An incredible piece of work created during the film-making and photography workshops.

Drumming up support for return of live events

CELEBRATE Cruinniú na nÓg set for June 12

While the vast majority of this year’s Cruinniú na nÓg events have migrated online, this Saturday, June 12 will see the first tentative steps towards live performances returning to Cavan.

Johnston Central Library’s forecourt will host Peter Crann’s outdoor workshop, teaching young people how to perfect a samba beat. Organisers are hoping Brazilian-style sunshine will accompany the music.

Joanne Brennan is one of the driving forces behind the local Cruinniú na nÓg offerings, and she’s eagerly anticipating Peter’s arrival with his van “just teeming with all different types of drums” for the kids. Is it daunting to learn the drums in public?

“Not with Peter, you just do whatever he tells you to because you’re having so much craic with him. He’s brilliant!”

Peter’s live samba workshops will take place from 10.30am for young children up to eight years old, and 11.30am for youths aged nine and up. Peter will then shimmy across the county boundary to host more samba workshops in Clones from 1.30pm. The have-a-go spirit continues in Monaghan Town with a Creative Canvas event where an artist brings canvases, easels, paints, brushes, and all you just have to bring is your child to pick up tips on how to unleash their inner Van Gogh.

Sadly such events remain the exception as the pandemic has ensured that on June 12, the vast majority of Cruinniú na nÓg events will be online. You can browse the many Cavan and Monaghan events at the impressive cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie website; or broaden your child’s artistic horizons by selecting events hosted elsewhere. Visual art, music, acting, dance, crafts – there’s a truly amazing choice of events to engage and delight young minds.

Traditionally Cruinniú would have been a one-off free day of activities for young people to sample an art form they may never have tried before.

“Because of Covid we have had to rethink the space and it has, I think, added to it, because these young people have had a series of workshops to really hone their skills,” said Joanne.

Joanne Brennan Arts Education CMETB.

Much of the work undertaken in the various workshops will be celebrated on June 12 with recorded performances screened on the ‘Cavan Monaghan Creative Channel’ on Youtube. For example, renowned composer Michael Rooney worked online with young traditional musicians from Cavan and Monaghan to compose a piece of music. That completed piece was performed live at the Garage Theatre recently and will be screened on Saturday.

“I went in to hear it and it was absolutely fabulous,” said Joanne of the Music Generation event, “and brilliant to see the stage coming back to life.”

Keeping within the realm of music, guitarist Daragh Slacke provided online composing workshops over six weeks with groups of five young people who responded to an open call for Magic of Music participants.

Creative Connections saw frequent collaborators, poet Heather Brett and artist Kim Doherty help young people in creating works of poetry and visual art. Their work will culminate in an exhibition of work on the ‘Cavan Monaghan Creative Channel’.

Likewise online acting workshops taught skills specifically for acting for the screen, facilitated by Bow Street Academy.

“There is really great work happening on the ground for theatre and live performances for young people, but screen acting is a different beast altogether, because the camera is so intimate,” explains Joanne, who is also a respected stage and screen actor.

“Young actors are being asked to audition for roles, but they are also being asked to self-tape. Previous to Covid this had started, but because of Covid, it’s probably pushed it on by 10 years where all casting directors are saying, ‘Here’s my script, film this and send it in to us’. It’s tough on actors because filming may not be a strength.”

These examples only scrape the surface of the Cruinniú workshops events, which also includes a photography /filmmaking course with the uber-talented, award-wining photographer and filmmaker Colm Mullen and, a dance workshop. Dublin Youth Dance Company worked with teenagers and separately, younger aged children, by “Zoom-ing into people’s houses” to teach them choreographed routines.

Joanne says it would be “amazing” if participation in Cruinniú na nÓg provided the impetus for a young person to professionally pursue an artform. However she is confident it will still have far reaching positive impacts in every day lives for those who just enjoy the activity for what it is.

“To get that spark, and come away with the confidence from working with these facilitators saying ‘I could make this part of my life’ – that could be a brilliant spark. Then there’s all of the collateral fabulousness that comes with it - if it’s the confidence building skills, or the team working skills – every young person can get something from it. Whether they go away to become an artist, that’s not as important - it’s brilliant if that happens for somebody.”

See cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie for a list of events open for children to enjoy – online – on the day. For the samba drum event, you must register in advance on Eventbrite.

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