Roscommon Arts Centre believes arts programming for children and young audiences are an integral part of our organisation. 20 productions aimed at school audiences will take place in 2018. The Bookworms Festival which is organised between the arts centre and the arts office sees a number of shows and workshops for children, including off-site visits to rural schools where artists work with children on projects and events. In response to the Arts Council's assessment of the festival last year, the 2018 programme included readings by author Siobhan Parkinson Lollipops Festival.
Our Lollipops festival runs throughout the month of October with a number of school shows planned. We rolled out our ‘Wheels on the Bus’ initiative in 2017 which will continue in 2018. This initiative, funded by Creative Ireland, allows us to offer reduced ticket prices to rural schools who need to hire transport to attend arts centre events, making our programme more accessible.
We work closely with children’s practitioners and theatre makers, offering space to research and develop work for our young audieces. To date we have worked with Branar Theatre Company, Monkeyshine Theatre Company, Anna Newell, Andy Manly, Thomas Johnston, Paul Curley and Julie Sharkey who are all creating work for young audiences.
We pride ourselves on the relationships that we have built with schools in the county and neighbouring counties and we look forward to that relationship continuing to flourish in the years to come.