- 5 new residencies to take place across the country in 2019
- Initiative will reach up to 250 older people who don’t have easy access to arts
- Research shows significant benefits for older people in care with access to the arts
Age & Opportunity, the national development organisation for active and engaged ageing today announced the expansion of their Artist(s) in Residence in a Care Setting, with five additional residencies to take place across the country during 2019.
Through funding provided by the Creative Ireland National Creativity Fund, Age & Opportunity will develop a programme of nationwide artists’ residencies in care settings, one in each province. These aim to make arts and creativity intrinsic to life-in-care settings for older people, particularly those who live outside major urban areas and in hard-to-reach areas. Each residency has approximately 30- 50 residents so it’s estimated that the expansion of this initiative will result in increased arts participation for up to 250 older people in care settings.
Creativity and cultural participation are key contributors to wellbeing in older age. Research has shown that arts programmes have a profound influence on the quality of life of older people in residential care, with positive impacts on health, psychological well-being and autonomy.
The Age & Opportunity Artist(s) in Residence in a Care Setting initiative, now in its third year, creates an opportunity for the staff and residents of a publicly-funded care setting to engage creatively with an artist, allowing them to realise their full creative potential in a nurturing and inclusive environment. The residency places an artist in a care setting for a sustained period of time allowing for a deep engagement between the artist and older residents to take place. It showcases the value of creative activity to the staff and broadens the base of skilled artists working in the area of arts and health.
Commenting on the launch Dr. Tara Byrne, Manager of Age & Opportunity ARTS & Bealtaine Festival Director said: “Through the residency initiative we hope to foster an understanding of the value of creative activity, particularly in a care setting, and demonstrate and celebrate the positive impact of ageing creatively. Through our mentoring and support we will facilitate both care staff and the artists to gain more confidence and acquire new skills in the area of arts and health, and to share and practice them with residents. We also hope to push the boundaries in relation to opportunities for activity, creativity and visibility of older people in Ireland, a key objective in Age & Opportunity’s new Strategic Plan 2018-2020.”
Karen Smyth, CEO of Age & Opportunity said: “The presence of an artist in a care home setting is an invaluable addition to the quality of life of the residents and gives those older people the opportunity to access arts activities as their independent peers do. This represents another first for Age & Opportunity’s arts programme, and builds on our ongoing programme of engagement with care settings. We know from our work in this area that arts activities can have a direct impact on the quality of life of an older person in care, and in the community. We are delighted that Age & Opportunity will reach new groups through the funding provided by the Creative Ireland creativity fund, particularly those in hard-to-reach areas.”
The artist residency initiative is also supported by the Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) and Mercer’s Institute for Creative Ageing (MISA), based in St. James’ Hospital. These partner organisations will offer their expert perspective on the steering group and provide mentoring and support during the programme.
Age & Opportunity are now inviting care settings to apply for this exciting opportunity, with submissions due by 28th June 2019. This will be followed by a call out for artists later in the year.
Age & Opportunity gratefully acknowledges the support of our arts programme funders, the Arts Council, the Creative Ireland National Creativity Fund, and the HSE.