Bealtaine Festival

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Ireland’s largest multi-disciplinary national arts festival and a major innovator in the area of arts and creativity globally.

What is the Bealtaine Festival?

Bealtaine is a month long festival in May featuring performances, exhibitions, discussions, workshops and readings by artists working in different art forms all over Ireland.

How does it work?

Bealtaine Festival engages people from all over Ireland to foster and inspire creativity among older people and to promote the skills, experiences and exposure that can lead to a rich creative life. You can enjoy all that Bealtaine has to offer whether you are an audience member, an artist, or participating in creative projects in your community.

We also inspire and train other artists to engage in the area of creative ageing and intergenerational work.

Older people and younger people dancing in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar, as part of a 2018 Bealtaine Festival event called a Life of Play.

Image from A Life of Play, one of our 2018 Bealtaine Festival events in Temple Bar.

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Image from our 2016 Bealtaine Festival Voltage event

Image from our 2016 Bealtaine Festival Voltage event

Image from our 2017 event in Limerick City Gallery of Art

Image from our 2017 event in Limerick City Gallery of Art

 

Bealtaine works on two parallel and interdependent strands:

  • The in-house programme, curated by Age & Opportunity’s Arts and Culture team, aimed at addressing key strategic priorities
  • The national programme, made up of hundreds of events organised and curated locally by a wide variety of groups. 

In 2018, Bealtaine hosted over 1,400 co-operative events and 56 Age & Opportunity curated events and attracted over 80,000 visitors nationwide. Events took place in 23 counties, and included: theatre tours, choral performances, intergenerational story projects with schools and care settings, workshops in dance, literature, writing, drawing, artist residencies, craft workshops, storytelling projects, visual arts commissions, film screenings, exhibitions, museum tours and projects and much much more.

Our 2019 programme of events has just been launched: 

Download the programme of events here

How can I get involved?

To get involved in Bealtaine 2019 or for more information on events, visit the Bealtaine website.

Contact

For information or support, speak to our Arts team.
 01 805 7733
 kim.chew@ageandopportunity.ie

 

Arts Initiatives:

Bealtaine Festival

A month long festival in May featuring performances, exhibitions, discussions, workshops and readings by artists, and community groups, working in different art forms all over Ireland. Find out more here.

Artist in Residence in a Care Setting

This opportunity creates access to the arts for older people in care settings as well as supporting artists working in care settings. Find out more here.

Visual Arts Residency

Our visual arts residencies encourage creative relationships between professional artists and artists with learning disabilities, and support professional artists as part of their ongoing practice. Find out more here.

Creative Exchanges

QQI Level 6 Training Course which trains participants to plan and facilitate arts activities for older people in care settings. Find out more here.

Cultural Companions

Creates local networks of like-minded people interested in arts and culture who can accompany each other to cultural events. Find out more.

Workshops & Classes

Workshops which offer older people the chance to engage with literature, dance, the visual arts and music. Find out more.

Azure

Azure explores how people with dementia-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and the people who care for them, can have a deeper involvement in cultural institutions and can participate in cultural activities. Find out more.

Annual Bealtaine Gathering

An event bringing together our local and national Bealtaine Festival partners for a day of networking, inspiration, discussion and feedback on the festival. Find out more.

Arts Initiatives:

Bealtaine Festival

A month long festival in May featuring performances, exhibitions, discussions, workshops and readings by artists, and community groups, working in different art forms all over Ireland. Find out more here.

Artist in Residence in a Care Setting

This opportunity creates access to the arts for older people in care settings as well as supporting artists working in care settings. Find out more here.

Visual Arts Residency

Our visual arts residencies encourage creative relationships between professional artists and artists with learning disabilities, and support professional artists as part of their ongoing practice. Find out more here.

Creative Exchanges

QQI Level 6 Training Course which trains participants to plan and facilitate arts activities for older people in care settings. Find out more here

Cultural Companions

Creates local networks of like-minded people interested in arts and culture who can accompany each other to cultural events. Find out more.

Workshops & Classes

Workshops which offer older people the chance to engage with literature, dance, the visual arts and music. Find out more.

Azure

Azure explores how people with dementia-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and the people who care for them, can have a deeper involvement in cultural institutions and can participate in cultural activities. Find out more.

Annual Bealtaine Gathering

An event bringing together our local and national Bealtaine Festival partners for a day of networking, inspiration, discussion and feedback on the festival. Find out more here. Find out more.

We believe that, whether you are 8 or 80 years old, we all should have access and opportunities to attend and participate in the arts and to realise our creative potential. Fresh thinking, bold experimentation and creativity are all fundamental to delivering a high quality of life for older people.

Research shows that arts programmes involving music, visual arts and drama, among other activities, have a profound influence on the quality of life of older people, with positive impacts on health, psychological well-being, confidence and autonomy as well as other benefits such as:

  • happiness
  • mental wellbeing
  • reduced stress
  • improved cognition
  • sense of identity and personhood
  • increased self-esteem and confidence
  • reduced boredom.

Principal Funders:

Link to HSE websiteLink to Sport Ireland websiteLink to Arts Council website

Our Principal Funders:

Link to HSE websiteLink to Sport Ireland websiteLink to Arts Council website