May you come to life during the Bealtaine Festival in Laois
The arts and library sections of the Departmental Council of Laois have joined forces with the Center des Arts Dunamaise and the Génération Musicale Laois to present a selection of safe and creative projects during the month of May to celebrate the Festival Laois Bealtaine for old people.
The month of May offers glimpses of fresh beginnings into the wild and also hope for our communities, as we tentatively exit Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. For the sake of security, the Laois 2021 program follows the national theme of Bealtaine At Home with online events, but we hope to have something for everyone nonetheless.
The Arts Office presents To be harnessed an online comic book game sharing memories, stories, songs, poetry and lots of fun. It is presented by Carnation Theater, which is no stranger to Laois.
Missing out on going to a wedding? – Join us for an interactive play broadcast via the zoom platform on Tuesday May 4th at 11:30 am – Dress up, toast, be merry and sing along with us as we remember weddings of yesteryear. Optional dress code: Shuttlecock with hats – Dance: Mandatory – RSVP to Laois Arts Office, [email protected] or T: 057 8664033 as soon as possible – places are still available but limited.
Caring for and sharing art – Artists in residence at Arthouse Stradbally respond to this theme to create a work of art to hang in three of the Hospitals for the elderly in Laois; St Vincents Mountmellick Hospital, Abbeyleix District Hospital and St Brigids’ Hospital Shaen and the final work will be selected by a panel from each of the hospitals.
At the beginning of May, all works of art, including the selected pieces created, will be exhibited online in an exhibition entitled “A Road Less Traveled” in memory of those who were lost to us during this tragic journey through the pandemic. People can view the artwork and consider purchasing a piece for themselves or donating to a nursing home of their choice in the county.
A priest Bealtaine film collection is a package of six specially selected films, made available to Dunamaise customers via the distributor, access> CINEMA, via the Irish Film Institute’s digital projection platform. The selection includes a mix of new and recent film titles in a variety of genres, chosen with an older audience in mind. Dunamaise offers a 15% reduction when films are booked through them.
The films include Let Him Go with Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as a retired sheriff and his wife who, after the death of their adult son, must go in search of their only missing grandson. The Mole Agent, is an Oscar nominated documentary, following an 83-year-old man who goes undercover as a new resident and mole in a care home, investigating the well-being of residents. Talking About Trees follows four retired Sudanese filmmakers, idealists and friends for over 45 years, who reunite after a long period of estrangement and exile as they attempt to bring cinema back to the people of their homeland.
‘Always human’ is an ongoing art project with older people, directed by Cabrini Cahill. The recent chapter, “Forever Young” – A Writing Memory, will end during Bealtaine. Creative Writing Tutor Denise Dunne will bring together the poetry and prose, created in recent weeks by older people in their homes, and Dunamaise will share them online and in a booklet publication for participants and the wider community.
You can request a Creative Writing Pack from Dunamaise on 057 8663355 or [email protected] to participate, and Denise can support and assist you by phone or email, in your creative writing by drawing inspiration from life memories. . “Forever Young” was funded in part by the KEEP WELL campaign, which came to you through Healthy Ireland, an Irish government initiative with funding from the Healthy Ireland Fund and the Sláintecare Fund set up by Pobal.
Dunamaise in partnership with the participants of Cuisle Center art workshops, on creative engagement packs at home for people over 55, as part of the Bealtaine Festival. Created together by theater artist Louise White and visual artist Clare Henderson, the packs contain materials for a remote dry-point workshop, as well as storytelling objects, prompts and reflective exercises, designed to help participants create sketches, which Clare will turn into beautiful framed prints to return to participants to celebrate their accomplishments at the end of the project.
Keep in touch with Dunamaise on social media or www.dunamaise.ie for further announcements on shiny new theater productions and more, as they are announced throughout the month of May. Ticket office (reduced / flexible hours because the staff work remotely) 057 8663355 or [email protected]
The Laois Libraries are delighted to welcome the fame John MacKenna for a series of lectures on music on Tuesday May 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 7 p.m. Interviews will last 90 minutes and the series will begin with music and poetry by Leonard Cohen. John collaborated with Cohen, a friend of his for over 30 years, on “Between Your Love and Mine,” using Leonard’s lyrics and music to create a requiem. Other artists who will be covered in the series are Mary Chapin Carpenter, Paul Simon and Gretchen Peters. Send an email to the Laois Libraries at [email protected] to reserve a place.
In other good news from May, Creative Ireland have provided funds for two programs in the county through the program called Creativity in Older Age. The Laois Arts Office and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) will team up to deliver Talking Art, a thoughtful, inspiring and compelling online artistic engagement initiative for older people living at home, cocooning and potentially isolated as well as residential care. in Laois.
A program pack will be published and will include five works from the IMMA collection and five selected works from the Laois collection. The Laois Arts Office and IMMA will work to create a juxtaposition of works of art, perspectives, aesthetics, genres and meaningful engagement with older people – to take them on a journey of discovery, interest and fun. Training will be offered to professional artists living in the county to deliver the Talking Art program.
Laois musical generation, Offaly and Westmeath will collaborate to present Musical Memories and the Ceili Ukulele. These are intergenerational musical projects directed respectively by Music Generation Laois and Music Generation Offaly-Westmeath. With funding from the Creativity in Older Age program, they will partner and expand the two projects across the region, maximizing resources and leveraging our learning and successes, to access new communities and new participants, using music as a tool to overcome isolation. that older people experience as a result of Covid-19.
Hosting the Bealtaine Festival and Creativity in Older Age Awards for the county, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council said, “Laois County Council is very pleased to announce the Bealtaine Festival and Creativity in Older Age programs. There is a varied program to suit all tastes. I am also very happy to announce today the two Creativity in Older Age projects. I wish all artists, audiences and participants of the Bealtaine and the Creativity in Older Age projects every success.
Muireann Ní Chonaill, Arts Manager and Creative Ireland Laois Coordinator, said: “We hope the seniors in our county will enjoy the Bealtaine program on offer. We are very happy that Laois has secured funding for the two Creativity in Older Age projects and look forward to rolling them out over the next few months.
The month of activities was kicked off last week at County Hall by Cllr Fitzgerald and Ms. Ní Chonaill. Also in attendance were Patricia O’Rourke, Arts Office, Bridie Keenan, Assistant Arts Officer, Carmel McNicholl, Senior Manager – Arts and Community Sports, Bernie Foran, County Librarian and Rosa Flannery, Music Development Officer / Music Generation Laois.