Children in Derry are being given the opportunity to explore a range of arts and craft experiences at venues across the city in a new summer scheme.
The ‘Let’s Explore’ summer festival will run across the city until the end of August and will offer a range of fun activities for primary school children as part of the City of Culture celebrations.
It is the brainchild of Derry writer and illustrator, Trisha Deery, who said the free weekly events, held on Sundays, are designed for all the family. “The Playtrail, Insideart and I have been awarded City of Culture funding for a summer festival called ‘Let’s Explore’ based around arts and crafts for local children,” Trisha said.
The first workshop was held last Sunday at Cafe Soul and attracted a large crowd. “It was fantastic to see so many people turning up and taking part and hopefully more people will come along in the weeks ahead. The theme of the first week was ‘Let’s Make Friends’ and everyone there had great fun playing games, painting, and making friends. All the children who came along were given a canvas bag that they can use to carry the things they make and paint home. Each week they will be given a different badge too based around the theme,” she said.
Trisha said the workshops are being held at different venues across the city to open them up to as many people as possible. “It’s all about exploring so we wanted to bring people to different locations in the town that they might not have been to before,” she explained.
This weekend’s event will take place in the Craft Village and the theme will be ‘Let’s Make Books.’ “It will be all about creating and drawing characters and how to bind your own books. It’s in the Craft village from 2.00pm to 3.30pm. The following week we will be in St Columb’s Park House and the theme will be ‘Let’s Fly High.’ We will be making kites and all sorts of things that fly so we are hoping for a good day for that one. After that it will be ‘Let’s Make Noise’ at Ebrington Square and the children will be making all sorts of instruments of their own and there will be other performers and music there so it promises to be a fun day,” she said.
The summer scheme will end with a festival at the Playtrail the following weekend. “There will be stalls, performances and a general party atmosphere so it will be a great way to round it all off,” she said.
The writer and illustrator also said all the events are free and open to all primary school age children. “It doesn’t matter if you miss a week; people can come along to any or all of the events,” she said.