Artistic Director – Reidin O’Flynn: Biography
The Artistic Director of the CIAW , Reidin O’Flynn was born in County Cork, Ireland into a family of singers, writers, artists and poets. Her father taught in Connemara for many years, where he collected a repertoire of sean nos songs. He was a native Irish speaker and educator. Taught and encouraged by her parents at an early age Reidin began to develop an eclectic and extensive repertoire of songs. A resident of Greene County N.Y. she is now passing this experience of early engagement in music, song and tradition onto the Tir Na nOg Childrens program at the Catskills Irish Arts Week and at the Fall Series. Her love and understanding of the Irish culture nurtured in her homeland, is now brought to East Durham N.Y. under her Artistic Direction. Adding new and exciting workshops to an already established event which was facing decline, brought a successful year to the 2012 week ,and a hopeful future for the Catskills Irish Arts Week itself.
Reidin’s involvement has been nothing short of transformative, starting with the Children’s program which was almost extinct. Just four students had registered by the end of May in 2012. In less than five weeks she raised the number to thirty two children. In 2013 some eighty children enjoyed the program. Determined to include the local communities in this and other events, a sophisticated media campaign was initiated under her direction. A new and innovative website improved the marketing hub of the Catskills Irish Arts Week. She also launched a campaign to encourage the teachers to serve as our marketing arm. These efforts all proved to be very successful. The Arts Week has grown from strength to strength in 2014 and 2015 under her direction with a new Stepping stone program for the youth which also allows for family members to enjoy beginner workshops in music, song and dance together.
Reidin launched the Catskills Irish Arts Week Fall series in 2013 on Columbus Day Weekend. This is a mini version of the week in July. Though gaining ground it currently allows Reidin the time to give singing workshops in Traditional Irish songs, in Irish and English . She emphasizes the value and enjoyment of family singing saying thanks to my mother we all sang together as children , and now though my family are scattered around the world whenever we get together we sing into the small hours of the morning and it feels like we were never parted.
Reidin believes that much needed financial support and community involvement are vital to the continuing success and growth of the Catskills Irish Arts week.