Come Together – The Inaugural Neuroconvergence Festival Takes Place This Weekend


Posted 4 weeks ago in Festival Features

Cirillo’s

Come the 22nd of June, from 2 to 6pm, Richmond Barracks will play host to the inaugural Neuroconvergence Festival, a celebration to launch a new collective neurodivergent community concept.

This free event is at once a summer solstice party, musical event, comedy and film festival and seminar, seeing acts like Chequerboard and Ellie O’Neill performing alongside comedian Ian Lynam and spoken word arts Philip Kenny. Alongside the artists, the event will hold panel discussions from people like AsIAm founder, Adam Harris and Ken Kilbride, CEO of ADHD Ireland.

Across the grounds, there will be sensory spaces, food provided by the pioneering ventures of Loaf Cafe, a part of NOW group, who support people across the island with autism and other neurodivergence into work.

As well as this, there is a range of children’s entertainment, ensuring the day is an inclusive and welcoming affair for all, regardless of age.

We spoke to Peter O’ Brien of Happenings, an events coordinator with a focus on sustainability also involved in festivals like ‘Another Love Story’.

 

Can you explain to our readers the importance of gatherings such as these?

There are many different events going on now in the neurodivergent space. Awareness is growing and the willingness to understand the differences in brain types is here. The importance of this particular event is that it is both a space for the Neurodivergent community to gather and have a day out, and its core mission is to gather strength and understanding with the supporting charities and networks. So there is a 12 pm to 2pm part of this event facilitated by Connect The Dots, designed for these organizations to meet and explore the possibilities for the future and to see how to be stronger together. Whilst the public and all these organizations can look forward to an afternoon of festivities together.

 

How have you found putting events like this together and what challenges came about that you perhaps did not anticipate?

The event is complicated as these organizations are naturally separate and they do compete within a sector for mission and funding. So it’s been interesting getting to understand the space and how the different groups are aligned or not. We are a divided system by its very nature. Segregation and siloing is in the design so this is a day to day reality. But this sector is very willing to break down barriers and meet and talk.

The afternoon and public part of the event has been very interesting to curate compared to past events I have done as it is about celebrating the diversity of the human brain and accommodating an audience that matches this diversity.  So it’s been interesting, revealing and inspiring learning what people have overcome.

 

Can you tell me about how you curated the festival?

The great people I have talked to from the neurodivergent arts community have introduced me to many great creatives and it was incredibly very organic in its [development].

 

What can we hope for in the future with the festival and those of its kind?

We are very hopeful that this concept will grow and flourish. Neuroconvergence is an important integrative concept. We are hoping for good things from the future. There is a world in need of integration , all sectors need to come together at this crisis time for the planet. This concept is not new, but for the neurodivergent sector it has not happened in a meaningful way to date. The day will begin with this and flow onto a day of celebrations on summer Solstice.  It will be a beautiful thing.

Words: Adhamh Ó Caoimh

The inaugural Neuroconvergence Festival, takes place from 2pm – 6pm on Saturday June 22nd at Richmond Barracks, St Michael’s Estate Inchicore, Dublin 8, D08 YY05

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