June 14, 2024

Time for Wicklow’s young artists to shine as Cruinniú na nÓg returns

Zita Monahan and Casey Hallahan from Mr Sands Youth Theatre.

Coco Durand, with Lyla and Ivy Mooney, at the Cruinniú na nÓg event in Bray library, in 2023.

thumbnail: Zita Monahan and Casey Hallahan from Mr Sands Youth Theatre.
thumbnail: Coco Durand, with Lyla and Ivy Mooney, at the Cruinniú na nÓg event in Bray library, in 2023.

Cruinniú na nÓg, the National Day of Creativity for children and young people, returns to various locations in County Wicklow for a day which is bound to keep all the little ones happy, on Saturday, June 15.

A flagship initiative of Creative Ireland’s ‘Creative Youth Plan,’ Cruinniú na nÓg aims to enable, celebrate, and encourage the creative potential of children and young people through creative activities. This year’s programme features a diverse and extensive line-up of events, activities, and workshops designed to inspire and delight. All events and activities for free but do be aware that many will need to be booked in advance.

This year’s theme is Performance and Participation, so you can expect a range of opportunities to see children and young people in performance and also when they can get ‘hands on’ and try creative workshops countywide. Over 40 events, activities, performances and workshops will take place in 12 locations across the county, including:

  • Bray: Me and The Moon will host a Walled Garden Mural workshop at The Fruit Room, within the enchanting walled gardens of Killruddery House. Children and young people will explore the garden using their ‘artist’s eye’ and then return to the studio to create a mural using blot printing, painting, drawing, and collage. They will also have the pleasure of enjoying intricate instrumental arrangements by The Hot Dots.
  • Bray: The Mermaid Arts Centre will facilitate an interactive building game designed by Rotterdam-based studio Collective Paper Aesthetics. Artist Elida Maiques will assist the children in drawing, colouring, folding and connecting paper building blocks to create beautiful structures.
  • Bray: Mr Sands Youth Theatre is a pioneering youth theatre led by theatremakers Zita Monahan McGowan and Casey Hallahan and at this taster drama session you will get to play games, chat to existing members, and find out just how amazing and life changing it can be to be involved in youth theatre.
  • Bray: Ballywaltrim Library will host two Comic Book workshops themed ‘Far Out in Space’ and ‘Fantasy Island Adventure’. The themes will be presented as stories and the children will develop them into short comic books with the assistance of local artist Nicola Sedgwick.
  • Arklow: Arklow Music and Arts present AMA Criunniú na nÓG in the Arklow Library, an event to promote and introduce different aspects of the Arts for young people, including Song, Music, Dance and Drama.
  • Wicklow town: Wicklow Library will host Wicklow Gaol Creative Writing and Illustration Workshop, where the children can learn about writing and drawing a book for young readers like themselves.
  • Tinahely: The Courthouse Arts Centre will facilitate three art-themed workshops; two will take place in the Resource Centre, Tinahely, and one in The Pavilion in Aughrim. Cressida Knapp will be inviting kids to join her for a cake-themed workshop. There will be cake stories and the children will make giant cardboard cakes to be judged and then jumped out of together! Jumper cake anyone? In Tinahely Lucy Moller will be facilitating two upcycled fashion workshops for children.
  • Baltinglass: To celebrate ‘Creative Places Baltinglass,’ Wicklow County Council Arts Office has again created a unique Cruinniú na nÓg programme for Baltinglass which will feature workshops and activities by local artists including candle making with Karen Allison; Ancient West Wicklow Storytelling with Mairéad Kelly and Wild Forest School workshops with Siobhán Madden of The Natural School of Art. Performances will also include the Gohery School of Irish Dancing, Slaney House Drum Parade, and a Ukrainian showcase of music, choir, and dance titled Flowers of Ukraine. Activities will take place in the beautiful surroundings of the Tearmann Community Garden.

Commenting on the plans for Cruinniú na nÓg, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy said: “I am delighted to see such a broad range of creative activities for children and young people to both perform and participate in for the festival this year. There is something for everyone, and we hope many get to attend and enjoy these free events and activities.”

Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council Emer O’Gorman added: “I am pleased that the Arts Office, working with the Library Service and local partners and stakeholders, are presenting such a vibrant programme throughout the county. It is a wonderful day packed with activities which many across the county will be able to experience.”

Some events require advance booking and some are drop in activities. To see the full programme and range of events together with booking information visit: cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie/events/location/wicklow/

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