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The Children’s Soap Box 18 Mar 2016

What does it mean to be a child in 2016? This special event to launch and introduce The Ark’s new Children’s Council, gives a voice to children from across Dublin and a platform to express their views and wishes for Ireland of the future.

In preparation for the event, the children will work with Shaun Dunne (Artist in Residence at The Ark) to explore their hopes and dreams for our nation’s future. Together, they will shape these into soap box style performances using spoken word, stories and poetry.

Interspersing the Council’s performances will be music from celebrated children’s choir RTÉ Cór na nÓg who are appearing at The Ark for the very first time. The choir of more than 60 children aged 10+ will perform songs from their own extensive repertoire that complement the words of the Children’s Council.

This is the first project of The Ark’s Children’s Council and is presented in partnership with St Patrick’s Festival.

About the Children’s Council

The Children's Council has come together to amplify the voice of the children and to explore active citizenship through engagement with the arts.

Twelve children will spend 2016 working together, under the guidance of The Ark, to make sure their voice is heard into the future. The Council will have access to all events in the Ark's calendar with the capacity to develop their own programmes and events throughout the year.

The Council and how its run will be a collaborative effort over time with the opinions and wishes of the young people placed at the core of how their time here is filled.

About Shaun Dunne

Shaun Dunne is Artist in Residence at The Ark with responsibility for the Children’s Council. He is a theatre-artist and playwright living in Dublin. Having studied the BA in Journalism from DCU, he is mostly interested in making work that talks about Ireland today.

Recent projects include The Waste Ground Party at the Abbey Theatre, Advocacy at Project Arts Centre and I've to mind her (Dublin Theatre Festival, 2013). Shaun is also the writer in association for Talking Shop Ensemble and recently worked as a key facilitator on THEATREclub's The Game.

About RTÉ Cór na nÓg

RTÉ Cór na nÓg, one of the five RTÉ performing groups, was founded by Colin Mawby in 1987 and consists of over 65 children aged 10 and upwards, from all parts of Dublin and surrounding counties. Appointed as Music Director in September 2011, Mary Amond O'Brien and her team provide excellent musical training with a strong emphasis on the enjoyment of music-making as well as hard work and commitment. Their unique relationship with RTÉ leads to varied and exciting performance opportunities with regular broadcasts on national radio and television, and collaborations with artists of the highest calibre.

For more details on the choir, go to:

About St. Patrick’s Festival

The principal aim of St. Patrick’s Festival, since its inauguration, is to develop a major annual international festival around the national holiday over which the ‘owners’ of the festival, the Irish people, would stand proud. It sets out to reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on many national and world stages, and it acts as an exciting showcase for the manifold skills of the people of Ireland, of every age and social background.

For more information on the festival, go to: