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?

At present, Cultural Companions runs in Dublin, Clare, Sligo, Wexford, Tipperary, and Cork. Each year we run a Cultural Companions Members Day and a Cultural Companions Toolkit day for local authorities interested in developing the scheme in their county.

How can I get involved?

Members can join either as individual member or by becoming a partner organisation to Cultural Companions. You can contact the Arts team for a membership form.

 

  • What do our members say?

    It’s been great being part of something like Cultural Companions. I can’t believe it hasn’t been done before… For me, it’s just great now knowing what’s going on from month to month. When I think of all the shows that I’ve missed over the years because I didn’t know they were on. I’ve met some really nice people over the past few months and there is a small group of us who now phone each other all the time and go to various shows together or even meet up for a coffee sometimes. What I wanted to get from Cultural Companions was to meet new people and get out more. It’s that simple for me.”

    Marie Ryan
    Cultural Companion, Dublin
  • “I think the title of Cultural Companions says it all in the name; the members are so social and friendly.”

     

    Veronica Byrne
    Cultural Companion, Dublin
  • “I have loved being a member. I have found myself visiting the most interesting places. I am a Meet & Greet volunteer for 5 years now. For 3 years l researched and suggested a lot of the events we attended. I’ve enjoyed every minute.”

     

    Carol Crone
    Cultural Companion, Dublin
 

Contact

For information speak to our Arts team.

 01 805 7713
arts@ageandopportunity.ie

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT: This strand 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 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.

The 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.

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.

Focus Groups

We are working with a number of groups to ensure our work is collaborative and inclusive. Find out more here.

Artists’ Professional Development Training

Providing continuing professional development and training for artists’. Find out more.

Artists' Residencies

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.

Supporting Networks and Best Practice

This initiative aims to support organisations and artists who work with older people and to promote best practice. Find out more.

Access

We are working to ensure our events and initiatives, and those outside the organisation, are as accessible as possible. 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.

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.

Creative supports for Care Homes

We are developing creative supports for care settings in order to ensure easier access to the arts for the residents and visitors of those settings. Find out more.

Arts and Creative Charter for Older People

Our charter aims to raise the standard of arts practice in relation to older people and to create confidence in relation to participating in the arts. Find out more.

Research

We are working to ensure our programmes and initiatives are informed and driven by best practice Find out more.

Arts Initiatives:

Access

We are working to ensure our events and initiatives, and those outside the organisation, are as accessible as possible. Find out more.

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.

Artists' Residencies

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.

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.

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.

The 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.

Focus Groups

We are working with a number of groups to ensure our work is collaborative and inclusive. Find out more here.

Artists’ Professional Development Training

Providing continuing professional development and training for artists’. Find out more.

Supporting Networks and Best Practice

This initiative aims to support organisations and artists who work with older people and to promote best practice. Find out more.

Creative supports for Care Homes

We are developing creative supports for care settings in order to ensure easier access to the arts for the residents and visitors of those settings. Find out more.

Arts and Creative Charter for Older People

Our charter aims to raise the standard of arts practice in relation to older people and to create confidence in relation to participating in the arts. Find out more.

Research

We are working to ensure our programmes and initiatives are informed and driven by best practice 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