Announcing The Beautiful Beasts @ Home

As we look forward to the time when we are able to safely reopen our building, The Ark announces details of our first online summer programme, The Beautiful Beasts @ Home. Join us for brand new online workshops, video tutorials, at-home activities and art adventures for children aged 2-12.


Today, The Ark announced the first details of our fun, hands-on summer programme which will encourage children to create, dance and explore the wonderful world of animals from their own homes. Filled with a range of delightful online events and experiences in visual art, drama and dance, this programme is inspired by The Ark's wonderful collection of loveable animal sculptures, The Beautiful Beasts.

Children will be encouraged to create their own artworks and take creative adventures inspired by the many creatures big and small that can be found all around us. Through a series of new online workshops, video tutorials, at-home activities and inspiring experiences, children will be encouraged to look closely, listen, imagine and make.

For children aged 5-12, we are offering live online visual art workshops with artist Duffy Mooney-Sheppard via Zoom. Using simple materials, Duffy will introduce children to some curious beasts she knows and inspire them to create their own artwork. Each workshop will have its own theme, from the birds in the air to magical creatures that can change their form.

The Ark is excited to present a range of online events for children aged 2-4 and their grown-ups to enjoy together created by The Ark’s three John Coolahan Early Years Artists in Residence. Enjoy a choice of live online drama workshops led by Joanna Parkes and dance workshops led by Monica Muñoz. You can also sign up to receive ongoing creative inspiration for you and your little ones through the summer from visual artist Lucy Hill. We hope the different formats means that you will be able to join in and enjoy an event that works for you and your family.

All three artists will use the theme of the Beautiful Beasts in different ways. Joanna Parkes will explore a range of animal themed stories each month in her lively online drama workshops. Monica Muñoz was due to start her residency at The Ark this May. While sadly we have had to postpone the start of her residency for now, we are delighted to introduce her to our audiences this summer through these joyful dance and movement workshops which parents and little children can enjoy together at home. Meanwhile, Lucy Hill will use walks in your neighbourhood to inspire you to find materials and easy ideas which you can explore and play with to create all kinds of animal themed art at home.

For over 25 years, The Ark has been a place where children can discover and love the arts, exploring theatre, music, literature, art, film, dance and more. As The Ark works towards reopening its building on Eustace Street when it is safe to do so, the team is committed to creating high-quality arts experiences for children during this time. Having launched The Ark @ Home in March to engage with children at home, The Ark now brings leading artists, facilitators and creatives together in this newly curated programme of exciting arts experiences for young audiences delivered online across the summer.

The Beautiful Beasts @ Home kicks off our season of rich and varied programming celebrating The Ark's 25th birthday in 2020, generously sponsored by professional services firm BDO. While this season of events evolves to adapt to public health guidelines, BDO’s continued support is more vital than ever in helping The Ark to commission artists, to devise and share creative activities and to reach children all over Ireland this year. The Ark also gratefully acknowledges the continued support of its principal funder the Arts Council and also its other annual supporters: the Department of Education and Skills, Temple Bar Cultural Trust, Dublin City Council, UNESCO Dublin City of Literature.

Meanwhile, those that are unable to attend online workshops can still explore these animal themes through video tutorials and activity sheets released online across the summer. The first of these is a visual art video workshop with Duffy Mooney-Sheppard inspired by Wilhelma The Tortoise, a friendly mahogany sculpture by Imogen Stuart, and is available online from Saturday 13 June to celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg.

Booking is now open for ticketed events in June and July so check out the programme here and stay tuned for more from The Beautiful Beasts @ Home all across the summer!