Performance Programmer (Children and Families). That’s my job title and it rocks ma socks. The fact that OneRen understands the significant specialism involved in programming for family audiences, should be highlighted and celebrated. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is clear on the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for children to access cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity. OneRen puts that front and centre across its services – and it’s an enlightened approach; aligning the accessibility of culture with what are the often more familiar (just as highly valued) offers in our communities, such as libraries and leisure centres.
A natural benefit of being in such a position is the opportunity to contribute to events such as Paisley Book Festival and, without trying to sound too self-righteous, the festival likewise benefits from the opportunity to engage with a specialist programmer. The Producers are clearly keen to ensure that the programme for Children and Families is not a tokenistic addition to the festival, but in fact a vital contribution to its success. As such, the offer for families is strong and celebrates that Stories Mak Us from the earliest age and in all our dialects and languages.
Award winning Gaelic company Theatre Gu Leòr bring the adventurous tale of Cora – Gaisgeach nan Gràineag to Central Library – puppets offer a helping hand for this exciting book launch. Phantom the Ginger Mog an the Dreamy Pie Pauchle offers a chance for children to join in on a Wee-Stoorie-Oke singalong, with the book’s Author and Illustrator. Daddy’s Bad Bed Day taps into the innate kindness and understanding of children; demonstrating enviable resilience even when things feel challenging for the grown-ups in their life. And the Bookie Boogie Brunch; a live music event, celebrating the stories that we hear / tell through song from age 0 – 100+. Everyone is welcome – to sit back and relax with a book, or to chat and dance.
Children are the audiences of tomorrow, sure – but more importantly, they are audiences now; ever changing and growing, intrigued and interested; it’s a privilege to programme work on their behalf.