We did it!
It has been a busy couple of months and I am pleased to say the Clifden 200 Living History Project has been a great success! With your generous support I have been working with artist Shelly Mc Donnell in Clifden, Kingstown and Claddaghduff schools engaging them with the story of Clifden though drama and art. We were very lucky to also work with contemporary dancer Magda Hylak who choreographed a movement piece with the children. The children delved into the world of 200 years ago - a place with no SuperValu, cars or iPhones - and discovered stories of smugglers, secret societies, castles, landlords and brave people working together to create a new town in what was a very isolated and impoverished part of Ireland. The children threw themselves into creating their own characters and stories and relished the opportunity to be free from a script. Shelly helped them to create beautiful banners for each school group and they designed and decorated their own large animal puppets for the parade. On the 2nd of June we were faced with dark clouds and persistent rain, so we had to postpone the performance until the following day. This was a setback but we were happy to see bright sunshine on the 3rd and the performance was able to go ahead. There was a great crowd in Clifden and a lively audience for our event, and the children played a blinder, showing their scenes, playing fiddle, tin whistle and bodhran aswell as showing off their sean nos dance skills. Their costumes looked amazing, and really helped transport the audience back 200 years - thanks to Agnes Gordon for doing such a great job. The market was also a lively affair with oysters, local hen and goose eggs, homemade bread, cakes, vegetables and fruit donated by families and a local oyster farm. Traditional baskets for the market were kindly donated by Joe Hogan, a basket maker. Overall the day was a happy celebration of the story of Clifden and its people, and it showed the impressive skills of the young people of the area in both traditional and contemporary art forms.
Thank you to all the children, teachers and family members that helped make the project happen, as well as the committed volunteers who worked hard on the day, and the community of Clifden for supporting the project and performance - making it such a fun and celebratory event! Finally thank you to you lovely Funders who donated to the project and to Clifden 200 Bicentenary Festival and SuperValu Clifden who gave additional support. Your rewards are in the process of being created and will be wingng their way to you soon! Megan x
Final week: Thanks to all funders!
So it's the final week of the Clifden 200 Living History Project's Fundit campaign - and the penultimate update on our progress...
Since the last update I have visited the schools involved in the project - Kingstown and Claddaghduff National Schools in Connemara. I ran a taster workshop in each school so that I could meet the children involved and get them excited about the project. The workshops went really well, and I found two groups of clever, curious and (most importantly) imaginative children who all play musical instruments and some are even expert Sean Nos dancers, so I will definitely be incorporating their talents into the performance. I will also be working with a group of children from Clifden National School and have teamed up with a fantastic teacher and advocate of the arts there who will be helping me with the sessions. The children are really excited about the project and looking forward to performing for the community as part of the festival.
As we will now be working with more children than initially planned, we are going to take the performance outside - and the 1800's market will take place mere feet away from the place where it was first held 200 years before. The children's performances will be weaved into a parade around the town, and there will be traditional music and dancing, so it's looking like it will be a great afternoon out in Clifden for the June bank holiday weekend. Hopefully the weather will be as good as it was a couple of weeks ago - but that's probably wishful thinking!
All this is very exciting but it cannot happen without your help - there are only 5 days left in the campaign, and still just under 1,000 Euro to go to our target. Thanks so much to those who have already donated - you have made a real difference! But remember - if I don't reach 100% of the target the project will receive no money. This money will be used to pay for costumes for the 55 children taking part, for creating the marketplace, setting up the photo exhibition, buying materials for the workshops and props for the performance.
This is where YOU come in! You can pledge as little as 5 Euro (or as much as you like!) to help make this project happen. There are some fantastic rewards available for larger pledges - 50 Euro will get you a one off booklet of photos, stories and artwork by the children in the project, 150 Euro will bag you a gorgeous limited edition print by Shelly Mc Donnell, and for 500 Euro you will get a beautiful large oil canvas by Shelly that is worth 900 Euro! See the rewards for more details and you can have a look at Shelly's website here: http://shellymcdonnell.com/.
If you don't have the spare cash right now - don't worry , you can still help! All you need to do is pass on the link for the project via whatever means you prefer , Facebook, email, twitter, carrier pigeon, word of mouth ...just pass it on. The deadline for pledges is Monday 16th April, so the more people are aware of it the better!
So, once again thanks a million to everyone who has supported the project - your continued help is massively appreciated to make sure that 100% target is reached!
Challenges and changes...
It's been quite an eventful week for the Clifden 200: Living History Project, with some changes and challenges - but we are still going strong and are looking forward to getting started!
One of these changes is that we will now be working with Kingstown and Claddaghduff National Schools in the project. These are both very small schools in relatively remote areas, so it is a great opportunity to engage creativley with the children there, who can often miss out on opportunities that bigger schools get to take part in the Arts.
We are now focussing on creating one great performance event for the Bicentenary Festival as opposed to two, but this does not affect the funds needed to ensure we can get all the props, costume and set needed to create a fantastic immersive performance for the community!
Thank you so much for all the incredibly generous donations so far - it is great to have 1/3 of funds pledged with 32 days left to go! It is really encouraging, however there is still quite a way to go to get to that 100% mark! Just 10 Euro (the price of a couple of pints) will make a difference (and you're in Clifden during the project I will definitley buy you a pint in return!).
So THANK YOU! And please keep it coming...
Amazing first day!
Well we are less than 24 hours in to our campaign and thanks to the wonderful people who use Fundit we have nearly reached 25% of our target!
Massive, massive thanks to everyone who has donated so far. It is great to be at this stage already but it needs to continue if we are going to reach the full target. Fundit works on an 'all or nothing' principle so if we don't reach 100% we get nothing!
Shelly Mac Donnel, the brilliant artist based in Clifden and Galway has donated some of her original artwork as rewards for donating to this project, you can check out her website here: http://shellymcdonnell.com/. Her large oil painting has already been snapped up, but there are a limited number of her prints still available.
The Clifden 200: Living History Project is in association with the Clifden 2012 Bicentenary Festival which has already kicked off with a full programme of activities throughout the year. Check out the website here for more information: http://www.clifden2012.org/
Well, thanks again everyone - please keep spreading the word!