Early Years & Families

West Cork Arts Centre has been developing an Early Childhood Arts programme since 2010, which draws on existing resources and programmes to engage with and learn more about working with very young children.

Curiosity is a County Cork Culture Ireland supported project that invites children between the ages of 3 and 5 and their families, living in rural outreaches of West Cork to access our arts venue for a cultural engagement with contemporary art and architecture. This formative experience will reflect positively on their engagement with museums and galleries for life.
The project places particular emphasis on the creative process and quality engagement, ensuring artistic expressions are valued, self-esteem is enhanced, spontaneity and risk-taking are encouraged, and difference is celebrated. The methodology is based on the experience of, and learning from, our existing children’s programmes at WCAC including Discovery Box and Art Club.

The programme is delivered in five strands using key themes drawn from the exhibition programmeCuriosity Project

  • Discovery Box is designed for use in the gallery and the playschool. It contains a series of imaginative objects that engage the young audience in the concepts of the exhibition and is the basis for storytelling and investigation through creative play.
  • Curiousity is a series of three workshops with an artist at the playschool, comprising both making and looking to inspire curiosity and exploration into our surrounding environment.
  • An evening workshop either at the playschool or at Uillinn where parents can join the artists to explore new ideas for creating with their children
  • A Day Out at Uillinn the whole playschool, leaders, children and their families take a bus to Skibbereen for a creative day of three different exciting workshops on the themes inspired by the exhibition:-
    Curious Dance Moves exploring choreography, sound and movement
    Curiosity Club encouraging looking and voicing ideas
    Curious Art Making exploring new ideas through making.
  • The project will culminate in an exhibition of artwork made by the children at Uillinn

Discovery Box is a free, self-directed gallery resource for parents to use with their young children in the gallery. It encourages adults and children to engage with the exhibition, see and interact with the artwork and gain insight into the exhibiting artists' practice. The Discovery Box is not about making art and does not include art materials. Rather, it is a series of imaginative tools to employ the creative mind and to investigate the artwork through play and conversation. By participating, it creates a space for people to spend more time with the artwork and the exhibition. 

To find out more about the Discovery Box click the link. 


Curiosity Club is a playful hour for young children, full of engaging sensory activities to encourage interaction with our exhibitions. Facilitated by an artist and aimed at children aged 5 to 8 years accompanied by an adult, it takes place in the galleries and workspace on a regular basis.



Images: Curiosity Club,Crúinniú na nÓg, Photograph: Kevin O'Farrell, Curiosity Project 2018, painting with Charlotte Donovan. Children enjoying the opening of Art in Action, an exhibition by 8 polish artists.
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