Local Dublin Bealtaine event organisers invited to the Bealtaine Gathering 2023

Built on Bridges MMS choir and dancers photo credit Enrique Carnicero

Are you an individual, an artist or a member of a group that organises Bealtaine Festival events in your community? Age & Opportunity, producers of the Bealtaine Festival, invites you to join them in Dublin, at the National Gallery of Ireland on November 15th, for this year’s Bealtaine Gathering. This event will be a chance to connect with other organisers, hear about inspiring projects and reflect on a shared vision of creativity as we age, as well as planning for Bealtaine 2024!

The theme for the day is Community, Diversity and New Directionsin their work and they have put together an exciting line up of speakers to explore these topics. The Bealtaine Gathering will also be a key opportunity for attendees to network, share experiences and give feedback on their challenges and needs as they look ahead to 2024. 

Bealtaine Director Dr. Tara Byrne said: “The Gathering is such an important part of the Bealtaine Festival schedule as it both looks back (at the previous festival) and forward to the next. This year in particular we’ve worked hard to make it as relevant as possible to our Bealtaine partners and we hope our deep dive on diversity and community will provide new insights on ways to work as well as some practical tips that even the most seasoned of arts organisers might need.”

The keynote address Diversity Works Both Ways: Reciprocity is Vital will be given by Conny Groot, (Netherlands), who has worked extensively on inclusive arts projects that have brought together communities from different backgrounds. Her passion is to generate both cultural and social impact by stimulating the exchange of narratives through film, music and storytelling.

They will also be showcasing projects which exemplify building creative communities. Dance artist, Katy Hewison (Dance Limerick) will present on The Golden Flood of Memory, a moving intergenerational dance performance which was part of Bealtaine 2023. Community development worker Richie Keane will be telling about the creative work of the members of Fatima Groups United as emerging creators. Curator, art historian and writer, Catherine Marshall will speak about the power of artist collectives through her work as a member of Na Cailleacha. Lucy Medleycott (Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle) will ask you to consider new artforms with her innovative yet practical ideas for circus projects with older people. 

The afternoon will draw together the main themes of the day, with Oein DeBhairduin, artist and Traveller Culture Collections Development Officer with the National Museum of Ireland chairing a discussion on diversity in our work. The panel will featuring Carmel McKenna (Munster Academy of Irish Dance), Han Tiernan (researcher and producer) and Kevin Shanahan (Music Alive, Cork). Writer, Laurence McKeown, (Belfast), a recent winner of the Age & Opportunity Creative Ageing Writing Bursary, will provide a final thought for the day. 

Also as part of the line up, the Creative Enquiry project (Cork), will launch their report on the arts, access and older people, and as part of this, there will be a very special performance from the project ‘Built on Bridges’ which features dance soloist Kevin Hayes, and the Mayfield Men’s Shed Choir directed by Susan McManamon with ‘Statio Bene’. ‘Built on Bridges’ was a large scale dance performance exploring themes of home, identity and migration in connection with Cork City that premiered at the Cork Midsummer festival in 2023. This very special excerpt is especially provided for the Bealtaine Gathering, not to be missed!

Whether you regularly organise Bealtaine events or haven’t had the opportunity for a number of years, they very much welcome you to join for the Bealtaine Gathering 2023. They will especially welcome smaller groups, individuals, artists, care setting representatives, as well as local authority representatives. Tickets for the day are €15/10* with lunch provided. For full details and to book see Bealtaine.ie.

Pic credit: Enrique Carnicero

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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