Cultural events online for curious young minds
Plenty of virtual amusement and projects for younger people over the next week, and beyond
The Festival of Curiosity runs from July 16th to 19th
There’s plenty coming up online this week for younger people.
For its eighth year, the Festival of Curiosity – of science, arts, design and technology, for all ages – has gone digital. So the terrific four-day Science Foundation Ireland-supported programme (July 16th-19th) spreads the reach of the festival beyond Dublin for the first time.
Its Playful Days programme includes daily space missions for kids with the Galaxy Squad for Space Explorers and Dr Niamh Shaw; The Incredible Tale of Robot Boy with Theatre Rites; and hands-on making at home of Rube Goldberg machines, or a paper zoo for shadow puppets, or giant outdoor bubbles with Scientific Sue.
The Festival of Curiosity has teamed with AICFF in San Francisco to host a short-film programme for children, including a live kids’ Q&A with award-winning animators. In other events for youngsters, Live Explorer Adventures virtually visit Dublin Zoo, Bull Island biosphere, OpenHive (the Irish black honeybee) and Airfield’s urban farm. Plus there’s a virtual Sow & Grow workshop, how to make a pollinator garden in small urban spaces, and a call-out for young inventors to become part of a new stop-motion adventure film about Leonardo Da Vinci.
The festival’s Curious Nights for adults include a look at how Da Vinci dreamed of creating a city to defend against the plague, which may have lessons for us today; Claire O’Connell’s recommended reading; live Kombucha and cooking without heat, from Airfield; animation with Oscar-nominated Jim Capobianco; and the future of drones with Lye Ogunsanya.
After more than a decade of Cinemagic film festival, for budding young film-makers and fans in Ireland, it has also migrated online this year, with screenings, workshops, masterclasses and short film jury panels to enjoy online from home through July. With movies – watching or making them, and tips from professionals – at its heart, the festival is still embracing the magic of film, television and digital technologies to educate, motivate and inspire young people.
Creativity Corner tutorials and activity packs include sessions to create a flipbook, Lego animation, clay model, prop hat or apply SFX makeup (€5 each or five sessions €20). Career Craft Seminars live on Zoom guide those aged 18-25 about jobs in film (€10 each), with sessions coming up including producing a low-budget feature film with Garret Daly; voice acting with Morgan C Jones; TV presenting with Mark Langtry; directing for film with Paddy Breathnach; and animation with Caoimhe Ní Bhrádaigh.
Being part of an (online) festival jury also sounds like great fun: watch movies from around the world and pick winners. There are various age groups for juries, from age five to 25.
Dublin City Arts Office and Dublin Libraries’ Children’s Art Programme this summer is collaborating with artists and organisations for a series of virtual events to entertain and inspire young minds, with interactive sessions in music, storytelling and dance. The high-quality arts experiences for children, schools and families are through the Creative Hub libraries (Cabra, Ballyfermot and Coolock). Details are on on dublincitylibraries.ie and dublincityartsoffice.ie, but you book through the individual libraries (email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org).
The great range of events for children run through the summer. There’s energetic online dance workshops from your livingroom in Dance Your Own Dance with CoisCéim; Bear Goes to the Beach is an online interactive musical adventure using music and puppetry (ages 2-5 and their adults); and Boldly Go! is a drawing adventure with illustrator and author Chris Judge, to create a 10-page fold out “accordion” style picture book adventure, with how-to inspiration and live drawing via Zoom (on Facebook @DublinCityLibraries and @DublinCityArtsOffice). There’s early years visual art with Lucy Hill via the Ark, or create your own pigeon wings during Duffy Mooney-Sheppard’s workshop and use them to fly around Dublin during Ceol Connected’s Flights of Fancy music workshop.
Great for grown-ups
There’s plenty going on over the coming week for larger people too. Irish National Opera’s eight mini-series – bite-sized instalments of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio – continue to stream on irishnationalopera.ie on Tuesdays and Thursdays (new episodes available from 6pm) until July 30th. With a cast headed by soprano Claudia Boyle, and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the innovative project involves one conductor, five principal singers, a chorus of 16, and 33 musicians, using 55 phones tablets or laptops in 55 different locations.
And The Irish Times Summer Nights digital festival of conversation, culture and ideas is in full flow. It continues on Wednesday 15th with Booker prize-winner Anne Enright talking to Kathy Sheridan about her latest novel Actress, writing, feminism and Are You Somebody?, the late Irish Times columnist Nuala O’Faolain’s extraordinary memoir (on foot of an upcoming exhibition about the book at the Museum of Literature Ireland, MoLI, later this month). Next up on Wednesday evening is an Inside Politics panel with some of the Irish Times political team, moderated by Hugh Linehan, assessing the new coalition Government so far; and then Malachy Clerkin interviews one of Irish sport’s totemic figures, Paul O’Connell.
Irish Times Summer Nights winds up on Thursday with Imelda May talking to Róisín Ingle about music, activism, family and inspiration; and two separate interviews by Fintan O’Toole, first with American lawyer and political advisor Melody C Barnes (on race, democracy and the American crisis), and later with former US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, about her journey from immigrant to war correspondent to the American government.
The four-night package is €40, with subscriber reductions – or for €20 using the promo code SUMMER20.