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An Introduction

Every May in the Republic of Ireland approximately one quarter of the country’s over 65 year olds celebrate the fact that they’re growing older with the annual Bealtaine Festival, Ireland’s groundbreaking “celebration of creativity as we age”.The Festival gently questions expectations of old age. Festive enthusiasm overcomes threshold hesitation for individuals and organizations. Challenging subjects addressed through entertainment become easier to engage with.
Bealtaine makes the issues of aging public. The scale of the festival brings it into contact with every walk of life. Collaboration attracts diverse resources and is at the heart of the festival’s ethos of inclusion. It offers fertile common ground for seeding new approaches to aging.

Around the world older people are becoming a larger percentage of the total population. We are living longer and healthier. In The United States for example, the population aged 65 and over is expected to double in size within the next 25 years. By 2030, almost 1 out of every 5 Americans, 72 million people, will be 65 years or older. The fastest growing segment of the U.S. population is the age group 85 and older. What kind of old are they going to be?

Opportunity now exists to build from Ireland’s proven model in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere. Creative Aging International has begun to work with companies and festivals worldwide. We believe that our work can transform how we all view and approach aging for the better – as individuals, as artists, as companies, as governments and as societies.

What We Aim To Achieve

Establish a product that has a profound and visible impact on the popular understanding of aging and arts practice at national and local level.

Enrich the experience of aging by creating an outlet for social connections and enhanced social relationships.

Improve feelings of well-being, psychological outlook and morale amongst participants through the festival programme.

Nurture social cohesion and social capital. Our leadership has achieved this in Ireland. Our model is proven. Can its momentum be continued in other countries?

How You Can Help

Tell us where we might work together.

Ask for an information pack detailing structural partnerships.

Commit resources or time. Make it happen.

Isn’t It Time To Start Celebrating Aging?

We seek to partner with organizations invested in improving the quality of life for older people in their country. In America and the UK for instance we look for seed capital or developmental partners for a transformational program;

  1. A start up period establishes partnerships across arts, culture, entertainment, social and ageing sectors with City, State, County, Federal, Philanthropists and Not-For-Profit partners.
  2. A Festival celebrating Aging is produced as a transitory Festival. It appears in several Cities over a year. Raising issues and profile through entertainment and media its weekend and night time programs promote the fun of creative ageing while week-day programs broker cross-sector partnerships for positive change.
  3. Newly brokered networks blossom twelve months later into individual festivals across several Cities each with a temporary site at its heart. Diverse entertainment promotes the benefits of creative ageing while showcasing existing activity alongside innovations in a variety of venues including cultural centres, care homes, libraries and the public domain.
  4. Multiple festivals across several territories developed over a four year period encourage transfer, touring and exchange. Together they lever the benefits of capacity and scale.

We are also developing shows and participatory programmes which will work in tandem with existing festivals and within the framework of other organisations.

Our Project Benefits

As the global population ages older audiences will emerge as a dynamic social force seeking arts, entertainment and cultural projects addressing their issues and concerns. This initiative provides the experiences they will seek.

Demographic and socioeconomic trends remind us of the need for creative thinking across public policy issues from health and pensions to housing. Responses are challenged by stereotyping, systemic challenge, scale and fear of our own aging.

We can change this story.

By bringing all key influencers on ageing and culture together and adopting porous structures of networking and collaboration the festival will showcase what a vibrant future with an increased older population looks and feels like. Rather than solve the “problem” of an ageing population it promotes those qualities which help us age well.