Children’s arts festival Baboró will host an international conference on the provision of arts for children under six as part of this year’s festival in October.
The conference, Natural Born Artists, will explore the importance and benefits of the arts and creativity for children from birth to six years. The event will take place on October 16 and 17.
Baboró celebrates 13 years this year and has brought an eclectic mix of performances, workshops, and other events to thousands of children and families throughout Galway since its inception. The festival has already been working to engage children in the critical examination of creative media, and now plans to bring a number of adult experts on board to explore the theme further.
The Natural Born Artists conference will address the critical contribution that the arts make to children and to society as a whole. Key speakers at the event will include Martin Drury, arts director of the Arts Council, and David Coleman, child psychologist and presenter of RTÉ’s groundbreaking 21st Century Child and Teens in the Wild, along with a number of Irish and international speakers.
The conference aims to bring artists, researchers, crèche teachers, parents, and practitioners together to examine cultural politics and the present and future status of the arts for children. There will be a series of presentations and discussions from the perspective of child psychology, cultural policy, artistic development, children’s engagement, and the roles of adults — teachers and parents — in engaging with children and the arts.
“This is the first ever conference on arts for early years to be held in Ireland, and provides a vital platform to encourage the development of and research into the creation and dissemination of such work, both in Ireland and internationally,” said Teenagh Cunningham, managing director of Baboró. “It is a measure of the commitment of Baboró as an organisation to developing the arts for young people in Ireland. Baboró is leading the way in providing a platform for established and emerging companies to showcase their work to the world.”
The event is funded by the Arts Council, NUI Galway, and the European Commission’s Culture 2007 – 2013 programme.