Bealtaine Festival, an Age & Opportunity event, is a celebration of the arts and creativity as we age. Although we had to cancel our live and in-person events this May, we are bringing a taste of the festival to you online for the entire month of May – Bealtaine At Home.
Bealtaine At Home honours the creative spirit of the festival with a wide selection of online activities that we want you to get involved in, and share with the older people in your lives.
“The festival has moved online this year, but we have a wide variety of activities that we hope will interest older people in particular who are cocooning during this difficult time,” Karen Horgan, CEO Age & Opportunity, said. “The incredible calendar of events for Bealtaine At Home throughout the month of May reminds us that we can be creative and enjoy the arts in our homes.”
The Artistic Director of the festival, Dr Tara Byrne added: “While we were so disappointed to have to cancel the huge plans we had for our 25th Bealtaine Festival, we have managed to respond with a diverse, engaging and highly entertaining series of events to mark this extra-ordinary May!”
We will be releasing a specially commissioned Bealtaine At Home video every Wednesday in May with Pom Boyd and The Windy Lady, who invites the viewer into her home to share her surreal thoughts on self-isolation, medication, her turkey family, pigs, racing cars, buses, the moon and Vladimir Putin (or the manager in Super Valu as she knows him).
“I started making this noise in rehearsals one day and The Windy Lady came into being,” Pom Boyd, Dublin born Actor, Performer and Writer, said. “The character is born out of how older people are typically portrayed, so I’ve made sure there is subversion, anarchy and feminism going on with The Windy Lady. She’s a perfect fit for Age & Opportunity as she challenges stereotypes. You’d never know it to look at her though, you have to get to know her.”
“During Covid 19 the Windy Lady is sharing her home schooling skills, looking after her family of turkeys and sharing her collection of photographs with us, so I hope you’ll take a journey with her in these videos throughout May,” Pom said.
We’ll also be getting imaginative with artist Brian Cooney and his photography club online; we’ll be discussing literature with our book club with the help of writer Mia Gallagher and hearing from authors Michael Harding, Catherine Dunne and Neil Hegarty; we’ll be asking choirs to send in their videos from isolation to celebrate the Dawn and Dusk Choruses with us and much more.
In 2019 Age & Opportunity ran six artist residencies in care settings around Ireland. This May, the six artists were due to revisit their care setting for a Bealtaine celebration. This unfortunately is no longer possible, but the artists involved have all responded to this by creating an opportunity for wider engagement, inspired by their residency, including photography, drawing workshops, print at home pamphlets and videos, immersive video for those living with dementia and more. We will be sharing the creative activities of the artists involved on our website and social channels.