How do arts organisations connect with older people? In 2019, the Creative Enquiry – Arts and Older People initiative consisted of three residencies and engagement projects involving four artists hosted by three organisations: Cork Midsummer Festival with Marie Brett; MusicAlive with Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon; and SIRIUS with Colette Lewis. After two years, these partners are coming together to share their learnings through the ‘What Next? Arts and Ageing’ programme, which includes a Podcast series, workshops and clinics, and an e-publication.
The workshops and clinics offer an opportunity to discuss and reflect with artists, programmers, curators, and local authority arts officers regarding how to meaningfully engage with communities through the arts. They are aimed at staff members at arts organisations, artists and other creative professionals, community workers, health care professionals and policymakers.
How Do We Embed the Arts in Healthcare Settings?
9 November, 10am–12pm; Zoom
Kevin O’Shanahan, Creative Director of MusicAlive, delivers a workshop with artists Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon. There is a major role for the arts in the prevention of ill health, the promotion of good health, and the management and treatment of illness across the life span. Together Kevin, Helga and Susan ask how one might embed arts in health care. The residencies in which Helga and Susan took part had many positive outcomes. They worked in Nazareth House nursing home in Mallow and Mayfield Men’s Shed. Meeting these groups as they are, in their own contexts, provided unique opportunities for collaboration. Kevin, Susan and Helga consider how their work was responsive to the participants.
How Do We Apply the Creative Enquiry Model?
10 November; 10am–12pm; Zoom
Kath Gorman, former Head of Participation and Engagement at Cork Midsummer Festival, delivers a workshop with artist Marie Brett. ‘Cultural Lore’, the title of Marie’s residency with Cork Midsummer Festival, looked at how older people might relate to the arts, particularly in a festival context. The methods were process driven, collaborative and reflexive; Marie invited older people to become embedded in creativity, led by their own interests and investment. The creative enquiry model has now been applied to further projects by Cork Midsummer Festival. The focus has been on building relationships over longer durations and exploring a more developmental approach.
What Are the Ethics of Engaging with Communities?
11 November, 10am–12pm; Zoom
Miguel Amado, director of SIRIUS, delivers a workshop with artist Colette Lewis. Colette explored ways of collaborating with older people that are accessible and innovative, considering the specificities of operating within a regional context. Rather than emphasising final outcomes, she initiated relationships for the future. Miguel and Colette discuss the role of the arts in society: How might an arts organisation maintain links with participants after a project is ‘complete’? They provide guidance on the ethical imperative that an arts organisation should have today, particularly when working with older people, and how that might contribute to discussions of wider societal matters.
The workshops are free but booking via SIRIUS’s Eventbrite page is required.
Thirty clinics are available to participants in the workshops. They take place from 9–11 November, 2–5 pm each day; the duration of each session is 30 minute. The schedule is as follows: 2–2.30pm, 2.40–3.10pm, 3.20–3.50pm, 4–4.30pm, 4.40–5.10pm. Participants should prepare a topic they would like to address.
Once registered for the workshops, participants receive an email from SIRIUS to confirm which clinics they are interested in (and corresponding times) followed by a subsequent email confirming the booking and sharing the relevant Zoom links.
Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon
Kevin O’Shanahan, Creative Director of MusicAlive
Siobhán Clancy, Community Arts Coordinator, Cork City Council Arts Office
Miguel Amado, Director of SIRIUS