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Cultural Companions

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Do you enjoy attending arts and cultural events, such as, plays, films, shows, concerts, exhibitions or other events? Would you go to more if you could go with someone who shares your interests?

What is Cultural Companions?

Cultural Companions aims to provide increased opportunities for older people wishing to engage with Ireland’s vibrant arts and culture scene (and arts organisations wishing to expand their audiences), but who have no one to go with. The scheme creates local and voluntary networks of older people interested in the arts and culture in order that they may accompany each other to arts events.

How does it work?

Age & Opportunity works with local authorities and communities to support the development of Cultural Companions initiatives around Ireland, including to date initiatives in Clare, Cork, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Wexford.

Clare – For more details see here or contact Clare Arts Office via hmoloney@clarecoco.ie / (065) 6846240

Cork – For more details about Cork Cultural Companions see here or contact them on 0214500688 or email Culture@muintircork.com

Mayo – For more details contact Mayo Arts Office via mayoarts@mayococo.ie

Roscommon – For more details contact Shannette at 089-219-9930 or manager@volunteerroscommon.ie

Sligo – See here for more details or contact Isabel Claffey at the Hawkswell Theatre via culturalcompanions@hawkswell.com

Tipperary – Find out more by phoning 076 106 5000 or emailing fiona.crotty@tipperarycoco.ie

Wexford – For more details see here or contact Eilish Cullen in Wexford County Council on 053-9196564 or email cultural.companions@wexfordcoco.ie.

If you are interested in Cultural Companions and would like to see one started in your area, contact your local Arts Officer to request a scheme in partnership with Age & Opportunity. You can find a list of Arts Officer emails here.

The Cultural Companions Network

This is a network of organisations that run Cultural Companions, brought together by Age & Opportunity. The network meets annually to share updates, advice and support for developing the initiative. For new members Age & Opportunity provides information and resources to help with establishing Cultural Companions in your area. 

How can I get involved as a member?

Members can join their local Cultural Companions (listed above). If one does not yet exist in your area, you can contact your local authority or the Arts team with a request to set one up.

How can I get involved as a local authority?

Local authorities can get involved by contacting Age & Opportunity for support in setting up a scheme. Toolkits for local authorities interested in developing the scheme in their county are available upon request. New organisers will also join the Cultural Companions Network and benefit from the experience of those who have long established schemes.  

 

Contact

For information speak to our Arts team.

 01 913 3921
arts@ageandopportunity.ie

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT: Cultural Companions is intended to encourage and facilitate more older people to participate in the arts, and to enhance the experience of audiences.

Arts Initiatives:

Bealtaine Festival

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

Cultural Companions

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

Arts Events Listings

A national arts listings advertising age-friendly events that take place throughout the year (apart from May). Find out more here.

National Arts in Nursing Homes Day

A day that celebrates the creative activity taking place in Irish care settings. Find out more.

Artists' Supports

Age & Opportunity runs a number of initiatives that support artists. Find out more.

Supports for Arts Organisations

Age & Opportunity supports arts organisations through a number of initiatives. Find out more here.

Supports for Care Settings

We have a range of creative supports for care settings. Find out more.

Arts Resources

We have a variety of resources available here.

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.

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.

Arts Events Listings

A national arts listings advertising age-friendly events that take place throughout the year (apart from May). Find out more here.

National Arts in Nursing Homes Day

A day that celebrates the creative activity taking place in Irish care settings. Find out more.

Artists' Supports

Age & Opportunity runs a number of initiatives that support artists. Find out more.

Supports for Arts Organisations

Age & Opportunity supports arts organisations through a number of initiatives. Find out more here.

Supports for Care Settings

We have a range of creative supports for care settings. Find out more.

Arts Resources

We have a variety of Arts Resources available here.

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.

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Principal Funders:

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

Our Principal Funders:

Link to HSE websiteLink to Sport Ireland website