"A bubble of enjoyment!" The young people who inspired Cruinniú na nÓg
The answer lies with Ireland’s wealth of smart, talented and thoughtful young people.
Back in April, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs facilitated invaluable consultation workshops with children and young people, to ensure that they had a voice in the planning of Cruinniú na nÓg. Held at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, children aged between 8 and 12 and young people between 13 and 17, took part in two fun-filled workshops around the idea of a day of youthful creativity. The young participants were chosen through Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg.
Thirty four young people took part and, in the midst of the laughter, games and drawing, shared a whole range of insights and ideas with us. These ideas formed the basis of our planning for the first ever Cruinniú na nÓg.
Here is a flavour of some of our young participants' responses:
Jessica, aged 12 said "The activities in Cruinniú na nÓg are for children and young people so I think they should have our views in them. I enjoyed the consultation because it was really fun and everyone got to put their own interests in [...] Creative activities are important because we as children and young people do not have enough opportunities to be creative without fear of being persecuted and/or bullied."
Fourteen-year-old Sam Gorman Cooke said“I believe it is crucial for young people’s views to be included in the planning of Cruinniú na nÓg because children’s outlook on creativity is the key foundation of the event. I thoroughly enjoyed the consultation process as I believe that our views were really considered [...] Creative activities are important for young people as a means of introduction to a variety of ways of self expression. This will allow young people to develop and grow within their own secure bubble of enjoyment.”
Jean-Ted Deliev, aged 16 said “I think it's important to have children and young people's views taken into account when organising a festival aimed at them. It lets them enjoy it more because it's relevant to them, and it attracts more people in this way, by being interesting for young people. I enjoyed the consultations because I learned about Cruinniú na nÓg and my participation with other members of Comhairle na nÓg in suggesting ideas made me interested in seeing how it turns out.
Creativity is self expression, and children need to express themselves to find out what's right for them. It teaches them new things and experiences, and encourages them to develop themselves into the best kind of people they can be. And you can't find out what's best for you by not trying a variety of things as time goes on. Creative activities are also a great way to make like-minded friends, and being social is an important part of life and growing up. By encouraging creativity, we help to make a richer society for everyone.”
When asked what it was like to be involved in the consultations, some of the children explained:
“It felt like I was an adult for once.” Jennifer, aged 12.
“It was the first time in ages where someone listened to me... like, outside of school.” Evan, aged 11.
“It felt like someone was finally listening, because they listened to what I was actually saying.” Alin, aged 10.
“I felt really happy because I was able to be really expressive.” Kayden, aged 10.
Taking place this Saturday, 23 June, creative sparks will be alight all over the country as performance, coding, theatre, art, music, readings, screenings, special events and more are held on this free, youth-friendly day of creativity.
Creative Ireland would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the children and young people, and our colleagues in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Hub na nÓg, who helped us in the planning of this unique day.
Supported by RTÉ and Local Authorities nationwide, Cruinniú na nÓg celebrates and encourages children and young people to truly get hands on with culture and creativity in their local area.
Find out what’s on near you and share the fun you’re having on social media using the hashtag #MyCruinniu
With all the fun starting in a matter of hours, be sure to check out creative.ireland.ie/cruinniu to get involved and discover just what these young people helped to plan!