Baboró International Arts Festival for Children to receive funding for new four-year Creative Europe project starting in December 2018

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children is delighted with the news that it is one of seventeen Creative Europe project funding successes involving Irish partners. This is the third Creative Europe Small size project in which Baboró has been involved and from which it will receive funding.

In 2009, Baboró was invited to join the ‘Small size, big citizens’ project with European partners who specialise in making and presenting theatre and dance for babies and toddlers, 0 – 6 years. This opened up opportunities for Baboró to invite shows made especially for this special audience to Galway for our Early Years audiences and those with additional needs. As a partner in a second project ‘Small size, Performing Arts for Early Years’, Baboró was delighted to, not only produce their first production with Galway company Branar Téater de Pháistí, but also to host the project’s final event in Galway in February 2018: ‘Wide Eyes - A European Celebration of Performing Arts for the Very Young’. The four-day festival was a huge success with over 150 European arts professionals travelling to Galway from Small size partner organisations, in addition to 60 national and international delegates. Audiences of over 7,000 families, preschools and schools came out to enjoy 15 new performances made as part of the project, as well as family and professional development workshops. Baboró’s partnership in these two projects has resulted in a growth in the festival programme for early years. These innovative and intimate shows have also proven very popular with families and school groups, especially older children with additional needs.

MAPPING – A map on the aesthetics of performing arts for early years’ 2018- 2022, is the third Small size Creative Europe project in which Baboró is a partner. Baboró is one of 18 European partners in the project. In this new project, Baboró has invited two local parters; the Department of Theatre and Drama Studies at NUI Galway and Branar Téatar do Pháistí. The four-year project will involve researching Early Years audiences across Europe to give artists a better understanding of this audience. Each of the eighteen partners will also create a new production through a shared artistic process.

Speaking of the news, Executive Artistic Director Aislinn Ó hEocha said, ‘Baboró is thrilled to be a partner in a fifth Small size project funded by Creative Europe. It will enable us to continue to be a leader in this field in Ireland and to continue to invite world-class performances to Galway for our smallest audiences. We’re really looking forward to working with local partners from NUI Galway and Branar Téatar do Pháistí.

Previous Small size projects have enabled Baboró to invite world-class productions to Galway for babies and toddlers and audiences with additional needs to enjoy. It has been a wonderful opportunity for Baboró to expand its horizons and build global networks in this exciting field. The Creative Europe Funding Project is a highly prestigious grant that supports the culture sector across Europe. Baboró is proud to be a recipient of this award once more and looks forward to working with Irish and European artists on the project in the coming years.

Speaking about the funding, Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway had this to say, ‘We are delighted to work with Baboró on this important European project. As we move into a post-Brexit environment, and with Galway 2020 coming soon, it is all the more important for our students and staff that NUI Galway continues to build strong links across Europe, and this project provides an excellent opportunity to do so. It is especially positive that we are doing so in the area of children’s theatre, an area of real and growing excellence in the west of Ireland.’

Marc MacLochlainn, Director of Branar Téatar do Pháistí added, ‘Branar Téatar do Pháistí are delighted to be participating with Baboró on this Creative Europe Small size MAPPING project. It’s a really exciting initiative. We are looking forward to working with our local and international partners and creating excellent theatre experiences for the youngest citizens of Europe’.

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Galway City Council and Galway County Council.