History

Based in Galway on Ireland’s West Coast, Baboró International Arts Festival for Children is Ireland’s flagship international arts festival devoted exclusively to children and families. Baboró was originally conceived and nurtured under the auspices of Galway Arts Festival which first presented a Baboró programme during its summer festival in Galway in 1994. By 1996, to address the needs of children who may not usually be included in cultural events, it was decided to create a multi-arts festival independent of Galway Arts Festival, offering a fully formed creative arts programme to schools and families during the month of October in Galway and surrounding areas.

One of the cornerstone’s of Baboró’s foundation is the right of each child to enjoy arts and culture, as stated in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the rights of the Child which was ratified by Ireland without reservation in 1992. It reads, ‘The child has the right to rest and to engage in leisure, play and recreational activities and to participate in cultural and artistic activities’. Hence, at the heart of Baboró’s ambitions is access to the arts for all children, regardless of geographic, economic, physical, intellectual or cultural status.
 
Baboró International Arts Festival for Children brings the most diverse selection of the finest in performing arts from Ireland and around the world to its annual festival especially for children in Galway. The exciting festival programme of theatre, dance, puppetry, music, art and literature varies from year to year to bring a wide diversity of exposure to the creative arts especially created for young audiences, their schools and families. In 2016, we celebrate 20 years of presenting a multidisciplinary arts festival to thousands of children in Ireland from our base in Galway City.

Since its inception, Baboró has run numerous outreach programmes into schools and local communities. Baboró has always believed in the importance of Arts in Education. Our most significant Arts in Education project to date is BEAST! (Baboró: Environment, Arts Science and Technology). This was a three year project developed in conjunction with the Ryan Institute and the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway. BEAST! incorporated exploration, discovery and enrichment, combining science, technology and culture for primary children, teachers, scientists/engineers and artists. Exploring the issues of Biodiversity Energy Awareness, through a combination of STEM subjects and creativity, BEAST! encouraged children to develop their creative thinking, team working and problem solving skills, while engaging with various art forms.
 
Baboró also plays a role in nurturing artists based in Ireland to create work for children through mentoring, supporting artists to make funding applications, offering a Hot Desk in Baboró office and networking opportunities. Baboró also has a close affiliation with NUI Galway and facilitates NUI Galway students to partake in the annual festival each October.