Galway’s international arts festival for children Baboró was celebrating last evening after it was awarded funding for a new international arts festival to be held in Galway in February 2018.
At a reception at the Arts Council in Merrion Square, yesterday, Baboró was announced as one of seven successful recipients of funding under the Arts Council’s ‘Making Great Art Work – Open Call’ awards.
The selection process was highly competitive with 133 applications received and the total demand reaching nearly €17 million. More than €800,000 in total has been awarded by the Arts Council to seven projects. Baboró’s successful project - Wide Eyes Early Years Festival, an international arts festival for early-years children aged 0 - 6 years - will take place in Galway in February 2018. It will be a four-day extravaganza of theatre and dance performances for young children, and their families, created by some of Europe’s finest producers of Early Years work.
The Open Call event is an Arts Council initiative which funds ambitious, one-off artistic projects by some of Ireland’s best artists and arts organisations. Among the other successful projects are a theatrical response to the housing crisis and plans to reinvigorate Dublin’s James Joyce Street to reflect its rich artistic heritage.
Speaking yesterday, the Director of the Arts Council Orlaith McBride said she was delighted to announce the seven successful projects for this year’s Making Great Art Work - Open Call awards. Collectively they represent the work of some of the most dynamic and interesting artists in Ireland. In their range and ambition they reaffirm the centrality of the arts and the importance of the voice of the artist in our country.”
“These projects address a number of important issues faced by individuals, communities and societies today from homelessness to the development of young children to the international movement of finance to borders and territories and the nature of our urban spaces.”
Commenting on behalf of Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Executive Artistic Director Aislinn ÓhEocha said she is delighted to have been selected as one of the seven projects under the Arts Council’s Making Great Art Work – Open Call Awards.
"It’s a very welcome acknowledgement by the Arts Council of the importance of resourcing and funding Early Years work. Studies have demonstrated that creative and artistic activities benefit childrens’ development as a whole so we’re particularly excited about presenting a major new festival dedicated exclusively to children aged 0 – 6 years outside of our regular festival offering in October.
“This award comes very soon after Galway’s recent designation as European Capital of Culture in 2020 so we’re looking forward to welcoming new and existing audiences in February 2018,” she concluded.