Latest Laois Event: Programme of Creative Activities for Older Laois Adults rolled out

Latest Laois Event: Programme of Creative Activities for Older Laois Adults rolled out


Laois County Council’s Creative Ireland programme is rolling out a programme of creative activities for adults in Laois, aged 55+.  As part of Creative Ireland Laois’ commitment to Creativity in Older Age, a diverse range of creative and cultural activities are available for free throughout October.  No experience is required, just a curious, open mind for new learnings and adventures.

Laois Arts Officer and Creative Ireland Coordinator, Muireann Ní Chonaill said:

“In July 2020 Minister Catherine Martin T.D launched Creative Ireland’s wide ranging Creativity in Older Age fund designed specifically to counteract the social side effects of the pandemic.  At a time when older people were feeling cut off a range of creative initiatives that reduced isolation, and provided joy and solidarity  was launched across local authorities.  In Laois, since 2020, a diverse range of creative activities for older people has been rolled out, including funding support for the Fadó Faces 2021 and 2022 exhibitions.

Laois Arts Office and Dunamaise Arts Centre as part of the Creative Ireland Laois team are delighted to launch a month of activities that encourages and stimulates creativity – supporting and motivating older adults within our community to meet up in public and supportive venues.  The programme as part of Laois Connects, offers a myriad of creative activities facilitated by professional Laois artists and, arts and culture experts.  This time of the year is ideal to take up new interests – why not join us in new arts and cultural experiences.”

Over 5 consecutive weeks, Talking Art – art appreciation courses take place at Rathdowney Library with artist, Angela Delaney (from Wed Sept 28, 3-4.30pm); Dunamaise Arts Centre with artist, Laura Dunne (from Fri, Sept 30, 10.30am-12noon); Abbeyleix Heritage House with artist Pat Byrne (from Thurs Oct 6, 10.30am-12noon); and Portarlington Library with artist Caroline Keane (from Fri Oct 7, 3-4.30pm). 

Every week new artworks from the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and from Laois County Art Collection are viewed and discussed.  The courses are facilitated by Laois artists who have completed Age & Opportunity Azure training and Irish Museum of Modern Art – Visitor Engagement training.  View, connect and engage weekly in lively conversations about the artworks, aided by a bespoke Talking Art pack created by IMMA and Laois Arts Office.  Weekly attendance is essential/highly recommended. Booking is essential, contact venues directly.  The Talking Art Programme is a partnership between Laois Arts office and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, in conjunction with Dunamaise Arts Centre and Laois County Library Service.

Nuala Kelly performing with the Music Generation Laois, Musical Memories Bandwagon Tour with Mountmellick Men’s Shed Singers at St. Vincent’s Community Nursing Unit, Mountmellick as part of Bealtaine Festival 2021. Picture: Alf Harvey.

In addition, a programme of free creative activities including art workshops and masterclasses for adults 55+ at the Dunamaise Arts Centre is being launched in October, and is a partnership programme between the Dunamaise and Laois Arts office, and includes:  

‘Musical Fun with Nuala Kelly’ (Fri Sept 30, 2-3.30pm) is a workshop that explores your voice with vocal warm-ups, musical games and simple songs.  Find your rhythm with tapping, clapping and hand-held percussion instruments.  No prior experience necessary, just come along and enjoy yourself!

‘My Left Foot with Arthur Lappin’ (Fri  Oct 14, 2– 3.30pm) provides a unique insight into the making of ‘My Left Foot‘ and how this film became a gateway for the development of the Irish Film industry.  Join well-known film and stage producer Arthur Lappin, whose feature films, which include  ‘My Left Foot’, ‘The Field’, ‘In The Name of the Father’ and ‘In America’, were nominated for 16 Academy Awards and won 2, as well as many other international awards.  It is recommended that you watch ‘My Left Foot’ pre-attending this masterclass. 

‘Stirrings with Angela Delaney’ (Fri Oct 28, 2– 3.30pm) is a visual arts workshop using a variety of art materials/processes to focus on creating visual responses to art images that stir something in us.  Participants are encouraged to respond visually to images they connect with.  Booking essential for all activities, call 057 866 3355 or email

‘Activations – Laois Arts’ is launching at The Laois Arthouse, (Mon, Oct 17, 1– 3.30pm with Arts Officer and Creative Ireland Coordinator, Muireann Ní Chonaill, and facilitated by UK Collective Encounters director, Sarah Thornton.

File Photo: Orla McDonagh receiving her Arthouse residency award at Aras an Chontae, ( l. to r.) Catherine Guidera ( Clerical Officer), Orla Mc Donagh, Muireann Ni Chonaill ( Laois Arts Officer and Bridie Keenan ( Aaaistant Arts Officer ). Photo: Michael Scully – no reproduction fee.

‘Activations’ is a capacity research and development programme for Artists in Laois (ages 55+) to ensure that creativity in older age is harnessed and supported.  As pillars of positive ageing, practitioners from visual arts, spoken word, dance, film, writing, sculpture, poetry, architecture, photography, music, digital art, theatre, print making, street art, installation, decorative arts, and crafts, etc, are invited to attend.  Confirm your attendance at 057 8664033/8664109 or

Creativity in Older Age is supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with Laois County Council Arts Office, Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Dunamaise Arts Centre. For further information, follow Creative Ireland Laois on FB, Insta & Twitter and visit Call Laois Art office on 057 8664033/8664109 or email