Programme helps teens get up close and personal with festival

Clonmel Junction Festival has run a Trainee Programme at the festival for the last two years. This scheme, which is the only one of its kind in the country, offers teenagers a two-week trainee programme working with an artist or technical professional and the opportunity to go to see many of the festival shows, meet with the visiting artists and get an inside knowledge of the workings of the running of a large multi-arts festival.

The festival is delighted that LIT Tipperary have come on board as sponsors of this programme this year. The trainees - who must be aged 18 or over- will receive a certificate with the LIT Tipperary crest on it which will be presented at a special post-festival event by a senior member of the Clonmel Campus LIT staff.

The 2012 Trainee programme will run from July 2nd-16th. The festival is looking for enthusiastic committed individuals who would like to participate in the Café projects, press or production. A typical trainee schedule will include one daily four-hour slot. Tasks will include helping with set-up and decoration of spaces and briefing in the proposed area of interest, as well as being a support and/or active participant in the chosen activity. This experience is guaranteed to be rewarding as the trainee will meet new people, observe and assist professionals at work, partake in challenging activities, improve their social and communication skills and acquire new knowledge in the selected field.

There is a $35 registration fee that entitles the trainee to a festival t-shirt, a badge that entitles them to free entry to shows that are not sold out and a staff discount at the festival canteen. If shortlisted, the applicant will be required to attend at least one preliminary briefing meeting.

Over 70 trainees have passed through the programme over the last two years, with many more participating in the youth programmes run over the two previous years. Many of these teenagers have maintained contact with the festival throughout the year, most notably the trainees from the Story Lab Café last year who went on to form their own bi-monthly storytelling circle, which has been a terrific success. Another group of 2011 Trainees have been meeting each Saturday during the spring, devising visual art projects and assisting the Festival staff to plan the Trainee Programme for this year.

For more information on the CJF Trainee Programme see or call into The Common Thread Cafe in Parnell Street for information and/or an application form.