Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 celebrates a sense of place in Laois

Leinster Express Reporter


Leinster Express Reporter

Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 celebrates a sense of place in Laois

Robert Sheehan with the Laois Youth theathre Group

Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 is a national day of free creativity for children and young people across Ireland and will take place on Saturday June 13.

It is an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme (2018-2022) in partnership with RTÉ and the Local Authorities.
Normally Cruinniú na nÓg celebrates and encourages participation in culture and creativity through the coming together for performance, theatre, art and music workshops, readings, screenings, special events and much more.

With this recent pandemic it is even more important to celebrate the creativity of the children of Ireland.

Still celebrating creativity online
With current restrictions this year things will work a little differently and everything is going online. The day is still about giving children and young people the opportunity to express themselves through a specially curated programme of cultural and creative activities where they can share their ideas, learn new skills and have fun!

Unleash your creative spirit
Cruinniú na nÓg is a celebration of creativity with plenty of opportunities for young people to get ‘doing’, ‘making’ and ‘creating’. While children are at home it doesn’t stop their creativity.
In fact, it can offer the opportunity and time to explore their creative sides. The national programme can be found at

There are some great initiatives for budding writers, coders, storytellers and kite makers to get involved. Other activities include upcycling challenges, film screenings, Anyone for Science, puppeteering and 3D modelling. Lots to keep children entertained while at home.

Getting Creative in Laois
On a local level the Laois County Council Culture Team (Creative Ireland Laois) is working hard to put together an engaging programme to give children of all ages an exciting day to enjoy on the 13th of June. A dedicated YouTube channel for Creative Ireland Laois has been set up. This will host the majority of activities on the day with specific viewing times for various activities.

Events on Saturday, June 13

1. Online Open Mic Night – submission deadline extended until June 5
One of the first initiatives is the Online Open Mic Night and the call is now open for budding musicians and artists to share their original music creations. Music Generation Laois in association with Creative Ireland Laois are looking for young musicians from across the country to submit a video of their original music songs /tunes /compositions /raps or electronic music. The videos will then be compiled into a live-streamed Online Open Mic night on Saturday June 13.
As there has been huge interest in this initiative the deadline for submissions has been extended to Friday June 5.
The main criteria are that pieces submitted are original creations and that the musicians are between 12- 18 years of age and live on the island of Ireland. There are great prizes to be won also.
For full details see online-open-mic-night

2. Laois Series - A Sense of Place
Twenty-five children across Laois are creatively working across a range of media exploring the theme of ‘A Sense of Place’ during these unusual times. Working in groups, they are collaborating remotely to make a video and creatively expressing though dance, theatre, nature, music, learning & play.
The participants are from Laois Youth Theatre, Laois Youth Dance Ensemble, young members of Laois County Library Service, Music Generation Laois students and children interested in nature and biodiversity. The culmination of their work will be showcased by a live stream from the Creative Ireland Laois YouTube channel on the 13th of June.

3. Art and Circus workshops
Dunamaise Arts Centre will host an online fun circus skills workshop with circus performer, Maria Corcoran and paper crafting workshops with visual artist, Caroline Keane. Keep an eye on social media for updates from both Maria and Caroline who will tell us what is needed to partake on the day. Don’t worry all items can be found at home.
Caroline’s workshops will be streamed on the Creative Ireland Laois YouTube channel. Maria’s workshop will take place on Zoom and booking is required with Dunamaise Arts Centre.

4. Traditional Songs with Aileen Lambert
Aileen Lambert is a traditional singer and she brings traditional songs and singing to the Cruinniú na nÓg programme. Aileen’s songs are aimed at children aged 4-7 and 8-12. This is a wonderful way for the whole family to learn some traditional Irish songs.
Aileen’s workshops will be streamed on the Creative Ireland Laois YouTube channel on the 13th of June.

All in all, June 13 is shaping up to be a fun and creative day for our children and young people across the county. Using technology, we can still celebrate together while staying apart.

Cruinniú na nÓg is a national day of free creativity for children and young people across Ireland. It is an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and is presented in partnership with RTÉ and the Local Authorities.

Local partnerships and collaborators include, Music Generation Laois, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Laois Youth Theatre and Laois Youth Dance Ensemble.

For the full Cruinniú na nÓg programme, go to

Follow us on
Facebook @creativelaois
Twitter: @creativelaois
Instagram: @creativeirelandlaois
YouTube - Creative Ireland Laois Channel: UCyYczZPSbadDGBGhhFAUfyw