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criunniú na nóg

Kids bored at home? This children's art festival shares classes and events online

“We just want to really encourage people to make, and to create,” Margarita Cappock of Dublin City Council said.

TOMORROW, A RANGE of free arts events and workshops for children and teenagers is kicking off – to propel students into arts, crafts and music by asking them to give creativity a go.

Cruinniú na nÓg – which is organised and funded by Creative Ireland, and the Dublin events are programmed by Dublin City Council – is hosting its events online this year meaning that children from across Ireland can access most of the workshops and classes.

To add to that, organisers have decided to put many of its 500 events, tutorials, videos and guides online for the entire summer – a resource much-needed by parents.

Margarita Cappock, an Assistant Arts Officer at Dublin City Council, told that artists usually submit ideas for what activities they can do for children and teens – this year they had to tweak these pitches in order to move all but one of Dublin’s 27 events online.

“The amount of goodwill and can-do from all the artists and organisations has been absolutely brilliant,” she said. “Some of them have turned out just really so well.”

It means children from outside Dublin may join in, and it’s a system they might keep on after the pandemic.

Under The Sea Sketch Cruinniú na nÓg Cruinniú na nÓg

Among the events she highlights are:

  • Tunes From Me Gaff: In collaboration with the Irish Youth Music Awards, this will showcase up-and-coming musicians aged 12-18, each who have recorded a video and 10 of which have been selected and will be played on Facebook Live
  • The Artistic Eye: Six artists explain to children how they became artists, what they studied in school, and what their day looks like now.
  • Novelteens: A free-to-access online creative writing series of mini master classes 
  • Art packs have been distributed to the children from Oliver Bond House to make masks. The children will later appear in a video to the music of their choice.
  • It All Works Out: Jazz singer Emily Conway has worked with the fifth and sixth class children from St Colmcille’s Senior National School in Knocklyon. Instead of the classes all recording together, students recorded their own little vocal piece at home, and it was all tied together afterwards.
  • Puppetshow: The No Strings Theatre Company has a performance and behind-the-scenes look at their rendition of The Gruffalo. 
  • Tutorials: Anyone For Science has a feature on the history of ice cream – see how the Romans made ice cream 2000 years ago. Using regular household items like salt and ice cubes, the demonstration teaches you how to make your own freezer at home and how to make ice cream.
  • Me, My Selfie, and I: The artist Claire Halpin will show children (and probably some adults) how to make their own self-portrait.

Niki Collier 2492 Photograph Ivaylo Petrov Photograph Ivaylo Petrov

When asked what the aim of the festival is, Cappock says: “We just want to really encourage people to make, and to create – whether it’s writing or performing, or just enjoying the virtual visits to various places, or the workshops.

 I think that it really is just to provide a wide range of events and activities for everybody, so there will be something for every child.
I think the great thing about it, in particular Tunes from Me Gaff, is to give teenagers the opportunity to actually perform and have their work streamed like that. It’s very confidence inspiring, I think it’s a great opportunity also to make connections with like-minded teenagers.

You can view the full list of events on Dublin City County Council’s site here, or on the Cruinniú na nÓg website here.

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