Pupils get in touch with artistic sides

CHILDREN from Scarva Primary School took a trip to the Outlet recently to get in touch with their artistic sides.

The pupils attended a charity event entitled ‘Young At Art’ which aims to promote the arts among young people. The charity will run a series of free weekend events beginning on Saturday July 9, giving children the chance to take part in a feast of visual and performing arts workshops each Saturday and Sunday between 12pm and 6pm.

The charity said introducing children to the visual arts from an early age encourages critical appraisal, aids observation and listening skills and promotes visual literacy and imaginative thinking

The partnership, a first of its kind for a retail environment, hopes to deliver an opportunity for children from the surrounding area and beyond to enjoy the bespoke Young at Art programme whilst parents can enjoy some relaxed shopping at the scheme, which is home to up to 60 of the high-street’s best loved stores.

Siobhan McKeown, Marketing Manager at the Outlet said, “We pride ourselves on adding value to our consumer offering and we are really excited to join forces with Northern Ireland leading children’s arts charity Young at Art.

The programme of activities and workshops on offer will capture young imaginations and promote visual literacy in a really fun-filled way.This is the first time that a programme like this has been brought to a retail destination and we look forward to welcoming families every Saturday and Sunday throughout July and first couple of weeks of August.“

In a jam packed schedule the workshops available at the Outlet include ‘Once Upon a Time’, an interactive performance combining story making and live cartooning so that stories spring to life in front of children’s eyes. The ‘Nearly True Tales Tours’ will capture imaginations and encourage imaginative thought as youngsters are told a mix of fact and fiction on a walkabout tour of the Outlet.

A game of strategy and tactics ‘Banzai Chess’ is an interactive street theatre performance with a difference. Children can help the Black King and White Queen find the knights and rooks and make ready for their chess board battle. For the more musically minded, ‘Butterfly and Caterpillar’ is a heart-warming story of friendship guaranteed to get toes-tapping.

With comfy bean bags and lots of books, ‘Tea and Tales’ invites children and parents listen to stories read from the best of contemporary children’s fiction or simply relax in a quiet comfy area, donated by the Outlet for the duration of the programme. Each session is led by a Young at Art story telling specialist and all activities and workshops are free of charge.

Ali FitzGibbon, Director of Young at Art said, “We are looking forward to working with the Outlet and bringing our quality brand of arts for children to the retail village for the first time. Our work is about bringing creativity into children’s lives and the Outlet will be offering a perfect location throughout the summer to enjoy a family day out, relax and drop in to art workshops or catch one of the excellent performances. With a great location, parking and child-friendly places to eat already onsite, this must be part of your family’s summer.”

The workshops will be run at the Outlet, Banbridge, every Saturday and Sunday from July 9 for at least a six week period. For more information log on to www.outlet.co.uk.