Bealtaine Festival has just announced a stellar line-up of events taking place online this May 2021, and they want you to get involved. Bealtaine is an Age & Opportunity initiative and is a celebration of the arts and creativity as we age. The Bealtaine Festival team want you to sign up to and take part in the incredible events they’ve organised, from performances, creative workshops, discussions, music and more.
There will be a discussion chaired byRory O’Neill with the participants in the LGBTQIA+ Bealtaine documentary film commission, along with activist and academic Ailbhe Smyth; Paula Meehan, author of As If By Magic and this year’s Bealtaine Book Club poet, will be in conversation with Mia Gallagher; new videos will be released weekly as part of the As If Trying Not To Own The Earth series with Instant Dissidence, a new dance and food activism piece co-commissioned with Dublin Dance Festival; there will be traditional music and readings with Niall Williams and Christy McNamara based on Niall’s book This Is Happiness; a performance of On A House Like A Fire by Michelle Read and Brian Keegan dealing with remembering, personhood and love, and a new work by visual artist and vocalist Ceara Conway, How Are You?, will explore the power of scent, its effects on mood, memory and wellbeing and the connection of scent to music. This sensory work will be shared with family carers around Ireland over April and May.
Karen Horgan, CEO of Age & Opportunity, said: “This year has been difficult for everyone, and we hope this exciting variety of activities and events will give people a boost as we head into the summer. This year’s Bealtaine reminds us that we can be creative and celebrate the arts in our own homes. Let’s mark this particular month of May with all the hope for the future that it represents in this challenging year.”
The festival will kick off with Bealtaine’s annual Dawn Chorus event. This year the Dawn Chorus will be a taster of a very special collaboration between the Bealtaine Flagship Choir (Ceol le Chéile) and two special guest choirs. This final virtual performance will be premiered for the Dusk Chorus at the end of May. Choirs around Ireland are invited to record their own Dawn or Dusk Chorus.
The Artistic Director of the festival, Dr Tara Byrne added: “Since we never got to celebrate our 25th birthday in 2020, we want to make this Bealtaine more special than ever as we move into the year more resilient and stronger than ever, we bring with us new insights about our capacities for solidarity, camaraderie and community. Though we still cherish our independence, we also realise our critical interdependence with each other and nature, and choose to use this as our theme for 2021.”
There will be a weekly discussion series on fundamental topics including the cultures of ageing, the politics of care and intersectional identities. A number of weekly workshops will also take place for singing, writing and visual arts. People are encouraged to sign up and participate in the discussions and workshops with all details available on the Bealtaine Festival website. Make sure you keep an eye on the Bealtaine website and Facebook page for information, updates and the full list of events: https://bealtaine.ie/ and https://www.facebook.com/Bealtainefestival/