Day of free creative activity for children and young people

A circus factory in Carrigaline, a live interactive workshop on up-cycled clothes in Louth and Dublin Zoo inviting young people to explore animals without backbones – it’s all on the programme for Cruinniú na on Saturday, June 12. 

Ireland is unique worldwide in having such a national day for young people and it’s a key date in our cultural calendar, with over 600 events planned by Creative Ireland culture and creativity teams in local authorities nationwide.

Providing opportunities for Ireland’s 1.2m children/young people to be “inquisitive, innovative and to fulfil an inner creative talent”, the emphasis is on participation and trying something new, for example, knitting, drumming, stop-start animation, contemporary dance. There’s also online storytelling for families, to drawing cool cartoon characters.

Last year’s Covid restrictions saw all Cruinniú na nÓg events go online, yet it was the event’s most successful celebration to date with millions engaging from here and abroad. 

In light of current public health restrictions, the Creative Ireland Programme has issued cultural “calls to action”, which children/young people/families can create in their own homes/gardens on Saturday, June 12.

Highlights include:

Knitting Across the Nation: The Airfield Estate in Dundrum have sent out over 400 wool packs to young knitters countrywide – more than 700 people have registered online for live workshops tomorrow. Young knitters are invited to upload their knitting projects onto an online scrapbook.

Nenagh Children’s Film Festival has a programme of short films, animations and feature films from all over the world. Go behind the scenes with workshops, interviews and insights from aspiring young filmmakers. Learn insights into costume-making for film, prop-making and animation. 

Garageland: a music project, giving young Irish bands an opportunity to step out of their bedrooms and onto Garageland Youth TV (broadcasting 10am-6pm tomorrow), a dedicated online TV channel designed to give young musicians opportunities similar to older peers; as well as digital radio station RTÉ 2XM from 12pm.

“I love the freedom of it”

Ten-year-old Naoise Ó Dálaigh, a Midleton primary-school pupil, is taking part in TG4’s new creative series for children – Cruthaím – celebrating Cruinniú na nÓg. It involves one young Irish speaker from each county showcasing their creativity in the video-series broadcasting on Cúla4’s Youtube channel.

Naoise – into sports, history, drama and music – shares what painting means to him. “I love the freedom of it. With music you play a tune, with drama you stick to a script. I love putting a load of colours on a page and in a few days you’ve a cool picture.”

More highlights:

  • Let’s Dance – young people participate in online community, learning innovative ways of making dance, using technology.
  • Imagine-Orchestra aims to create a world record for biggest online youth orchestra. Record stands at 1,320 – they aim to beat it.
  • Beat Your Drum – international drumming programme encompasses bodhrán and indigenous drums of Africa/Asia/the Americas/Europe.
  • Local authorities will host range of cultural/creative activities and online events for Cruinniú na nÓg – tomorrow June 12.

Further details/resources at: creativeireland.gov.ie and rte.ie.

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