The Bealtaine festival is part-funded by the Arts Council.
May belongs to the Bealtaine festival, celebrating creativity as we age and you can find out all you need to know about Bealtaine 2013 from the festival website.
An estimated 115,000 people now take part in the Bealtaine festival, making it one of Ireland’s biggest arts festivals. From dance to cinema, painting to theatre, Bealtaine showcases the talents and creativity of both first-time and professional older artists.
It is a chance for people to make new and challenging work, a chance to communicate traditions between the generations. It is a chance for the novice to discover a talent until then unseen and a chance for a long-dormant skill to find a new outlet.
Each year, Age & Opportunity invites local authorities, arts centres, libraries, Active Retirement groups, care settings, community groups and clubs, associations from every part of the country to run Bealtaine events that celebrate creativity as we age. In 2012 we had over 600 organisers.
Each year we devise a theme to get people thinking and produce the Bealtaine Programme, which lists events and showcases the diverse range of activities taking place .
As well as that, Age & Opportunity initiates or supports a number of innovative events each year. For example we have brought the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange to Ireland for workshops and performances, nurtured the performance piece Silver Stars to a full production (which has gone on to sell out performances in the Dublin Theatre Festival and was invited to New York's off Broadway festival, Under the Radar) and EnvisAge, a creative project that attempts to re-imagine care settings for older people in a whole new way.
Bealtaine is an Age & Opportunity initiative part-funded by the Arts Council and delivered by hundreds of organisations around the country. Dublin City Council is also an investment partner. In 2009, we published a major independent evaluation of the Bealtaine festival by the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, National University of Ireland, Galway. You can find out more about the Bealtaine evaluation here.