Young At Art will soon be in full swing in Belfast! This year the Belfast Children’s Festival turns 21 and comes of age with theme of ‘Our Place in the World.’ The goal is to help children think about how they contribute to society as global citizens. You know we’re all about being global, so we’re really looking forward to this year’s festival, which takes place from March 8-13.
We were invited to Young at Art’s launch of the Belfast Children’s Festival a little earlier this year, which took place at St. Anne’s Cathedral. I’ve been there a few times, but it was a new experience for the children, who were taking it all in. There was a class or two of primary school children also in attendance and there were some activities to keep them busy and creative. A scavenger hunt, colouring, storytelling, and creating a cute little house.
To whet our appetites for the upcoming festival, we were served up three appetisers in the form of brief taster performances by:
Music from Baby Daddy, by Replay Theatre Company – this was Kallista’s favourite performance of the day, even though it was aimed at babies and toddlers. It involved relaxing singing, as well as several instruments. These men don’t take themselves seriously in their quest to entertain, yet they aren’t being silly. I also enjoyed this performance!
Extract from Removed; a new production from Prime Cut Productions, in collaboration with VOYPIC. The theme of this one-man production deals with a young man sharing his experiences of growing up in the care of the state. This production is for children aged 11 and over, and would be good for tweens and teens to watch and then open up a conversation with them.
Belfast Ensemble, with a piece from The Musician – a horror opera for children was not horrific at all, as it’s for children from the age of 6 and up. We listened to piano and opera, and it was very enjoyable.
Here’s a preview of this year’s events:
Back to the Belfast Children’s Festival this year is the Baby Rave, which is always a popular event. In addition, there are many other events in the realms of music, dance, art, workshops, storytelling, and more!
The performances for the Belfast Children’s Festival are shorter in length than the ones us adults are accustomed to, to hold the attentions of the younger crowd, and to give them the experience of fine arts at a pace and time that is age-appropriate.
Last year our family attended ‘Horses,’ a modern dance production, which was a new experience for the children. That’s one of the wonderful things about the Belfast Children’s Festival; the whole family can get out and enjoy fine arts together and make great memories together!
At this year’s Belfast Children’s Festival, we’ll be checking out Oorlog by Theater Artenis from the Netherlands. The theme will be of war, which is something that isn’t often explored and presented to children, so I’m curious to see how this is done. Coincidentally, just after attending the launch, I took the children to the Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum. So this happens to be a nice tie-in.
Which event are you looking forward to this year? Check them all out at Young Art, and get your tickets booked – no ticket is more than £10! Find out more information about this year’s festival here: