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Bealtaine Gathering: 8 & 9 February

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The Gathering is an annual event which brings together Bealtaine Festival's local and national partners, organisers and artists.

About this event

Your ticket covers both days with an optional session on Thurs 10th, see below for details.

A number of funded tickets are available for those in need of financial assistance. Please get in touch directly for details.

As a community, Bealtaine organisers and programmers have had to adapt and regroup over last two years. At this year's Bealtaine Gathering, over two mornings, we hope we can share our collective learnings with a view to a brighter 2022 .

We've invited an inspiring line up of speakers who will share their learnings over the past year, and how best to take these new experiences into planning for the future. 

Overview of schedule

Tuesday 8 Feb

• Intro - Poet Colm Keegan

• Author Ann Ingle in conversation with Róisín Ingle on her memoir: Openhearted

• Case Study - Dance artist Rita Marcalo and Carmel Ennis - 'As If Trying Not to Own the Earth'

• Case Study - Imaginative and inspiring outdoor events, Sinead O’Reilly, Brightening Air Festival

• Discussion - Inclusion and diversity in our work.

• Outro - Poet Colm Keegan

Wednesday 9 Feb

• Intro - Writer/performer and comedian, Anne Gildea

• Theatre artist Michelle Read reflects on her essay on Creative Ageing

• Case Study - Barbara Quinn, Cork Cultural Companions Coordinator, speaking with a member of Cork Cultural Companions

• Case Study - Rhona McGrath, Roscommon Arts Officer on Roscommon's Bealtaine programme 2021

• Bealtaine At Home 2021 evaluation findings

• Discussion - Bealtaine 2022 key considerations

• Outro - Anne Gildea

Access information:

We will be using built-in captions by Zoom which will be available to turn on or off by attendees. Please let us know if you have any extra access requirements and we will do our best to accommodate them.

Thursday 10 Feb - 1:1 Clinics with industry professionals

As part of the Bealtaine Gathering this year we have a very limited number of 20 minute 1:1 clinics available with industry professionals on a range of topics. These clinics will take place on the morning of February 10th. They are free but only bookable if attending the Gathering. Please choose the relevant add on ticket when booking to express your interest. If there is strong demand a selection process may take place.

Marketing & PR – promoting your event - with Melissa Byrne

Book this clinic to get advice on promoting your Bealtaine event, from creating an attention grabbing blurb and image, to using traditional and social media to reach a wider audience. Melissa Byrne is Communications Manager with Age & Opportunity.

Production – making your event happen - with Emma O’Grady

Planning an event can be daunting with so many considerations from where to access support and funding to budgets and schedules to ensuring that everyone is safe and there is a contingency plan. Book this clinic to get advice on the practicalities of organising your event. Emma O’Grady is an independent theatre artist and production manager.

Ask an Arts Officer with Siobhán Mulcahy

The local arts office is a fantastic place to get advice on funding, artist panels, community arts groups and everything arts related happening in your county. Book this clinic to get advice on approaching your local arts officer, having your event included in the local Bealtaine programme and accessing key information and types of funding that may be available. Siobhán Mulcahy is Arts Officer for Co. Clare. Please note that Siobhán will be joined by a colleague on work placement for these sessions.

Approaching a venue – what you should know - with Belinda Quirke

There are many advantages to working with a venue to host or partner on your Bealtaine event. Book this clinic for advice on how venues programme, when and how to approach your local venue and which venue is the right one for your event. Belinda Quirke is Director of Solstice Arts Centre

Working collaboratively – things to think about – with Lorraine Maye

How do you get a collaborative project off the ground, where to begin? Are you an artist who wants to work with older people or are you part of a local Bealtaine group or care setting who would like to work with an artist? Book this 1:1 to chat about your ideas, potential projects and get advice on your next steps. Lorraine Maye is Artistic Director of Cork Midsummer Festival.

In the ticket section please choose the relevant add on to express your interest in a specific clinic. A member of the team will contact you directly in relation to this. Should we receive a high volume of requests, we may ask applicants to supply a short statement on why they want to attend this clinic. Due to the availability of slots, one person can attend a maximum of 3 slots.

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Organiser Age & Opportunity

Organiser of Bealtaine Gathering: 8 & 9 February

We are Age & Opportunity, the national organisation that provides a range of opportunities for older people who want to get more involved in arts and culture, sport and physical activity, civic engagement and personal development. Our aim is to enable the best quality of life for us all as we age, where we can be more active, more visible, more creative, more connected and more confident.

We work with local communities and organisations across the country to run a range of programmes and activities in three key areas:

• Age & Opportunity Arts provides opportunities for us to engage more in arts and cultural events and initiatives.

• Age & Opportunity Active is designed to get us more active and to participate more in recreational sport and physical activity.

• Age & Opportunity Engage offers a range of workshops and learning initiatives for our own resilience and personal development as well as opportunities for us to play an active role in our community.

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