Reflecting on LEAP

Thu 20 Oct

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Reflecting on LEAP

Hear from participants and stakeholders of Baboró’s LEAP artist support programme as they engage in conversation about the pilot project's development and execution. What did we learn from the process? What were the successes as well as the failings? What unique role does diversity play in the TYA sector in Ireland today?

The inaugural LEAP programme took place in April 2022, with four selected artists gathering in Galway City for four days of creative exploration and connection building. The paid workshop series specifically supported creatives from ethnically diverse and/or migrant backgrounds and focused on building a toolkit for creating and devising theatre for young audiences. The LEAP artists, Alexandra Craciun, Fernanda Ferrari, Justyna Cwojdzińska, and Justin Anene, brought different backgrounds, experiences and creative practices to the programme and worked collaboratively and democratically with facilitators. Moonfish Theatre's Ionia Ní Chróinín, Zita Monahan and Grace Kiely--with guest artists Mufutau (Junior) Yusuf and Maeve Stone--engaged participants with theatre games, movement exercises, generative brainstorms and production tips.

A partnership between Baboró, Moonfish Theatre, and University of Galway, LEAP aims to bridge the gap between the diversity of Ireland's young audiences and that of the artists programmed to create and present work for them. Funded by the Arts Council with further support from the Irish Research Council.

The panel discussion and Q&A will be chaired Dr. Charlotte McIvor, Drama and Theatre Studies, University of Galway.

This event will be followed by a reception in the foyer of the O'Donoghue centre. Tea and coffee will be served, and we invite audiences to join us for chats and mingling as a way to more casually digest and continue the discussion.

Alexandra Craciun is a Romanian artist based in Dublin, classically trained in performing arts who has recently pivoted towards the wondrous world of writing and Illustration. She started her Cultural Entrepreneurship experience back when she co-founded Bibabo Independent Theater Company and recently completed an IADT Postgraduate in Cultural Management. Creating and performing for young audiences has been a pillar of her artistic belief for over 10 years and the journey has only begun.

Fernanda Ferrari is a Brazilian multidisciplinary artist who has an extraordinary passion for inspiring children to experiment with art and uses creativity as a tool of transformation. In 2021 she was awarded by the Arts Council the Young People, Children, and Education Bursary Award to study puppetry. As a performer, she was part of the Five Lamps Arts Festival and Mother Tongues Festival.

Is as Gaillimh do Ionia Ní Chróinín. Is comh-stiúrthóir í ar Moonfish Theatre. She studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow, graduating in 2005. Since then she has worked extensively in theatre throughout the UK and Ireland, with companies such as 7:84, Theatrecorp, Making Strange, and an extended season with Dundee Rep. She also works with Galway-based company, Branar Téatar do Pháistí. Ionia has appeared in all of Moonfish Theatre productions in Ireland, the UK and the US.

Jo Cummins is a freelance creative producer based between Galway and the UK. For Moonfish Theatre she has produced two national and international tours of Star of the Sea, their co-production with The Abbey Redemption Falls, and the radio drama series Into the World Within. Jo also works with UK-based Rive Productions and On The Button Theatre, creating work for young people and adults.

Justyna Cwojdzińska is an artist/voice over and a producer. She has been involved in theatre productions since 2000 in Poland and, when moved to Ireland, she continued her work in the cultural sector. She is a founder and artistic director of Polish Arts Festival. Justyna received an Outstanding Pole Award in the Culture Category for the work on the Festival from the Polish Government (Polish Promotional Emblem Foundation TERAZ POLSKA) under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland. She has worked with Super Paua on a bilingual project for children Stories/Opowiadania as a voice over to a total of 14 characters.

Maeve Stone is a director / writer for film and theatre whose work responds to issues of climate breakdown, and revisits the canon with a feminist lens. She is artivist-in-residence with Project Arts Centre through 2022, and through 2021 and 2022 she is lead artist for axis Ballymun’s PopUp Green Arts Department facilitating a series of events that reach out into the community and raise awareness of Green Issues. In 2021 she co-founded a film and media company called Cracking Light Productions with her partner Alex Gill. Looking for moments that capture something true, sometimes messy and sometimes composed, these projects are always focused on building connections.

Originally from New Mexico, Rachel Baltz joined Baboró amidst the Covid-19 pandemic upon completing an MA in Theatre Practice & Production from NUI Galway. In 2022 she became the organisation's first Artist & Programme Coordinator, due in part to her work on LEAP as project coordinator and co-project lead. In addition to her year round responsibilities with Baboró, she is an independent performer, deviser, and director. Her background is primarily in theatre devising, performance, and production, though she also holds a BFA in poetry and psychology.