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Brave New World: Artists' Reflection and Discussion Event 17 Sep 2020

Join us online for this live panel discussion event where we’ll reflect on and share what we’ve discovered so far in our adventures with new formats and approaches to connecting with our audiences of children.

The Ark, like so many other arts organisations, is now producing a range of new programmes to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions on face to face gatherings in creative ways.

We have just wrapped up 3 months of The Beautiful Beasts @ Home which was our digital summer programme of online workshops, pre-recorded workshop videos and email-based art inspiration for ages 2 to 12. To produce this programme we’ve worked with artists from a range of different disciplines including visual art, creative writing, drama, music and dance. You can get a taste of these diverse events on the season page here or check out some of our video workshops and worksheets here.

Join us to meet with three of the wonderful artists who were each involved in the delivery of different aspects of this programme including events for both families and schools. Our panel artists are: Duffy Mooney-Sheppard (visual art), Dave Rudden (creative writing) and Joanna Parkes (drama with the early years).

This free event will appeal to artists, especially those with an interest in participatory workshop practice, as well as producers and programmers. Each panel artist will present their own challenges, wins and reflections along with insights from The Ark team. There will also be time for questions from the audience so we can have a hearty discussion.

This is the first of a series of these events which The Ark will present over the coming months. Each one will focus on a recently completed Ark programme to reflect and share the learning, challenges and silver-linings of the new work we are creating in order to continue to deliver high quality arts experiences for children aged between 2 and 12.

As there is a limit to the number of places on a video call we do need you to register this time. We promise it is really quick and simple.

Please register here.

Once you have successfully registered, we will email you a link to a Zoom call on the morning of the event. Please be advised you will need to install the Zoom app in advance, which can be downloaded here.

Duffy Mooney Sheppard

About The Panel:

Duffy Mooney-Sheppard:

Duffy is a visual artist who devised and led a significant number of live online visual art workshops for ages 5 – 12 both for the public, schools and for libraries as part of The Ark’s Beautiful Beasts @ Home summer programme 2020. A recent graduate of the MA Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Arts, Duffy is drawn to the process of story-making as a way to explore ideas and share her curiosity about the natural world. With many years of experience working creatively with young people at The Ark and many other cultural institutions and schools, she has developed her facilitation methods which are based in playful observation, imagination and telling tall tales. This year, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, she founded Little Islands Art Club, an online art groups for children and adults. Find out more at:

Joanna Parkes Profile Circle

Joanna Parkes:

Joanna has created and led a series of online drama workshops for children aged 2-4 inspired by Aesop’s fables as part of The Ark’s Beautiful Beasts @ Home programme. Joanna became the second recipient of the John Coolahan Early Years Artist Residency at The Ark in 2019. She has been working in the field of Creative Arts Education as a Drama Facilitator for many years, in many diverse contexts. Her practice uses participative process drama methods, underpinned by her belief that drama provides people of all ages - from toddlers to 90 year olds - with wonderful opportunities to investigate the world, and their role within it, through play and imagination. Joanna also completed a Masters in Early Childhood Education which specifically examined the role drama can play in supporting children’s holistic personal development, reinforcing her belief in the profound, transformative power of drama and early engagement with the arts.

Dave Rudden Headshot

Dave Rudden:

Dave delivered a series of engaging online creative writing workshops for children aged 7 and older for primary schools as part of The Ark’s Beautiful Beasts @ Home programme this year. His first novel, Knights of the Borrowed Dark, was the 2016 Children’s Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and the UNESCO Dublin City of Literature Citywide Read in 2017. He has been shortlisted for the Hennessey New Writing Prize, the Northern Irish Book Award and was the 2011 winner of the Fantasy Book Review Short Story Prize. His first Doctor Who anthology, Twelve Angels Weeping, was released in October 2018. In the last two years, he has performed in over five hundred schools, libraries, workshops, conferences, literary death matches and one pumpkin festival.