Press Release: Baboró Announces Details of Wide Eyes

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children has announced details of an exciting and imaginative programme of theatre and dance shows for babies and children aged 0 – 6 years, presented by Irish and international artists. Wide Eyes is a one-off four-day European celebration of Performing Arts for very young children hosted by Baboró in Galway from 1 – 4 February, 2018.

Wide Eyes is the culmination of a four-year ‘Small size, Performing Arts for Early Years’ project with European partners from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK and Ireland. Baboró, the only Irish partner in the ‘Small size’ project, will host Wide Eyes in venues throughout Galway city. The event is being hosted outside of Baboró’s existing annual festival for children, which takes place in Galway every October. 

Wide Eyes will see nearly 200 artists and arts professionals from 20 countries gather in Galway to present an extravaganza of new dance and theatre shows for 0-6 year olds developed specifically under the project’s overarching theme of ‘Wide Eyes’. The concept for Wide Eyes, developed by Project Leader, Roberto Frabetti of La Baracca - Testoni Ragazzi in Italy, is rooted in the belief that children are never too young to quite literally have their eyes opened wide in amazement while they experience the performing arts. The programme will feature performances for schools, crèches and families, produced by some of Europe’s finest creators of Early Years work, as well as professional development workshops and industry symposia.

As part of the Wide Eyes programme, Baboró and Branar Téatar do Pháistí, will present a non-verbal show for children aged 3-6 years called uoo, mee, weee! Directed by Lali Morris and Branar’s Marc Mac Lochlainn, uoo, mee, weee! will mark Baboró’s first ever production for children.

“At Baboró we believe you’re never too young to be an audience member so we’re very excited about hosting this major one-off event dedicated exclusively to children aged 0 – 6 years. It’s been a privilege to be part of an international network like Small size, and to work with organisations who are equally passionate about developing work for younger audiences. For Baboró to host Wide Eyes in Galway is a real honour. We’re looking forward to welcoming our European counterparts to Galway this February, and to sharing their work with babies, children and families over four jam-packed days. We’re also excited to present our first ever production for children, together with our co-producing partners, Branar Téatar do Pháistí .”

"Galway 2020 is delighted to be supporting Baboró’s Wide Eyes 4-day European celebration of Performing Arts for babies and children. We welcome the focus this project has brought to arts for very young audiences and it is fantastic that this celebration will be hosted in Galway in February 2018. We look forward to working with Baboró and others to build on this work in the lead up to Galway 2020 and beyond”.

Wide Eyes is one of only seven projects which received funding under the Arts Council’s Making Great Art Work award in 2017, a highly competitive open call award which supports ambitious, one-off artistic projects. This award for Wide Eyes recognises the importance of resourcing and funding Early Years work.

“The Arts Council is delighted to support Baboró in hosting Wide Eyes. We see this as an excellent opportunity for families and children in early childhood care and education settings to experience imaginative work by Irish and international artists. Wide Eyes is the culminating event of a four-year project with European partners, which has enabled Irish artists to continue to develop their practice in this area alongside critical friends and contemporaries in Europe. We are delighted that this process of learning and development will carry through into the festival, which in addition to sharing beautiful arts experiences for children, will include professional development opportunities to build our capacity to plan and provide for this young age group.”

Last year a study undertaken by the ESRI and the Arts Council, showed that increased exposure to the arts boosts children’s confidence, their socio-emotional well-being and academic skills. Children who participate in artistic and cultural activities cope better with schoolwork and have more positive attitudes towards school later on than those who are less engaged.

Wide Eyes is funded through the Arts Council’s Making Great Art Work award, Creative Europe, Creative Ireland, Galway2020 and Galway City Council.

Wide Eyes is hosted by Baboró International Arts Festival for Children and will take place in Galway from Thursday 1st Feb – Sunday 4th February, 2018. The full programme can be viewed on

For further information please contact: Sinead McPhillips T: 086 631 9004