Cruinniú na nÓg, the national day of creativity for children and young people, took place in Galway City over the weekend, featuring a range of exhibitions, workshops, music gigs, and artistic opportunities.
Over 10 creative activities for under 18’s were held, as part of the Creative Ireland Programme initiative supported by Galway City Council and RTÉ. All events were free and activity based with opportunities for young people to get involved in ‘doing’, ‘making’, ‘creating’ and trying new things.
Children as young as 3 and right up to the age of 18, got the opportunity to discover new interests in their local neighbourhoods and communities. Highlights on the day included a circus performance workshop facilitated by Galway Community Circus in Ballinfoile Castlegar Community Centre, where children got to try skills such as juggling, gymnastics and tightrope walking first hand.
The Galway 2020 Building in Merchant’s Road played host to a live music performance from members of the Galway 2020 Livefeed project. This project aims to encourage teenagers between 13 – 18 to take an interest in music performance, song writing, event production, sound engineering, music journalism, photography or the music industry.
Libraries throughout Galway City were a welcome host to a series of creative workshops- including puppet making, drama and storytelling. In Ballybane Library, children were joined by artist and prop maker Áine Lawless for a fun workshop making dream catchers. Meanwhile, in Westside Library children and parents were encouraged to participate in humorous stories and songs to inspire creativity and joy. In the same venue, Morgan Theatre presented drama workshops for children over the age of 7, teaching them the art of theatre and drama. These creative activities allow young people to look at the world in new ways and enable them to think independently and generate ideas.
Young people with an interest in Science and Technology were also in for a treat as Corrib Kids - Build Connect Code held coding workshops for children aged 8-12 in Westside Library. For 13-18 year olds, Clár Techspace also hosted a Tech taster session through the medium of Irish. Participants were invited to try out a choice of two STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) workshops in Áras na nGael.
Two excellent pieces of art were also exhibited as part of Cruinniú na nÓg. On Friday evening, Galway City Comhairle na nÓg exhibited the mural they are working on for their topic this year – ‘Homelessness’. Galway Traveller Movement also launched their participative art project - a mural at the Tuam Road Halting Site. Youth Work Ireland Galway also held a workshop giving young people the chance to create artwork and props for the Westside Arts Festival parade.
Cruinniú na nÓg, like the Creative Ireland Programme, emphasises the importance of human creativity for individual, community and societal well-being.