Focus on families at Boyle Arts Festival

The summer is here and the beautiful town of Boyle is preparing for its annual Arts Festival. The festival sees the town come alive with music, art, drama, theatre and poetry year after year. This year, however, there is a new focus on family events and the programme is packed full with something for all ages.             Boyle Arts Festival is delighted to introduce parent and toddler workshops such as Kindermusic with Anna Houston (30th July to 2nd August from 2.30 – 3.30 pm). This workshop emphasises the importance of music in the early years of a child’s life will allow parents and toddlers to participate in learning songs, exploring instruments, singing action songs and listening to music.             Sligo Artist Heide Wickham will hold ‘Have fun with Felt’ (2nd and 3rd August from 10.30 – 11.30 am) which allows toddlers to get in touch with their creative side in the company of their parents and take home their very own hand crafted piece of unique felt work.             A five-day drama workshop (July 30th – August 3rd) with Catherine Simon will invite groups of 4-7 years to explore their own creativity through the magic of drama while the 8-12 year olds with an interest in all aspects of the stage will participate in fun-filled interactive exercises such as improvisation, character creation and role play.             ‘Having Fun with Words’ is the title of the three-day writing workshops (July 27th, 28th, and 29th) for 9-12 year olds. Local writer Gerry Boland will encourage, guide and support budding young writers to get their ideas on to a page and leave with their own original material, freshly written to take home.             There are Carnival Parade Workshops for 4-8 years, 9-12 years and 13 years plus. Children and teens will create costumes, props and images for the parade and will participate in the parade itself on Friday 3rd August at 6 pm. Saturday 28th July sees a one-day music workshop with the excellent Whistleblast Quartet in which for 8-12 year olds will experience the Quartet’s instruments including the French horn, saxophone, clarinet, oboe, Cor Anglais and piano. The workshop will then be followed by a family concert in which the children will participate in a ‘Symphony of Percussion’.             The Armagh Planetarium’s Stardome will make an appearance on Thursday August 2nd and will take both adults and children on a fascinating journey through the night sky and discover the constellations from a mythological and artistic perspective as they’re projected onto the ceiling of the famous ‘Stardome’.             Family events are colour coded pink in the new-look programme and are featured every day during the eight day festival (July 27th – August 3rd 2007). Other family events include storytelling, film and comedy with the Hussey Brothers and puppet theatre.             Advance booking through the Festival Office is necessary for all workshops. The Festival box office will be located in King House and bookings can be made by calling (071) 96 63085. Further details of workshops are contained in the 2007 Boyle Arts Festival Programme distributed throughout Boyle and the West of Ireland. Further information can be also obtained from the festival website or by ringing (071) 96 63085.