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Lasta: Young Curators’ Festival 2024 at glór: A National Arts Festival by Young People for Young People

glór today announced the programme for the 3rd Lasta National Arts Festival, a festival of events programmed for young people by young people, which will take place between Tuesday 4th – Saturday 8th June.

The full Lasta Festival Programme for glór is available HERE

glór is one of seven venues nationwide who have teamed up to present this exciting event in cities and towns across the country, from Letterkenny to Tralee, from Ennis to Portlaoise.

The Lasta programme for glór has been curated by two young Clare-based curators – Ciara Miesle and Rowan Watson Bradshaw, selected through an open call in 2023.  Since then, these Young Curators have had the opportunity to meet up with curators from other venues nationwide. They received mentoring from industry professionals in marketing, touring and venue management and learned about negotiating deals, how to approach artists and companies, and how to manage budgets.

Ciara and Rowan have pulled together an ambitious programme taking inspiration from casual nerd culture.

The artistic scene can be a daunting world for uninitiated youths. However, in casual, online fan spaces, young people display an incredible ability to create and engage with art. With this in mind, we curated this festival to break down the barriers facing young people trying to break into the art world by moving casual nerd culture to the front of stage.’

A key event in the programme is an exhibition entitled Inspired by: A Celebration of the Nerdy Artistic, running in glór gallery from Tuesday 4th – Saturday 8th June, and featuring young amateur Clare artists who responded to a recent open call. This exhibition highlights how nerd and geek culture has permeated a newer generation of artists.

The Young Curators have also initiated glór’s first ever Game Jam, a game design challenge where video game developers attempt to create a game from scratch.  The event is open to any aspiring video game developers in Ireland, from well-seasoned to first-time devs. Submission for the jam is Friday 10 of May to Friday 24 of May.

Designed for young people aged 14-25 Cosplay Creations is a prop making workshop with artist Nina Fern. In this two-day workshop, participants will learn how to bring their cosplay visions to life.

The programme closes with Float, a new play by Kirby Thompson and Orla Graham, a revel in quiet rebellion with four Belfast housemates trying to find light in the darkest of situations.

“A captivating show exploring the quiet terror of being in one’s 20s” Irish Times

The Lasta Festival, based on a project originally conceived and delivered by Backstage Theatre in Longford and now in its third year, has blossomed to include venues and individual curators nationwide, and an expanding programme of exciting, multidisciplinary work.  In an innovative and exciting approach to programming, 19 young curators have been engaged by seven regional venues (including glór) to programme a festival of work for young people nationwide. Under the guidance of theatre artist Maisie Lee, these young people will work collaboratively to deliver an ambitious line up of work.  Featuring multiple disciplines and reflecting the diversity of modern Ireland, this festival offers a unique opportunity to develop our future arts programmers and producers. The line-up for this year’s festival will feature theatre, music, comedy, gaming, visual arts, dance, film, photography and experiential moments promising a fresh, fun, and exciting festival.

The seven regional venues involved in the initiative are Backstage Theatre (Longford) Dunamaise Arts Centre (Portlaoise) glór (Ennis) An Grianán (Letterkenny) The Lime Tree Theatre (Limerick) Siamsa Tíre (Tralee) and Town Hall Theatre (Galway)

Half-Irish, half-American, Ciara Miesle is a Clare local currently undergoing a Bachelor of Arts degree with Art History at University College Cork. She has an interest in all things arts related, from classical literature to Avant Garde video games. Ciara is a talented writer, having been published in the 2022 Fighting Words supplement and she was also awarded the 2021 Edna O’Brien Young Writers’ Bursary. Other hobbies include visual art and game development. Ciara is thrilled to be provided with this opportunity by glór and the NASC Network and is looking forward to launching the festival in June.

Rowan Watson Bradshaw has been involved with numerous arts organisations and festivals over the years. She has a strong passion for theatre, performance, and the written word and for the last six years she has been a member of Clare Youth Theatre, a position that led to experience in all areas of theatre production including script writing; costume; lighting and acting. Rowan has adapted and co-directed a collection of fairytales for the stage, and she also acted in this production both in Clare and internationally in the Intertwined Festival in Germany.  She is a talented singer and has sung in choirs and singing groups and performed in the 1916 rising centenary 100 Years a Nation performance.

Rowan has volunteered for a number of years with Clare Youth Action, a youth group devoted to social change and community improvement and has been involved in projects to spread information about domestic abuse, mental health, and period poverty.

The full Lasta Festival Programme for glór is available HERE

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