Children’s Council 2019-21

The Ark's fourth Children's Council stayed in place for an extra year as we navigated the challenges and unexpected opportunities of making art during COVID together.

The Ark’s largest Children’s Council to date was comprised of 35 children from schools in and near Dublin. The group was due to complete their term in June 2020, but as our engagement with them was severely disrupted due to COVID-19 restrictions, this was extended for a further year to July 2021. As The Ark's programmes went online, so did the Council, continuing their great work via Zoom sessions to give us their feedback and inform everything we do here at The Ark.

Highlights from The Ark’s Children’s Council 2019-21 include:

  • Attending Baba Yaga by Windmill Theatre Company (Australia) and Imaginate (UK) at Dublin Theatre Festival 2019
  • Introductory workshop and attendance of The Haircut! by Wayne Jordan & Tom Lane
  • Meeting with artists from Little Big Top.
  • Festive Gathering and meeting with Board Members.
  • Participating in workshops with PUSH+ artists as part of the Failure Residency
  • Engagement with Jole Bortoli on her Fly Me To The Moon visual arts programme
  • Attending The Children’s Hustings ahead of the 2020 General Election
  • Recording their own Love Song for our postponed interactive installation at BIG BANG Dublin 2020
  • Consultation with Lucy Hill on an upcoming visual arts programme
  • Creation of videos for The Ark @ Home demonstrating how they passed their time during lockdown
  • Consultation with Shaun Dunne on What Did I Miss?
  • Online visual arts workshops with Duffy Mooney-Sheppard to create poems and images about their rights for Universal Children’s Day
  • Assisting in the development of A Wintry Play by Mollie Molumby for The Ark's The Show Must Go On! on the RTÉ After School Hub
  • Podcast workshops with CreateSchool and interviews with musicians to make the BIG BANG Banter podcasts for BIG BANG bubble! online festival
  • Giving advice and feedback on The Ark Strategy Statement 2021-23
  • Interviewing former Children's Council member and star of What Did I Miss? Naomi Moonveld-Nkosi
  • Attending the What Did I Miss? live stream as part of Brightening Air
  • Consultation with artist Lucy Hill on the creation of a catalogue for the the Winter Light exhibition
  • Council members Olga, Conor and LilyRose meeting with the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration to share children's experiences of lockdown
  • Consulting with the Office of the Ombudsman for Children

Being part of the Council in such a beautiful place felt magical to me. It’s a place where children are in charge, where our imaginations are free, and it feels like a second home.

- Ava, age 11

Everyone was a really good group. Everyone was kind and listened so much. Thank you to everyone for making me go on Zoom. It was something to look forward to every day.

- Cham, age 13

The first day it was really scary because you didn’t know who you were going to meet. We learnt everyone’s names but we still played games so it was really fun. You’re very different to other places. I’ve made friends even though Zoom was a weird transition it was still just as good as the other sessions.

- LilyRose, age 12

Thank you for letting me join the Children’s Council. For letting me do lots of activities and give my advice and what I thought of the different plays that we got to watch.

- Hugo, age 13

My favourite memory would probably be the time when we made up songs and recorded them into the little hearts as part of the BIG BANG festival.

- Méabh, age 12

My favourite memory is the Children’s Rights Alliance Hustings event before the election last year with a candidate from each party. It was fun getting to meet them and ask them questions about what their plans would be if they won the election.

- Raymond, age 12