Save the date!
Dates for future Belfast Children's Festival - Add them to your diary now!
Experimental, social and fun, ISLAND Arts Centre’s Children’s Arts Festival now in its 18th year has developed a reputation for promoting, developing and celebrating the arts for children and young people.
For the second year running, YAAE were successful in securing the tender to deliver this large scale project, which ran for three weeks July-August and gave over 200 children and young people aged 5 to 16 the opportunity to experience arts and culture as crucial to imagination, self-expression and creativity.
Incorporating the theme of celebrating the 200th Birthday of Sir Richard Wallace, YAAE created and delivered two week long Visual Art Camps and a week long Performing Arts Camp in the ISLAND Arts Centre, and three outreach workshops in the local community.
YAAE appointed professional artists from its pool of skilled freelancers to design the content of the camps and, together with experienced YAAE facilitators, they enabled children to experience first-hand the ideas and processes behind making great art.
Elaine Taylor, established visual artist and sculptor, designed a fun-packed programme for the Visual Arts Camps. Elaine was supported by a team of specialist artists who encouraged the children to work with paint, charcoal, clay, papier-mâché, junk modelling, decoupage and photography to create self-portraits, animal sculptures, funky framed pictures and Victorian top hats. Inspired by a visit to the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum, children designed a coat of arms unique to their families or pieces of armour. A trip to Castle Gardens was a chance to explore their council’s parks and gardens, as well as enjoy the sunshine. Children composed still-life photographs that were developed and used during the course of the week, a process which, in this digital age, was quite a novelty!
There was a surprise visit by the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council who happily talked to the children about their work.
At the end of the Visual Art Camps, children invited their families to a Gallery Opening of their work in the ISLAND Arts Centre. The excitement was palpable as the young ‘exhibiting artists’ proudly shared their creations with mum, dad, gran and granddad. The exhibition also provided a perfect photo opportunity for the Mayor and other dignitaries.
Christina Nelson and Jazzmin McClure took the lead on the Performing Arts Camp. Christina is a highly acclaimed actress, director and writer who has appeared in a series of plays and pantomime throughout Northern Ireland. Jazzmin has a wealth of experience in dance and drama facilitation that has taken her to theatres across Ireland.
During this week, specialist facilitators in drama, dance and music and developed the children’s knowledge of stage and performance. The children collectively wrote original lyrics that were put to music, devised pieces of theatre and choreographed new routines. Anthea McWilliams, Chair of The Richard Wallace Trust, talked to the group about the cultural and historical legacy of the philanthropist’s life. At the end of the final jam-packed Performing Arts Camp the participating children wowed and moved the audience, including Alderman Paul Porter, Chair of Leisure & Community Development Committee, as they brought to life the legacy of Sir Richard Wallace in song and dance.
Siobhan McCormick, Arts Service Manager, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Arts Service said
“We were very pleased with collaborative approach that Young at Art Events brought to the delivery of the Council’s 18th Children’s Art Festival, which produced a high quality, creative and energetic experience for all of our participants.
The artists and facilitators appointed by Young at Art Events were all excellent and responded extremely well to our brief for the Festival to be based on the 200th birthday of Lisburn’s famous humanitarian and art collector, Sir Richard Wallace. This was apparent in all of the creative outcomes and in their commitment to making the experience a very positive one for all children. This was evident each day as all left with a smile on their face and a ‘Certificate of Participation’ in hand!
In addition, throughout the planning process there was an emphasis on clear communication, attention to detail and strong project management, which meant that budgets and deadlines were consistently met and every member of the team was a pleasure to work with.”
Young at Art Events was delighted to deliver this wonderful festival of creativity over the summer at the ISLAND Arts Centre. Take a look at the photos to see just some of the fantastic creations by the children and young people.
Get in touch to discuss how we could work with you on creating and delivering creative arts-based projects. Contact Morag Stuart, Programme Officer, on 028 9023 0660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org