The Ark announces programme details of Right Here Right Now! The Ark’s Festival of Children 13-16 June 2019

A brand-new festival created for children - by children, a celebration of art, culture and children’s rights – ensuring that children are seen and heard across Dublin. All events will be free! Advance booking for a number of events is required and tickets will be available from 14 May at

We are excited to announce the programme details of Right Here Right Now! The Ark’s Festival of Children which will take place this June to coincide with Cruinniú na nÓg, Ireland’s national day of creativity for children and young people. A special weekend of art, theatre, dance, games and film, designed by children, for children awaits and all events will be free.

The voice of the child is at the heart of this festival. Children have played a vital role at every stage of its development. From the very beginning children advised on what the festival should be called, what events should be included and an open design call gave children the chance to design the artwork for the festival. Submissions from all over Ireland were received and the final decision was made by The Ark Children’s Council which you can see on our website

Children from across Ireland are invited to get involved and there is lots to choose from (see below), but the pinnacle moment will be The Right Here Right Now! Rally. The Ark is asking schools, children’s clubs, groups and families to get involved and for children all over Ireland to rally together to be seen and heard. On 14th June at 11am The Ark will hold a children’s rally in Meeting House Square but children are encouraged to hold their own rallies wherever they live. Write speeches, create your banners, flags and songs for this celebration of children’s rights. This is your moment!

In advance of the rally a number of artists will facilitate creative workshops with a 4 local school groups, one of the groups will create a song with a musician while the other 3 groups will work with a visual artist. Children will also take part in a rights workshops with the Office of the Ombudsman for Children. The resulting artworks will all be displayed in the rally by the children and the song will be shared in advance so that children around the country might perform it at their own rally – uniting the children through song no matter where they may be.

Director of The Ark Aideen Howard explains

Right Here Right Now! is a festival of children’s culture and children’s rights. We believe that every child has a right to art and culture so the events in Right Here Right Now! are free in order to make participation equally possible for ALL children. Expect an energetic weekend for, by and about children. With one special event for grown-ups in The Ark’s first ever partnership with Project Arts Centre!”.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD added: “This is one of the most exciting initiatives taking place this year as part of the Creative Ireland Programme’s national day of creativity for children and young people – Cruinniú na nÓg. Supporting the development of creative and innovative thinking is significant for children as they face new situations and challenges throughout their lives. This new Festival by children for children is an important milestone in providing opportunities for our children and young people to unleash their creative potential. Cruinniú na nÓg 2019 – taking place on Saturday 15th June – will see over 700 hundred free activities for children and young people, in cities and towns nationwide, and I look forward to announcing details of the full programme in the coming weeks.”

Other events in Right Here Right Now! will include:

- International theatre for children - the renowned Slingsby returns to The Ark with a story of a child’s adventure into a precarious world of untrustworthy adults, in a bid to right a wrong.

- Celebrating play - Explore the wonderful world of boardgames in Game Plan: Board Games Revisited exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood at The Ark or take part in a outdoor Games Day in Meeting House Square.

- Children can get a taste of productions in development and give their opinions as The Ark Children’s Council present a mini showcase of new performances-in-progress.

- All ages are invited to take part and for the very young, a fun-filled, playful baby rave experience.

- Celebrating Children – in a special portrait exhibition of over 100 drawings of children by some of Ireland’s best known artists, created at The Ark since 2016.

- Performed by children, for adults - working with a group of eight to fourteen year olds, The Ark and Project Arts Centre will present a rehearsed reading of Tim Etchells’ text That Night Follows Day.


Right Here Right Now!
The Ark’s Festival of Children is presented by The Ark as part of Cruinniú na nÓg, an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme and the local authorities, supported by RTE. The Creative Ireland Programme is an all-of-Government culture-based initiative to place creativity at the centre of public policy. Details of the full Cruinniú na nÓg programme will be announced shortly on