The Art and Ageing programme at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in partnership with Creative Ireland is being extended countrywide from Autumn 2020. I have just completed the very exciting and eye opening Azure Training on Dementia-Inclusive Arts Programming, as facilitator. I was nominated for this training by Lucina Russell, Arts Officer with Kildare County Council Arts Office.

On the way to Spike, 2013. Mixed media on board. Dimensions 80cm x 60cm. Vera McEvoy.

 

IMMA’s Azure tours give people living with dementia and those close to them; a family member, friends or professional carer, the opportunity to visit the museum together. While there, they can join with others to share in an art-looking experience facilitated by understanding and supportive gallery staff.

The Azure training equips arts education professionals, working with visual art collections, with the skills necessary to facilitate dementia-inclusive arts projects. This is also available in an online format.

Looking at art can be an enlightening and informative experience. Art can touch us at different levels, it can prompt us to think and to question. Viewing art is an experience of being in the present, not about the past. One of the challenges for those living with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is short-term memory loss. Visual art can be an ideal topic of conversation for people with issues of memory retention as you don’t need to call on your memory to look at or discuss art. It is about what you can see in the present moment, here and now, and how that makes you think and feel. No previous knowledge or awareness of the artist or art is necessary.

Viewer admires Morning Cry, oil on canvas by Norah McGuinness (1901-1980). Artwork courtesy of the Kildare Municipal Collection. Photo credit: Kelly Hamilton at Gingham Sky Photography.

 

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, today announced the launch of a new partnership between the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and Creative Ireland (see press release below on 30th September 2020). The partnership is focused on expanding arts programming for older people as we deal with the impact of cocooning and social distancing measures in this challenging time for older communities.

The Dementia-inclusive live Azure tours are currently delivered via Zoom and available to people living with dementia, their families, friends and professional carers. These are provided on a scheduled monthly basis for individuals and bookable on-demand for nursing home groups. The Azure programme aims to make art galleries and museums around Ireland dementia-friendly spaces. The tours will be delivered in collaboration with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and promoted through the HSE Dementia Understand Together Network.

For more information on the Dementia-inclusive live Azure tours, see RTÉ News feature. (permission granted by RTE to share on 12.10.2020)

Press release on partnership between the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and Creative Ireland (permission to share granted by government press office on 3.10.2020)

The Azure training programme is funded by Creative Ireland through their Creativity In Older Age initiative, supported by IMMA and Age & Opportunity Ireland.

If you have any further questions or wish to get in touch, contact me by email, phone or social media pages:

email: veramcevoy@gmail.com

phone: 086 2584367

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