While we may be in a difficult season before spring takes off, one area where we are having great success is in the arts.
Waterford Youth Drama is having tremendous success. It is one of Ireland’s largest and longest established youth arts organisations and this year again they have a very busy programme with workshops.
They are also doing a tour of post primary schools in the south east to educate children about the arts and theatre, which is a great idea.
More schools could get on board in this area and devote a lot more time to the arts. Sport gets much attention, but the arts could get more focus. The Department of Education could encourage this more.
To be fair a number of schools do have music teachers and places like Newtown and The Ursuline have encouraged this area within the education system, but it does require resources.
A teachers’ resource pack has been developed so let us see a bigger push in this area.
Another area that they are encouraging is a Creative Writing Programme in April, tying in with the Sean Dunne Festival. A summer play with Jim Nolan as director is also planned. They also plan to work with a London Theatre group.
We paid a visit to the Waterford Youth Drama Group last week in their new home in Barrack St. and it was amazing to see what was an army barracks in the past now housing the arts. Is there a message there somewhere?
They have an excellent film unit which is doing some good work, training videos and promotional videos can be produced here. Modern dance is another major activity, as well as acting.
So full marks to the team at the Waterford Youth Drama, 20 years in existence and going from strength to strength.