This week Roscommon Arts Centre’s mini-Spring season proceeds with a new virtual programme of free engagements for the public to enjoy.
The programme provides a platform for a host of Roscommon artists as they showcase and celebrate the wealth of artists living in our region and will introduce the public to some of the visual artists they are working with during 2021. The series of short events will be available on both the centre’s Facebook Page and website.
This mini Spring season will run until March with ongoing programme elements that include ‘The Reel Thing: Lunchtime Trad’, ‘The Story Writers’, a new chair based dance programme for older people called ‘Sit Down and Dance’, weekly music sessions for children and the launch of ‘Material Encounters’, art boxes for young and old to play and create with at home. There are also further projects in development that, subject to Government guidelines, will be announced in due course.
Guest curators on the programme include musician John Wynne, author Gerry Boland, and dancer Mintesinot Wolde who we have existing working relationships with, while visual art curator at the centre Naomi Draper has worked with participating artists to create our new art boxes and we welcome back Kyle Riley from ‘Little Folk Music’ for more lively music sessions!
The programme gets underway this week and continues until March, with new elements being added to it as they are developed. This week, the arts centre embarked on an eight week programme of traditional music under the ‘Reel Thing’ banner with ‘The Reel Thing: Lunchtime Tunes’.
Every week a different musician will perform three tunes a day, every day at 1.15pm on the centres Facebook Page for you to enjoy. These micro performances are compliments of musicians John Wynne, John Carty, John and Dylan Carlos, Mossie Martin, Alan Kelly, John Kelly and introduces two up and coming young local musicians Breda Shannon and Emily Keane.
‘The Story Writers’ is a new weekly programme of short stories from some of the counties most established writers. Every Tuesday for the next six weeks, one participating writer will read one of their own stories via Roscommon Arts Centre’s Facebook Page and which can then also be accessed via roscommonartscentre.ie
Contributors include the well known Michael Leyden, both Words Ireland/Roscommon Arts Centre Mentorship awardees Louise G. Cole (2019 ) and Amy Barry (2020 ), John Mulligan, Anne Byrne, winner of the 2020 New Roscommon Writing Award and Gerry Boland himself. ‘The Story Writers’ builds on the 2020 literary programme at the centre which included a number of online events with well-known writers and poets.
‘Sit Down and Dance’ is an at home dance initiative aimed at older people and those living in care settings for the times we are in. The Arts Centre invited their 2020 Dancer in Residence Mintesinot Wolde to create a series of short (10 minutes or so ) gentle chair based movement sessions to keep older people moving during the lockdown. With simple, safe movements, easy to follow instructions and some great tunes in the background, older people are encouraged to re-play the videos throughout the week and every Wednesday a new series of movements will be released online. Links to the programme will also be sent out to care homes in the area as many residents are now spending more time in their rooms and as such may be able to follow along via in-house broadcasting.
The programme will also include an opportunity to see a new dance piece by Minte ‘See you in the Green’ which will be available to watch online at www.roscommonartscentre.ie from Thursday, January 28.
Saturday mornings won’t be the same for the next couple of weeks thanks to Kyle Riley’s antics! ‘Little Folk Music’ is a LIVE Saturday morning session for little people on Facebook. Kyle has been the centres go-to guy during every lockdown so far as audiences just love his high-energy and fun music gigs. From singing his own tunes for everyone to jump around to, to performing some well known rock, pop and folk songs, it’s 30 minutes or so of great music on a Saturday for kids up to the age of six.
The 2021 visual art programme will merge curator in residence Naomi Draper’s research interests around studio and educational practices looking at areas of play, materialism, and craft. As we look forward to this, Naomi has worked with some of the participating artists on a new project for this programme called ‘Material Encounters’.
‘Material Encounters’ introduces you to the artists and the materials involved in the 2021 Visual Art programme allowing a glimpse into their studios and sharing the activity and negotiations involved in their making processes. Each artist has selected their favourite material to be included in a special art pack for everyone, young and old, to enjoy at home, giving you a chance to touch, feel and engage with the materials you might meet again in the galleries throughout the year.
Limited packs are available and limited to one per household. Register your interest for a pack at: [email protected] and include your name, address, eircode and age.
Roscommon Arts Centre’s virtual Spring programme is supported by Roscommon County Council and the Arts Council of Ireland.
Full details are now o: www.roscommonartscentre.ie and all programme elements can be accessed free of charge.