National Arts in Nursing Homes Day 2023

Celebrating the arts & creativity as we age, as part of the Bealtaine Festival.

National Arts in Nursing Homes Day

Friday 19th May 2023, as part of the Bealtaine Festival, Nursing Homes Ireland Members across the country will be participating in the third National Arts in Nursing Homes Day. Join us as we celebrate the integral role fulfilled by art in bringing therapeutic benefits, happiness and joy to the lives of residents in nursing homes.

What is the Day about?

Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival is Ireland’s cultural celebration of the arts and creativity as we age. Nursing Homes Ireland is delighted to partner with Age and Opportunity to support nursing homes in communities across Ireland to celebrate the integral role arts activities fulfil in nursing home care. The National Arts in Nursing Homes Day will build upon the success of 2021 and 2022, when arts celebrations were hosted in nursing homes across Irish communities to mark the Day.

Taking place Friday 19th May, National Arts in Nursing Homes Day provides opportunity to raise public awareness about the creative works that are accomplished by residents in nursing homes.  It gives opportunity to celebrate the sometimes hidden, but hugely valuable work of creating a space where all residents can express themselves meaningfully through arts experiences.

So, what will the day entail?

It is very much at your discretion. We offer the following considerations.

  • Timing

    We recognise that creative activity happens throughout the year but we encourage you to schedule a special creative celebration or activity to take place Friday 19th May. As part of the Bealtaine Festival celebrations, nursing homes are encouraged to utilise the Day to publicly celebrate the creativity of residents and the role of arts in your nursing home.

  • Event Type

    Whether you would like to focus on one activity or pack the day with different workshops, performances and exhibitions, there is lots to choose from. Why not canvas your residents and see if there is something new they would like to try their hand at, or look through our Toolkit for Arts & Creativity in Care Settings for ideas (see resources below). You might also wish to use the day as the culmination of a bigger creative project you’ve been working on or to showcase work from past years.

  • Working with an Artist

    Is there a bigger project you’d like to explore over the month of May or maybe try a new artform for the first time? See below on connecting with your local arts office in relation to this.

  • Location

    If you decide to mount an exhibition, be mindful of the light needed to view the artworks properly and of people being able to move freely. An exhibition can bring residents and staff together to view the works. Is it possible to invite residents’ families and friends to view the works? Or, might a simple virtual tour of the exhibition be possible for family and friends via a phone or tablet? Another variation to consider is outdoor activity, depending on the weather. If running a group activity, allow the usual space needed to move freely.

  • Reception/Tea Party/Cocktail Hour

    Why not ‘make a splash’. Organise a morning, afternoon or evening reception that will open or close the day of creative activities. Encourage staff and residents to get dressed up, have a glass of something special and make some speeches. Why not ask some local dignitaries to attend or pre-record a message to play, wishing everyone well? Messages from family who can’t be in attendance could also add to the sense of celebration.

  • Support Material for Exhibition

    Whatever activity or artform (dance, visual art, poetry etc) is showcased on the day, remember appropriate crediting for those involved on any materials that are produced. Information for any potential audience is also an idea. Should you bring together a short booklet / flyer to inform or record the activity for posterity?

  • Resources to assist you

    Template A4 poster for you to print off to promote your National Arts in Nursing Homes Day event

    National Arts in Nursing Homes guidance leaflet This leaflet will provide you with guidance on how you can go about hosting your celebration.

    A Toolkit for Arts & Creativity in Care Settings  Produced by Age & Opportunity, this toolkit provides a practical guide to making the arts and creativity part of everyday life in a care setting

  • Register your participation now

    We urge every participating nursing home to register your participation to ensure inclusion in this year’s Bealtaine programme of events. Take a few moments to register here.

Resources –
where do I go for ideas and support?

AGE & OPPORTUNITY: Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival has a number of supports for organising events all available by visiting this page: You can also download or order our free Toolkit for Arts & Creativity in Care Settings by visiting this page: Our Arts team are also happy to help and can advise about prospective activity or event ideas on 01 805 7713 or by emailing [email protected]

LOCAL ARTS OFFICE: your local arts office can advise and direct you on possible supports for your event, including suggesting suitable local artists you may wish to work with in advance or on the day. You can find your local arts officer here:

ARTS & HEALTH NETWORK: see for more ideas and case studies on creative projects happening in care settings around Ireland.

How do I create awareness of our participation?

CREATE AWARENESS INTERNALLY: Promote the day in the lead-up to it by utilising the template poster. Make residents, staff and family aware of it. Include it in your home’s newsletter and on noticeboards.

CREATE AWARENESS EXTERNALLY: No matter how many people can attend in person, if is still worthwhile to create awareness of the day locally. Contact local newspapers and radio to inform of them of your participation in National Arts in Nursing Homes Day. We will provide a template press release that you can email into them. Invite them to cover the day by speaking with a reporter and arranging to take photos. Utilise social media channels you and your staff use to spread the word. Ensure you link it back to #ArtsInNursingHomes and tag both Age & Opportunity (Twitter – @Age_Opp and Facebook – @AgeandOpportunity) and Nursing Homes Ireland (Twitter – @NursingHomesIre and Facebook – @nursinghomesireland).

Register Your Participation on

Age & Opportunity and NHI will engage with media with view to promoting the initiative nationally and locally. Furthermore, both organisation’s websites and our social media channels – Facebook and Twitter – will be utilised the promote it to wide-reaching, high volume audiences.

In order to ensure we can promote your participation in National Arts in Nursing Homes Day, we ask that you do the following:

Register on with your event information.

Title your event [Your nursing home or day service name] – National Arts In Nursing Homes Day.

Select the ‘private’ option when registering, if the event is not open to the general public.

If using social media on the day, please use the hashtag #ArtsInNursingHomes. Be cognisant of requirement to have permission to share pictures of residents on public platforms.

We plan on sending photos to national media that may be picked up for use in printed press. Photos can be sent to the email ([email protected]) below or shared on social media.


Contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Executive at 087 9082970 / [email protected] or Bridget Deevy, Arts Programme Assistant Manager, Age & Opportunity at 01 853 5180 / [email protected]