Fresh Eyes Festival brings new look to St. Anne’s CC students


Inaugural Bright Eyes Festival in partnership with St. Anne’s Community College aims to be filled with fun, creativity, imagination and innovation

On Thursday 16 May students from St Anne’s Community College in Killaloe will host their first arts and music festival; New Eyes Festival

Inaugural Bright Eyes Festival in partnership with St. Anne’s Community College aims to be filled with fun, creativity, imagination and innovation
Limerick band Dylan Flynn and the Dead Poets deliver a collection of haunting, soaring indie rock songs

It is a youth-led music and arts festival that celebrates the creativity of young people and opens our eyes to the creative possibilities that surround us.

The festival is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland as part of the Creative Schools programme. The school has been working with Chelsea Canavan from the Creative School to support students in bringing their vision for the festival to life. On working with St Anne’s students, Chelsea said: “It’s inspiring and exciting to see this group of young people taking the lead in creating an arts festival for themselves and their peers. From day one, I was fascinated by how they acquired new skills and brought them to Moved by the passion for its application, the Fresh Eyes Festival will open new doors and build momentum in the world of youth-led and youth-run creative events”.

Students also collaborated with Lumen Street Theater and artist Laura O’Loughlin, who ran a series of workshops with TY students on Blackout Poetry, Cut-up Haiku, Collage and Zine Making. Leading professionals from the arts world including Declan Hogan, Kate O’ Shea and Enya Moore (Limerick Spring) play a role in developing students’ skills and confidence expertise in preparation for Fresh Eyes, the first youth-led arts festival of its kind in Ireland.


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The festival is all about fun, creativity, imagination and innovation. The most important thing about this festival is that young people, with the support of industry professionals, designed and built this festival from scratch in the hope of creating a cultural legacy within the school community. Gallery director and TY student Sara Lancaster said, “It’s really cool to learn from these people who have this kind of experience. We wish we had control of this project.

Students have been working with TY students on Blackout Poetry, Cut-up Haiku, Collage and Zine Making

The festival will feature student photography, art, sculpture, film, performance, live mural making and more creative fun. There will be food stalls offering fresh pizza and desserts, all run by students.

The school’s talent show will be one of the main events of the day, with Declan Hogan providing a professional stage set to showcase the school’s wealth of singers, bands, dancers and actors while mentoring those students who aspire to follow him to this industry legend Learn how to host a festival.

The school’s female DJ team was even lucky enough to attend an inspiring workshop with DJ Ceese, a talented performer who has toured the world with Denise Chaila and Narolane, performing at major events such as Glastonbury Solo performance on stage.

She is keen to encourage young women to progress in fields often dominated by men and said: “I would love to see schools being more proactive in opening doors to careers in the creative industries for their students. It was great to run this workshop and even better Yes, it was with women! The girls are really eager to learn and I hope we can continue to run these workshops and even offer classes, who knows!

In addition to Ceese’s performance, Limerick band Dylan Flynn and the Dead Poets will light up the main stage with a series of haunting, soaring indie rock songs. The band are about to release their new EP “Caught Up in Delusion”, which has already been streamed 1,000,000 times on Spotify, has received rave reviews, has a growing fan base and the festival committee was surprised to find them on the line-up.

Le Cheile, a successful traditional group of students, teachers and local performers, will showcase the best local talent, including performers such as fifth-year student Ruby McKenna, who has appeared at Carnegie Hall and elsewhere.

Their set will pave the way for the return of past students Cailini Lua, whose vibrant brand of heritage has taken them across the country to the US and see them host this year’s Tradfest in Dublin. Girls Katie Donoghue and Laura Donoghue and newly crowned Tipperary Rostala Brady will be given a warm welcome at their alma mater and serve as examples of how our young people can lead creative lives after school A vivid example.

Tickets are on sale at the school; tickets are €10 in advance and limited to €12 on site. While students can enjoy art, music, food and dance during the day, ticket holders can watch exciting performances on the main stage from 4:30 to 8 p.m. via a paid wristband.

Latest news about the festival will be posted on the school’s social media website
Read more student news here





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