Maynooth University’s Arts and Minds Festival Returns

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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There’s something for everyone at this year’s Maynooth University’s Arts and Minds Festival which begins on Thursday, 9th May with a concert version of Vivaldi’s opera, L’Olimpiade courtesy of Irish National Opera.

The University’s collaboration with Maynooth Film For All continues on Friday 10th with a screening of the award-winning movie, Ballywalter starring Maynooth graduate, Seána Kerslake and TV presenter, Patrick Kielty.  Also on Friday, An Fhéile Bheag kicks off with REIC, a slam poetry and performance evening directed by Ciara Ní É in Maynooth village.

The Saturday programme is sure to tickle cultural tastebuds. Queer Religion, an award-winning photographic exhibition which spotlights and celebrates prominent queer leaders in religion will be on display from 10am in the TSI Building, and in the afternoon, a panel discussion event with the photographer, Frances Marshall and a compelling panel of guests, will chat about the multifaceted nature of queerphobia. This event will be chaired by Karen Dempsey, founder and Director of Entheos Ireland.

Between the dazzling lineup of poets, and novelists in The Literary Lounge, a Dramatic Monologue by theatre maker, actor and Arts and Minds Writer-in-Residence, Donal O’Kelly, and a screening of the classic 1922 silent movie, Foolish Wives, accompanied by live music from silent movie maestro, Stephen Horne, your cultural appetite is sure to be fulfilled!

If you’re hungry for more, or just plain hungry, MU is partnering this year with Irish Village Markets, the Street Food Specialists, so hungry culture vultures can avail of quality, diverse street food from 12-6pm on Saturday, beside the TSI Building (#30 on campus map). So why not bring a picnic blanket, cop a squat, and enjoy this uniquely Maynooth and family-friendly festival.

An Fhéile Bheag continues its 2024 programme throughout Saturday with: Irish-medium workshops in sean-nós singing with TG4 Singer of the Year (2023), RTÉ Folk Awards 2024 recipient and Maynooth University graduate, Síle Denvir, and in Irish-language rap for teenagers with Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin aka Súil Amháin (Gradam Nós 2024); a sean-nós singing walk with famous Oriel singers Piaras Ó Lorcáin (RTÉ Folk Awards 2024) and Bláithín Mhic Cana (Sean-nós Cois Life 2024); an outdoor performing arts picnic with leading Irish-language artists including singer Máire Ní Churraoin (RTÉ Folk Awards 2024) and dancer, Becky Ní Éallaithe (medal winner at Steip 2024); and concluding with a wonderful arts forum featuring Gaelic song repertoires outside of the Gaeltacht.

Closing the biggest festival to date with a musical bang, At the Aula presents ON THE ROAD AGAIN an evening of songs and stories with Tom Dunne of Something HappensFiachna Ó Braonáin of Hothouse Flowers, and multi-instrumentalist Alan Connor. Also performing in the Aula at this magical Maynooth evening is the wonderful Irish alternative folk duo, Lemoncello.

Finally, kicking off the festival satellite programme of events on Thursday 16th May, Adania Shibli, the acclaimed Palestinian novelist, essayist, and academic, author of the important novel Minor Detail will be reading from her work and in conversation with Dr Rita Sakr and Dr Sinéad Kennedy.

Get Curious About Culture and get your tickets here before they’re snapped up!

Arts and Minds Festival Programme – Campus Map

About Maynooth University

Maynooth University is a constituent university of the National University of Ireland. It is located in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. It is Ireland’s youngest university, having been founded by the Universities Act, 1997 from the secular faculties of the now separate St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, which was founded in 1795.

Maynooth University’s Department of Adult and Community Education (DACE) is the only specialist academic department for the education of adults in Ireland.  We have been working with adults for 40 years. In that time we have worked with thousands of people who are living proof that one is never too old to learn.  We have a range of courses designed to cater to the needs and wants of people from all walks of life and all educational backgrounds; from people who left school with no formal qualifications and are seeking to re-enter formal education; to those who have completed degrees and post-graduate degrees to doctorate level programmes and who are seeking Continuing Professional Development and Improved Practice.

More than anything else students who have undertaken our courses comment on the transformative nature of the discipline.  Adult Education is a powerful tool for personal, organisational and societal change.  Some of the methods used include small group discussion based learning where students are encouraged to engage with the subject or a problem by bringing the full extent of their own knowledge and experience to deepen the level of critical analysis. Skilled Adult Education facilitators accompany the group learning process and guide the students towards better understanding their own life world through promoting individual personal reflection.  And so Adult Education creates dynamic learning environments in which participation is a key ingredient for exploring  real life issues regarding human relationships, social and political issues in terms of social justice, equality, democracy and diversity.

DACE has a long tradition and commitment of providing and developing a wide range of courses both On Campus and at local level. Over the years our Continuing Education programme has grown and developed in response to the changing needs of adult learners. The role of continuing education courses is to provide third level learning opportunities for adults, which are flexible and part-time.  Some, such as our Return to Learning courses, are designed particularly for those without previous third level education but who are considering re-entering education at this time of their life or their career. Others answer more direct needs of the individual and society such as our Addiction Studies or Community Development and Leadership courses.  Our Training and Continuing Education certificate (Level 7) has become widely recognised as the Train the Trainer course par excellence.  All of our courses are underpinned by a belief that adults learn best when the learning and courses are meaningful, relevant, accessible and applicable.

Wherever you start you will find that there are paths to progression onto other courses across a wide variety of academic disciplines. So whether you are looking to increase your career prospects by gaining a university qualification or you are just curious about the world in which we live, we’ve got just the course to capture your imagination!

Steven Galvin

Psychology of Consumer Behaviour Micro-credential at University of Galway
Construction Jobs Expo Returns to Dublin's RDS This May


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