We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone but there are still opportunities to enjoy the arts and creativity as we social distance and isolate. We at Age & Opportunity arts have been impressed by the many organisations around Ireland who have taken their work online and made it fully accessible at this time. So, to make it easier for anyone who wants to taste all of the amazing work out there no matter what age they are, we’ve decided to gather a list of online opportunities across a range of activities – from watching opera to dance classes – which you can take part in without having to leave the house. These are categorised by theme, so we hope there’s something for everyone.
We know that a lot of focus right now is on accessing the outside world through the online world, and that this isn’t possible or easy for everyone. Many of the arts and crafts activities can be printed out so if you know someone who would appreciate it, why not print some off to leave at their door step?
Arts & Crafts:
Glucksman online events: daily creative activities to do at home, including instructional PDFs and videos. They share these on their social media pages alongside examples of what other people are doing.
The Baring Foundation has published a treasury of arts activities for older people. It includes 50 activities, long and short, and is free to download.
Small Things UK are currently offering free access to their Storybox Project for a limited number of groups and families. This includes a number of creative activities for older people and those living with Dementia.
Sign up for two weeks of daily creative challenges starting on the 23rd of March with Create to Connect.
Paper Kawaii has a whole range of origami instructions, diagrams, photo and video tutorials.
Silver Surfers have put together a gallery of adult colouring pages that you can download and print yourself to colour in.
The Hunt Museum has designed a colouring book which features items in their collection, and there are many more museums around the world that have done the same.
Theatre & Opera:
The Draoicht have a YouTube channel full of short films, stories and plays that you can enjoy for free.
RTÉ Radio 1 has an archive of radio dramas that are freely available.
AboutFACE will be hosting their Great Plays Gang online via group video chat. Actors who RSVP receive a copy of the chosen play and assigned a part to read. Non-performers are welcome to watch.
The Guardian has a list of theatre and dance shows that you can watch online.
If you are a fan of opera, a number of places have made films available, including OperaVision, Teatro Regio Torino’s #operaonthesofa, Vienna State Opera, and the New York Met is streaming productions each day and making then available for 20 hours.
Irish National Opera doing some as well including Orfeo ed Euridice, Madama Butterfly and La Cenerentola.
Total Theatre Magazine’s archive is now digitised and free to read – it covers 1989-2012, and is a treasure trove of alt performance history
Do you want to learn about the history of old theatres across the UK in exhaustive-and-fascinating detail? Browse through Arthur Lloyd’s collections
Playing on Air is a podcast of contemporary one-act plays performed by actors such as Adam Driver, Audra McDonald, and Michael C. Hall, followed by a conversation with the creative team.
The Curtain Call Theatre Podcast spotlights current shows through wide-ranging interviews.
Join Fishamble’s #TinyPlayChallenge! Send Fishamble your 600 word Tiny Play. Each week they will share select plays on their site that respond to a weekly prompt. More info: CLICK HERE
It is now possible to join the library online and use the BorrowBox app where you can borrow free eBooks and eAudiobooks.
Dublin City Library has posted details on how to access free writing supports and classes using your library account.
Poetry Ireland’s Poet-in-Residence Catherine Ann Cullen is sharing daily poetry prompts on her Twitter using the hashtag #poetryprompt.
Dubray Books are offering free 10 minute book consultations – call 01 280 9917 or your local store to chat about your reading preferences and they’ll ring back with a recommended list of books.
Women’s Writes is an online book club run by women for women. They host two online meetups each week for one book and can also help you set up your own online book club for you and your friends.
Here is a list of 80+ poetry themed podcasts from the UK and Ireland that you can enjoy for free.
The UCD Library hosts an online poetry archive on their YouTube page where you can watch Irish poets read their work.
The Irish Writers Centre has moved some of their creative writing courses online.
Story Club hosts weekly 500 word creative writing prompts. Write and post your own bite-sized story and read everyone else’s, or just do it by yourself at home.
The Arts Council have a series of talks and interviews with Irish writers on their Vimeo page.
Join the Rick O’Shea Book Club on Facebook to discuss books with over 30,000 people. Rick will also be starting a live chat show on Monday nights at 8PM from March 30th. You can tune in via the Facebook page.
Meitheal Ceol is hosting live sing songs on their Facebook page every day at 7PM GMT. They also have PDF songbooks that you can download to learn the song in advance. The streams are available to re-watch after.
The Sofa Singers is a free and weekly online singing event – it brings together hundreds of people in real time for 45 minute choir rehearsals. After rehearsals there is a virtual tea break.
Casual Choir is an Ireland based choir that is now running online – send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on joining.
Singing for Better Breathing Resource is a playlist of videos intended to help you improve and maintain your health through physical, vocal, and breathing exercises to prepare body and mind for singing.
The Philharmonie Berlin is running a free Digital Concert Hall, offering access to over 600 orchestral concerts alongside behind the scenes videos.
Hot Press Magazine are running a series of live-streamed concerts, the Lockdown Sessions, featuring the best Irish artists around. The performances will be streamed via Instagram.
The Grammy Museum has a weekly schedule of online events, including music education activities, a public programme archive, and at-home exhibits.
Rufus Wainwright is performing daily concerts on his Instagram – you can find other musicians doing this through the #TogetherAtHome tag on Instagram and Twitter or via the Stay At Home Fest.
The National Gallery of Ireland have a series of discussions inspired by their collection and temporary exhibitions on their Soundcloud.
IMMA Talks is a series of discussions available on the gallery’s Soundcloud, including seminars on Art & Ageing.
Download the Armchair Gallery app to access artworks and artefacts from the collections of numerous galleries in the UK. There are lots of creative activities to do too, with special features for people living with Dementia.
Explore international cultural landmarks, museums, and galleries with Google Arts & Culture.
Here is a list of more museums and galleries that you can visit virtually.
Look at Paintings provide short audio guides for a range of paintings, buildings, and sculptures.
The Social Distancing Festival is an updated calendar of live streams from around the world including music, theatre, dance, storytelling, and comedy.
The History Hub hosts a podcast that covers a huge variety of topics ranging from the Middle Ages to the new millennium. You can listen online for free.
CoisCéim are running weekly Wednesday dance classes on YouTube.
Dance Ireland has compiled a list of other online dance classes to take part in.
Kerry Museum has a range of online resources available here.
Forget-Me-Nots have put together a guide on doing reminiscence activities at home.
The IFI has over 200 film Q&A sessions recorded that you can listen to for free.
Future Learn have a whole range of free online courses that you can sign up to.
Information & Support for Artists
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have a range of measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19, including information for the self-employed, and a special COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
If you have been forced to self-isolate due to COVID-19 you are entitled to illness benefit.
Citizens Information has a page detailing what to do if your employment is affected by COVID-19. They have also updated their information for professional artists on Jobseekers Allowance.
The Arts Council has announced that they will honour funding commitments made to those funded under Strategic Funding, Arts Centre Funding, Arts Grant Funding & Festival Investment Scheme Round 1. Further information, including updated funding guidelines, is available here.
The Civic Theatre Tallaght have launched an Artist Emergency Relief Fund which will provide small grants of up to €500 on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Irish Writers Centre provide One-to-One Mentoring that can be offered remotely via Zoom or other online platforms.
The Bank of Ireland has launched their Begin Together Fund which will support new and existing project-based activities for local, not for profit groups working to improve the financial, physical, and/or mental wellbeing of their communities.
Eventbrite have put together a guide for anyone who regularly hosts events – as well as information for migrating your events online.
The National Campaign for the Arts has a short survey for arts practitioners to fill in. This will help them to collect data on cancelled events, postponed performances, lost opportunities and loss of income in the sector.
First Music Contact has regularly updated information and useful links for musicians affected by COVID-19, as well as a newsletter that sends out surveys to measure losses in the sector.
Dance Ireland have a regularly updated information page for affected dancers and are available to contact with queries.
Theatre Forum held a special Covid-19 panel on March 13th that you can re-watch here.
Screen Ireland has committed to some initial measures to support the industry which are detailed here.
Voluntary Arts has launched #CreativeNetwork – a daily online get-together open to anyone involved in the arts who would like to talk to other people in the sector about the current situation.