Bealtaine is Ireland’s national festival which celebrates the arts and creativity as we age. The festival is run by Age & Opportunity, the leading national development organisation improving the quality of life of people aged 50 – 100+.
Age & Opportunity Arts provides opportunities for older people to be more creative more often, to create meaningful participation and representation for all older people in cultural and creative life and to demonstrate and celebrate how our creative potential can improve with age.
We also aim to:
- encourage more older people to participate in the arts and to increase the quality and opportunities of existing participants;
- support the careers of older professional artists and offer them more opportunities to develop and show work;
- support arts organisations who prioritise (or wish to prioritise) older people;
- provide opportunities for intergenerational exchange;
- generate debate and discourse around key cultural issues impacting on older people and other opportunities to influence national and international policy.
Age & Opportunity Arts comprises the Bealtaine Festival and our development and support programme (see ageandopportunity.ie).
The Bealtaine Festival
Established in 1995, Bealtaine is one of Ireland’s largest co-operative festival and the world’s first national celebration of creativity in older age. The Festival has inspired a number of international festivals including Luminate in Scotland, Gwanwyn in Wales, the Age of Creativity in England, and others across the world.
Bealtaine takes place each May for the entire month. The ancient festival of Bealtaine or Beltane (held on May 1), marked the midway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, and heralded the start of summer. The word Bealtaine is still used in the Irish language and translates as the month of May.
The Festival brings together people from all over Ireland to foster and inspire creativity among older people and to promote the skills, experiences and exposure that can lead to a rich creative life for all older people.
National Programme & Nationwide Partners
We know that participating in the arts enhances our quality of life, no matter what age we are, and so we invite hundreds of organisations to take part each year. In this way, since 1995, Bealtaine has become deeply embedded in local communities and has grown to comprise over 3,000 events involving up to sixty thousand people in towns and villages throughout the country. These partners include artists, arts centres, libraries, theatres, galleries, arts officers, national arts and cultural institutions, orchestras, community groups, local authorities, care homes and supported living venues. At the centre of the festival, are the hundreds of artists and partners that help us create Bealtaine and it is this unique collaboration that makes the festival special year on year.
Information contained in this post taken from the Bealtaine website : https://bealtaine.ie/