‘It was great to be part of this, because it involved the postman, my teachers, Baboró, and my family’

Baboró’s young RISE Ambassadors on their experiences with two creative projects during the Covid-19 pandemic

Annie Hughes, Elliot Chen, and Lucia Hughes. Photos by Anita Murphy

Annie Hughes, Elliot Chen, and Lucia Hughes. Photos by Anita Murphy

THROUGH THE tumultuous times of the Covid-19 global pandemic, children in Galway took on starring roles in two creative projects - St Pat’s Lockdown Olympics and The Street Are Ours - thanks to the RISE programme from the Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, in partnership with Galway 2020.

The young people participated at school and at home, making the most of digital experiences to connect. For St Pat’s Lockdown Olympics, students and teachers from St Patrick’s National School created a zany Olympic competition, working with Galway artist James Riordan and Australia-based Canadian performance director Darren O’Donnell.

The Streets Are Ours saw local children working with Galway Community Circus, Galway Dance Project, and internationally-renowned Dutch dance company Arch8, to create a dance performance which has been captured on film.

Here, three RISE Ambassadors for this very special programme, which became an essential outlet for expression and play during the pandemic, tell us all about their experiences.

Lucia Hughes, RISE ambassador for The Streets are Ours

002 Lucia Hughes Anita <a href=Murphy.jpg" width="700" height="454" />

Photo:- Anita Murphy

What I enjoyed most about taking part in The Streets Are Ours was it was great to meet new people while we were stuck at home due to restrictions. Fionnuala from Galway Dance Project, and Isabela from Galway Community Circus, were very nice and easy to talk to. They showed us new moves and different ways to express ourselves in a fun and relaxed way. It was nice to challenge ourselves and learn new skills while helping us to stay active.

It was great to be involved in this project while living with the Covid-19 restrictions because all other activities got cancelled. It kept me busy and active.

006 Lucia Hughes Anita Murphy

Photo:- Anita Murphy

I was at first disappointed that the rehearsals got cancelled due to Covid but the organisers found a way around it; and we were able to do our practices online from our own homes. We first started the audition process at the end of 2019, so many things changed since then. We didn’t get to do the street performance in the end and Galway missed out on lots of the events for Galway 2020, but it was great that The Street Are Ours project wasn’t totally lost after all the work of everyone involved.

What I like the most about our filmed Streets performance is that it was great craic to film! Everyone involved was so nice, we all got to participate and express ourselves. The artwork on the walls looks so colourful and beautiful. I loved the choice of music and the way it was put together. I was very happy I got to have some fun taking part in this project. I’m very proud to show it to my family and friends and I hope people enjoyed watching it.

Elliott Chen, RISE ambassador for St Pat’s Lockdown Olympics

Elliott Chen Anita Murphy 1

Photo:- Anita Murphy

The highlight of the lockdown this year for me was taking part in the St Pat’s Lockdown Olympics. For four weeks, Baboró sent us videos and props to make up our own sports games. What I enjoyed most about taking part in the St Pat's Lockdown Olympics was waiting for the postman to drop the package each week and opening it up to see what was inside! It was so exciting watching the instructional videos and thinking about what I could do with the equipment I was sent.

From taking part in the olympics I learned how to make up games using strange and unusual items. I received different shaped balls, pegs, cubes, bendable sticks, and many other wacky objects. Every week after watching the instructional videos I had to use my imagination to come up with interesting and fun games.

Elliott Chen Anita Murphy 2

Photo:- Anita Murphy

It was great to be involved in this project while living with the Covid-19 restrictions because it involved a number of people including the postman, my teachers, Baboró, and my family. I was so happy to see the postman each week and couldn’t wait to open up the packages he delivered to me.

I had great fun with my family while they tried out the new games I invented. I really enjoyed watching the instructional videos and my classmates’ videos on Seesaw each week. It was a great way to communicate with many other people during lockdown.

The funniest thing that happened doing this project was getting my dog and my family to do things that they wouldn’t normally do! They especially loved the crazy chicken relay game which was highly entertaining to watch and participate in. The St Pat’s Lockdown Olympics was a wonderful experience. Thank you Baboró!

Annie Hughes, RISE ambassador for The Streets are Ours

Annie Hughes by Andrew Downes Babor&oacute; Ambassador 2021

Photo:- Andrew Downes

The thing I enjoyed most taking part in The Street Are Ours was probably the actual filming process, because it felt really good to have worked so hard on it, and finally see it come together, and to actually do the things we learned and practiced in our own homes. Seeing the weeks of practice put to use in the video felt very good and I enjoyed it a lot.

From taking part in The Streets Are Ours, I learned about making dances and choreography. It is funny how these things all look so simple when you are just the audience watching other people do them. I learned just how much practice goes into making and performing dances. It's not just a click of your finger and you have made a dance, and another click and you're perfect at it.

Annie Hughes by Andrew Downes Babor&oacute; Ambassador 2021 II

Photo:- Andrew Downes

It was really fun being part of this project while living through Covid-19 restrictions. It gave me something to do at home instead of just eating, sleeping, and playing video games - something to try to learn, but also something enjoyable to remember about lockdown, once it is all over and Covid-19 is a distant memory of something long ago.

What I liked the most about our filmed performance was maybe the enjoyment or feeling of having achieved something. During the lockdown there was nothing much to feel 'Yay!' about except getting some good weather, so I could go outside. But The Streets Are Ours was a new thing to feel 'Yay!' about during coronavirus restrictions.

To find out more about what the children did for The Streets are Ours and the St Pat’s Lockdown Olympics, see https://www.baboro.ie/galway-2020.


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