€50,000 needed to develop Naas arts event

Festival

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

€50,000 needed to develop Naas arts event

An event last year at Poplar Square, Naas

The organisers of the Midsummer Arts Festival, hosted for the first time last June in Sallins and Naas, are seeking financial help for this year's event — to the tune of €50,000.

They say there is a demand for cultural and recreational events which are increasingly relevant to the image, development and growth of Naas and Sallins.

In a presentation to the last Naas Municipal District meeting, Lynne Kinlon said the festival is an opportunity to respond to the needs of both communities and to provide a cultural platform to “showcase the vibrant creative talent on our doorstep”.

Ms Kinlon believes that the festival can become a “destination event” over the next five years.

She pointed out that a third of Naas's population is aged under 24.

“There is also an impressive cohort of residents who work on major companies in the area and live locally. The festival will develop several strands taking in theatre, dance, music, art, literature, heritage, photography and film.”

Ms Kinlon said the event organisers will work with community groups, educational projects and the business communities of both towns to bring more people to the event than visited last year. She said if funding is provided a marketing campaign could be launched to promote the event and other projects could include the commissioning of art pieces at locations around Naas, music concerts and workshops and the staging of Handel's Water Music as a gala event at Naas Harbour.

There are plans to provide a family fun day embracing pedal boats, zorbing (travelling inside a large balloon-like object), food stalls , music and street performances and activities for children.

“Once a funding framework is established the content of the festival will be developed and a management plan for theproduction and delivery of any outreach projects can be implemented,” she said