The ISACS Network was delighted to be once again Creative Ireland’s Strategic partner for Cruinniú na nÓg 2023 with the Circus Explored initiative.

This year our Circus Explored project was developed in honour of David Spathaky – Ireland’s Guinness World Record Breaking Plate spinner. Children all over Ireland could learn how to spin a plate using our youth led Plate spinning online tutorials. Over 4,000 Spinning Plates were distributed to every county in Ireland…and it still wasn’t enough!

Furthermore, we developed a series of cross-community events connecting young people from both sides of the border with members of youth/social circus organisations all over the island for creative collaboration at the following events:

  • Festival of Fools circus and outdoor arts festival presented by Circusful in Belfast, April 29th – May 1st 2023
  • Mayhem – Galway Community Circus youth circus festival, 26th – 29th May 2023.

The overall initiative concluded with an island-wide day of activity in each partner centre on Saturday, June 10th, to celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg.

Video Gallery

Circus Explored was supported by the Creative Ireland Programme in the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht Sport and Media, as well as under the government’s Shared Island Initiative in the Department of the Taoiseach.

The initiative was presented in association with Creative Ireland and in partnership with Circus Factory Cork, Cloughjordan Circus Club, Dublin Circus Project, Galway Community Circus, Circusful in Belfast, and In Your Space in Derry.

Here is what our partners said about their experience:

‘Circus Explored was fantastic. Seeing young people from other Irish youth circus perform alongside youth circus from Northern Ireland was such a valuable experience and the young people clearly enjoyed themselves hugely.

Taking a group of our young people to Galway helped our young people hugely to broaden their horizons, experience the work of another school, it even allowed us to send them off with 2 of our trainer teams that they don’t often get to meet. In general, it is amazing to see circus growing and with that youth circus on this island – there’s so much potential for collaboration and exchange that is exciting for the future.

– Circusful, Belfast