Artful Ageing


The Artful Ageing programme is currently postponed until further notice

The annual Artful Ageing programme is a 6 month art project, supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  The project is aimed at breaking down isolation, loneliness and promoting well-being amongst older residents of east Belfast.  The weekly workshops take place in the EastSide Visitor Centre and to date have offered older residents the opportunity to try their hand at; craft, creative writing, interactive music workshops, ceramics, watercolour, digital fabrication, printmaking and more. 

All of the Artful Ageing workshops are free and transport can be provided for groups who wish to attend each week.  We would like to thank Arts Council NI for putting together a video outlining the positive impact of the Artful Ageing Workshops.  CLICK HERE to view the video.


Each year we also work with local artists to develop and devise new artistic work with and for our older residents, including people living with Dementia and carers.  In 2018 we worked with local writer and arts facilitator Jan Carson and east Belfast sound artist Nick Boyle on an innovative 10-week project bringing 8 carers from east Belfast together.  The participants, most of whom had no experience in writing for radio, worked to develop, write, edit, perform and record two short pieces of drama about their own personal experience of caring for a loved one.  The participants are carers of children, partners and parents and have cared for people living with physical and mental disabilities, Autism, Dementia and other complex needs.

The project also developed a unique toolkit to create opportunities for carers and organisations to share their experiences.  The Artful Ageing toolkit, delivered by EastSide Arts and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Arts & Older People Programme, will provide a platform for conversations about being and supporting carers.

The radio dramas and the toolkit are available as a resource for carers’ groups throughout Northern Ireland.  The downloadable pack includes the recordings of both plays along with recommended frameworks to discuss the themes and issues raised. Also included are two quick writing exercises similar to those the group used during the 10-week project. The aim of the resource pack is to stimulate and support honest conversations about caring and the role of carers, and to enable carers to reflect upon the connections, interests and relationships shared with the person they care for.