This is Ciara O Connell’s bright idea for Waterford.

HomeFest: a multi-disciplinary youth arts festival encompassing art, film, theatre & music.


Over ten months leading up to the festival, a programme of interaction and workshops will be carried out with groups of young people out by artists, theatre practitioners and film makers.

They will reach a target group of young people throughout Waterford comprised largely of disadvantaged youth and early school-leavers. The purpose of these workshops will be the creation of work (art, theatre, film & music) with the participants with it being showcased at a weekend-long festival taking place in June 2017.

Participants will showcase their own work and will work to make contact with and include the work of other youth arts organisations through a submission process. This will happen locally, nationally and internationally through online contact and dissemination. The technologies at hand to these young people (‘digital natives’) are to be central to all aspects of the creation, development and dissemination.

It is important that the types of art explored are interesting, cool and exciting with the project being aimed at groups of young people who are likely to be more cynical and hard-to-reach. The goal of this project is to make the arts accessible to all.

Central Arts is committed to the goal of making the Arts accessible to all.

While the arts are central to our everyday lives and essential to our personal development, to many young people in disadvantaged communities lack of access leaves them unable to experience and participate in the arts at the level to which many take for granted.

Our aim is to break down these barriers and place young people central to the creative process in an engaging artist-led environment. This festival will use the facilities of Central Arts (theatre / exhibition space / cinema) to bring the finished works to the stage and the screen. Participants will be given an audience, a platform and most importantly a voice. It will bring the groups into the heart of the arts and engage them with like-minded young people.

The team will also utilise the outdoor spaces in Waterford for open-air and site specific screenings, performance and exhibiting. Collaboration is also to be key with the participants making contact with other youth arts groups and organisations to invite them to submit work for inclusion / exhibition.