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Young artists to take control for Lasta International Arts Festival

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GLÓR has announced the programme for the third Lasta National Arts Festival, a festival of events programmed for young people by young people, which will take place between Tuesday, June 4 and Saturday, June 8. It is one of seven venues nationwide who have teamed up to present this exciting event in cities and towns across the country.
The Lasta programme for glór has been curated by two young Clare-based curators – Ciara Miesle and Rowan Watson Bradshaw, selected through an open call in 2023. Since then, the two have had the opportunity to meet up with curators from other venues nationwide. They received mentoring from industry professionals in marketing, touring and venue management and learned about negotiating deals, how to approach artists and companies, and how to manage budgets.
Ciara and Rowan have now pulled together an ambitious programme taking inspiration from casual nerd culture.
“The artistic scene can be a daunting world for uninitiated youths. However, in casual, online fan spaces, young people display an incredible ability to create and engage with art. With this in mind, we curated this festival to break down the barriers facing young people trying to break into the art world by moving casual nerd culture to the front of stage,” they said.
A key event in the programme is an exhibition entitled Inspired by: A Celebration of the Nerdy Artistic, running in Glór gallery featuring young amateur Clare artists who responded to a recent open call. This exhibition highlights how nerd and geek culture has permeated a newer generation of artists.
The Young Curators have also initiated glór’s first ever Game Jam, a game design challenge where video game developers attempt to create a game from scratch. The event is open to any aspiring video game developers in Ireland, from well-seasoned to first-time devs. Submissions for the jam can be made between May 10-24. Designed for young people aged 14 years old to 25 years old, Cosplay Creations is a prop making workshop with artist Nina Fern. In this two-day workshop, participants will learn how to bring their cosplay visions to life. The programme closes with Float, a new play by Kirby Thompson and Orla Graham, a revel in quiet rebellion with four Belfast housemates trying to find light in the darkest of situations.
The Lasta Festival, based on a project originally conceived and delivered by Backstage Theatre in Longford and now in its third year, has blossomed to include venues and individual curators nationwide, and an expanding programme of exciting, multidisciplinary work. The line-up for this year’s festival will feature theatre, music, comedy, gaming, visual arts, dance, film, photography and experiential moments promising a fresh, fun, and exciting festival. The seven regional venues involved in the initiative are Backstage Theatre in Longford, Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise, glór, An Grianán in Letterkenny, The Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick, Siamsa Tíre and Town Hall Theatre.
Half-Irish, half-American, Ciara Miesle is a Clare local currently undergoing a Bachelor of Arts degree with Art History at University College Cork.
She has an interest in all things arts related, from classical literature to Avant Garde video games.
She is a talented writer, having been published in the 2022 Fighting Words supplement and she was also awarded the 2021 Edna O’Brien Young Writers’ Bursary.
Some of her other hobbies include visual art as well as video game development.
Rowan Watson Bradshaw has been involved with numerous arts organisations and festivals over the years.
She has a strong passion for theatre, performance, and the written word and for the last six years she has been a member of Clare Youth Theatre.
This position led to experience in all areas of theatre production including script writing; costume; lighting and acting.
Rowan has adapted and co-directed a collection of fairytales for the stage, and she also acted in this production both in Clare and internationally in the Intertwined Festival in Germany.
She is a talented singer and has sung in choirs and singing groups and performed in the 1916 rising centenary 100 Years a Nation performance.
Rowan has volunteered for a number of years with Clare Youth Action, a youth group devoted to social change and community improvement and has been involved in projects to spread information about domestic abuse, mental health, and period poverty.

Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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