IMMA Horizons aims to contribute to new thinking on how creativity can positively impact health and wellbeing through programming and partnerships.
Extensive research has identified the role of the arts and creative engagement in the promotion of wellbeing across the life course. Building on the strong history of arts and health in Ireland, IMMA Horizons contributes to new research and ongoing conversations in Ireland and globally, advocating for arts experiences to be recognised as an important part of a healthy life.
IMMA Horizons provides free creative experiences and events for adults to meet and explore art together at a relaxed pace, in a sociable and supportive environment that encourages active participation by all. Take time for yourself and discover new ways of looking at the world and connecting with others, through facilitated experiences at IMMA and online.
IMMA Horizons builds on the success of IMMA’s established Art & Ageing programme. Since its founding in 1991, IMMA’s Engagement and Learning Department has pioneered the development of programming for older people in museums and galleries in Ireland. It has demonstrated its commitment and capacity to deliver innovative, impactful programming, and has successfully established itself as a leading authority in this space.
In 2012, IMMA co-founded the Azure Network, alongside Age & Opportunity, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Butler Gallery, to train and deliver dementia-inclusive museum programming nationwide. IMMA invested further with a dedicated fellowship in 2018/19 to examine and evaluate its ongoing dementia inclusive programming. Since 2017, IMMA has connected with the Mercers Institute for Successful Ageing through the Creative Life pillar. These collaborative arts and health programme intersects between the hospital and museum, this relationship supports patients and their families, as well as contributing to staff wellbeing, by enabling access to contemporary museum experiences.
In 2020, IMMA received funding from Creative Ireland to deliver a range of free, inclusive arts-based activities as part of an effort to counteract the social side-effects of the pandemic on older people. Online events encouraged live engagement with art, from the comfort of participants homes; video and printed resources were also developed to reach older people living within residential homes, or on their own. As we emerged from the pandemic, it became clear that these experiences had reached many people in different circumstances.
IMMA’s long-standing partnerships with Age & Opportunity, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and HSE’s Understand Together programme will enable us to reach further with this programme, ensuring that it reaches older people who may not have participated in IMMA programming before now.
Our partnership to date has strengthened each organisation’s ability to connect and co-create opportunities and services for older people in general and people living with dementia. Together we have developed resources and training programmes for people working across a number of interrelated services and continue to provide professional support for Carers, Artists, Activity co coordinators and others working to support sustained access to art and creativity for older people living in our communities.
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