Follow My Voyage….Baboró Early Year Arts Mentorship 2016: Part I

Parents, artists and educators: join me for a behind-the-scenes journey through early years art, as we discover together the importance of the creative development of the very young…

Are you familiar with the magic of Baboró?   Ireland’s flagship international performing arts festival dedicated to children; Baboró is now in its 20th year, and leads the way in “inspiring children to engage with the world through their experience of the creative arts”.

Izzy Reddan at the Baboró 2015 festival opening in Galway
Photo by Marina Levitina

Through its annual festival, Baboró aims to ensure that all children in Ireland enjoy equal access to quality cultural and creative arts experiences. It does this by presenting an inspiring and deeply engaging programme of multi-disciplinary works for children.  The week long festival, held in Galway in the West of Ireland includes theatre, puppetry, dance, music and visual art, as well as creative engagement opportunities for children.

As an artist and arts educator myself I was particularly interested in the programme’s industry events and professional development opportunities. I was naturally honored when I was selected for this year’s Baboró Early Years Arts Mentorship under the guidance of the exceptionally talented and progressive artists Deirdre Rogers (Artistic Cordinator at Recreate Ireland) and Órla Kelly (Director of Early Childhood Creativity). Having recently returned to Ireland and committed to developing my practice in Galway, I know that I will benefit greatly from this exciting experience.

Focusing on early years visual arts (0 to 6 years) myself and two other mentees will form part of the team that will take young learners on a voyage of discovery in the Creative Lab at NUI Galway, a place to invent, design, explore, build and create using a wealth of unusual materials.  We will also be getting out and about and bringing our Lab to a city crèche and the pediatric unit in Galway University Hospital. In addition, we will work along side Orla and Deirdre as they present adult sessions exploring the use of the creative arts to support early learning and development.

Whether you are a parent, artist or educator I believe that you too can benefit from my experience. That is why as part of my menteeship I will be documenting my experiences and sharing key elements of my learning in a series of articles, which I will be posting here on my blog. In the meanwhile, whet your creative appetite, and check out Baboro’s incredible programme of events, and follow me on Instagram for fly-on-the-wall coverage of our experiences with the children and adult audiences all this week.

Let the journey begin…….

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