6 March 2017
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The grants were made though the Arts and Older People Programme, established in 2010, which 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. This new round of funding is supported by the National Lottery, Public Health Agency and the Baring Foundation. 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.