern Ireland funding announcement of £160,000 music to the ears for 20 groups using the arts to give a voice to older people May Rodgers, (80) from Bruce House residential home for people living with Dementia in North Belfast, refining her beat at the ‘Oh Yeah’ Centre in Belfast alongside Fiona McGettigan, Activities Co-ordinator from the Belfast Trust. The Oh Yeah Centre is one of 20 successful arts and community groups to share in £160,000 funding from The Arts Council National Lottery and the Health Promotion Agency to deliver the Arts & Older People Programme this year. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography

Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography

Twenty community-based arts projects for older people are celebrating after receiving grants from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, supported by funding from the National Lottery, Public Health Agency and the Baring Foundation.

The grants were made though the Arts and Older People Programme, established in 2010, provides opportunities for people to engage with the arts, promoting positive mental health and well-being and helping to tackle issues like loneliness and isolation. Over 19,000 older people have participated so far in 120 arts projects from ceramics to dance and music.

Examples of new projects to be funded include:

Oh Yeah, Belfast. The ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’, project will involve a series of 30 workshops in both residential care settings and in the Oh Yeah Music Centre.  The workshops will encourage carers, family members and staff to join-in with older residents and live musicians, using percussion instruments, singing, gentle dancing, reminiscence, new technology to create new material.

Lisnafin/Ardnalee Trust in Strabane: ‘Strabane Memories in Ceramics’ will bring together residents to create ceramic pieces which will reflect times gone by in the local community. Participants will design and create their own pieces under the guidance of Ceramic Artist Leona Devine. The pieces will then be exhibited in local venues including local youth clubs so that local young people can hear and see a history of their local community.

Action Mental Health: the ‘Shared histories’ project in Antrim, Enniskillen and Downpatrick will bring men together to share their histories and create connections for shared learning. The project will create a digital storytelling history project involving the men working together to research and document the past of their local area, reminisce and share experiences, particularly around memories of the areas they grew up in and their childhood. The films created will be premiered locally.

Big Telly Theatre Company, GlenFest, Portstewart will work with farmers in North Antrim to develop a festival with and for the wider community using a range of techniques.  The project will explore, record and share farmers’ stories and celebrate their way of life.

A full list of winning projects and what they will be doing can be found on the Arts Council Northern Ireland website.

The Baring Foundation is also supporting the ‘Art of Caring’ conference to be held in Bangor on Wednesday 27 April.

Watch a short video about the programme:



This entry was posted on Monday, March 6th, 2017 at 11:17 am