A project by Kids’ Classics has been shortlisted for the Allianz Community Art Prize, one of 10 prestigious prizes that will be awarded during the Allianz Business to Arts Awards event at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Tuesday 1 September at 6pm. The awards will be presented by Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys, TD.
Kids’ Classics, founded and managed by cellist Gráinne Hope, provides live music for the young patients of Ireland’s major children’s hospitals including Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin; Children’s University Hospital Temple Street; the National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght as well as University Hospital Cork, University Hospital Limerick and others. Gráinne and her team of specially-trained musicians play music for the young patients, their families and the staff of the hospitals. Uniquely, they come to the bedsides of the sick children and offer them the chance to sing their favourite song, provide them with small instruments to allow them to compose their own music or re-imagine their favourite music or theme song. These activities are acknowledged by the children, their families and the healthcare staff to provide relief from the stresses of the hospital environment and allow the children to engage their natural creativity – bringing a little fun and normality into strange surroundings.
For 24 years, the Allianz Business to Arts Awards have recognised businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships, bringing the arts and artists into mutually beneficial relationships across society. Winning projects demonstrate that working together these sometimes-diverse worlds can come together to create brilliant art, unforgettable experiences and long held memories which enhance, rather than diminish, the character and reputation of all involved. Other organisations shortlisted for this year’s awards include ESB and Feis Ceoil, The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards and Healy Group and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
If successful, Kids’ Classics will use the €5,000 prize money to fund a new project for the young patients of St John’s & St Michael’s Ward in Crumlin. The project will involve music and visual art and will specifically target the ‘tween’ and teenage patients attending to help minimise the negative effects of hospitalisation especially in the chronic illness patient groups. Gráinne Hope, Director, Kids’ Classics said “We are honoured to have been shortlisted for this award. To see Kids’ Classics’ work recognised alongside the likes of The Irish Times Theatre Awards can only serve to promote the work that we do and the recognition of the creative needs of children in our hospitals”.