Baboró International Arts Festival for Children is Ireland’s flagship arts festival dedicated to children and families.
Baboró is a registered charity which works year- round to bring meaningful arts experiences to children in our community and to support artists making work for young audiences.
Our annual international festival dedicated to children is the beating heart of what we do – it’s what we work towards all year. To complement the festival, we support and nurture artists and creatives in Ireland to make excellent and innovative work for our young audiences. And we continue to reach out into our community in an effort to break down barriers to participation, so that everyone can feel that they belong at Baboró – that they are both seen and heard.
Our annual festival is the highlight of our year, where we celebrate children as audience and artists. The festival is a curated programme of high quality, engaging, provoking work from the best makers around the world and around the country. It offers a range of genres, themes and age ranges so that there is something for everyone. The programme includes theatre, dance, puppetry, circus, visual art, literature and digital work. We invite children into theatres, galleries, outdoor spaces and we also bring the festival to their classrooms, school yards and local libraries. The festival is brimful of compelling stories – stories that move us, challenge us, surprise us, inspire us, scare us, make us laugh out loud and give us a glimpse into many cultures.
The festival champions every child’s right to experience and participate in the creative arts. We take children seriously and do not underestimate their capacity for understanding. We create spaces that are safe and welcoming and inclusive, no matter the physical or intellectual challenges. We strive to present a festival programme where children see themselves and their stories and interests reflected, where they see opportunities to one day grace those same stages and gallery walls. Above all, we want children to feel the collective excitement of experiencing a range of live artistic encounters with friends, family, teachers so that they feel that ‘festival buzz’ that inspires and excites.
The festival is a vital part of the national ecosystem of the children’s arts sector in Ireland. It is an important gathering place for artists and creatives to see inspiring work, broaden their network of Irish and international peers and presenters, to exchange ideas and to meet potential collaborators. We curate a series of industry events and professional development opportunities for artists and teachers to provoke debate and challenge the status quo. The festival is also a space for creators and educators to celebrate work for young audiences, embrace play and be inspired. Our artist development programme operates year-round, offering professional development opportunities and support to see work throughout Ireland.
Work in the Community
We are committed to making our festival and programmes more equitable. Baboró is building on our work in the community by bringing festival shows and workshops into schools throughout the city and county, touring to rural schools and community libraries, and unearthing new ways of reaching audiences that cannot reach us. We work directly with teachers and schools year-round on innovative arts in education projects in Galway city and county. We are building our community of families, schools, artists and local organisations so that everyone feels that they can belong at Baboró. We collaborate with our Children’s Panel to ensure the voice of the child is included in our work.