30/09/20

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. announces the launch of a new Art and Ageing programme at IMMA in partnership with Creative Ireland

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., today (Wednesday, 30 September) announced the launch of a new partnership between the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and Creative Ireland. The partnership is focused on expanding arts programming for older people as we deal with the impact of cocooning and social distancing measures in this challenging time for older communities.

Minister Catherine Martin said: “In July I was delighted to announce a €500,000 investment in Creative Ireland’s Creativity in Older Age programme. Included in this is an exciting expansion of the ground-breaking Art and Ageing programme, designed by the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which is being launched today.

“Programmes such as this are urgently required to counteract the social side effects of Covid-19 and it is heartening that organisations such as IMMA are able to respond with such energy and sensitivity to the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.”

This new partnership seeks to address some of the challenges around cocooning and social distancing by enabling access to meaningful cultural encounters and art experiences, both at home and in residential settings. This new programme includes:

  1. Collaborations with Nursing Home Activity Coordinators

Many of IMMA’s visitor engagement team have completed Age & Opportunity’s Creative Exchanges course alongside nursing home activity coordinators. IMMA will pair visitor engagement team members with nursing home activity coordinators for support, ideas and remote activity facilitation. This will provide a valuable support to staff in nursing homes and residential facilities who have been through the most challenging time of their careers.

  1. Digital and physical remote engagement resources, including:

A: Slow-looking IMMA Collection videos

This series of accessible (captioned, audio-described) videos will invite viewers to take a relaxed moment with a guided exploration of a selected artwork from the IMMA collection. Videos will be directly available to nursing home activity coordinators in residential facilities through networks such as Nursing Homes Ireland, Alzheimer Society of Ireland services and IMMA’s website and social media channels.

B: Armchair Azure

The Dementia-inclusive live Azure tours are delivered via Zoom and available to people living with dementia, their families, friends and professional carers, provided on a scheduled monthly basis for individuals and bookable on-demand for nursing home groups. Azure is a programme that aims to make art galleries and museums around Ireland dementia-friendly spaces. The tours will be delivered in collaboration with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and promoted through the HSE Dementia Understand Together Network.

C: Collection Conversations Resource Packs

All of IMMA’s programming for older audiences encourages discussions where participants share their thoughts on IMMA artworks. These printed resource packs will highlight selected work from the IMMA collection. The resource packs include high-quality reproductions of selected artworks with an accompanying series of conversational prompts, giving participants a structure for exploring artworks. These conversational prompts can be followed alone, with family and friends, or used by activity coordinators within nursing homes or other residential settings with residents. These resources will be distributed through IMMA partnerships such as Age & Opportunity’s Cultural Companions and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

IMMA has established itself as the leading authority on art and ageing over the last decade. Programming for older people, both at IMMA and in local communities, is increasingly important as the population continues to age and while we live through the challenges of Covid-19.

IMMA recognises the diversity of experience of older people; from those who are healthy and independent, to older people with disabilities, and a growing population living with dementia. Covid-19 has resulted in significant challenges for older people and continues to see them restricted in terms of their access to cultural encounters and experiences.

Bairbre Ann Harkin, Curator: Art & Ageing, IMMA, said: This funding presents IMMA with a valuable opportunity to extend the reach of our existing Art & Ageing programme and rethink how we can reach our audience during this difficult time. By developing a range of options, both digital and non-digital, we are confident that older people will be able to access stimulating, enjoyable experiences connecting them with IMMA and its collection, with our staff and with other art-lovers and burgeoning enthusiasts.”

We are extremely grateful to the Minister and Creative Ireland and our project partners, Age & Opportunity, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Butler Gallery, MISA St James’s Hospital and the HSE Understand Together campaign. These collaborations make it possible for us to reach beyond the museum’s walls into the community and into people’s homes around Ireland.”

For more information on the Dementia-inclusive live Azure tours, take a look at the RTÉ News feature.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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