Galway City Tribune - Opinion Piece
Educator Pete is driven by creativityOctober 18, 2012 - 8:23am
Pete Mullineaux is a man on a mission. That mission is to inspire as much creativity and imagination as is possible across the generations and across as many different formats as there are out there.
If ever there was a man to exude creativity, it is the amiable Bristol man.
A Jack of all trades in the arts world, he is a published poet, songwriter, musician, dramatist, actor, comedian, educationalist and lately, just for relaxation, a fiddle player.
This week he turns his attention to two favourite themes that crop up often in his writing: fairness and equality.
As part of the Baboró children’s arts festival, Pete is holding workshops with national school children which encourage them to write poetry which will tip the balance towards a more just and equal society.
Held in association with Poetry Ireland and Trócaire, this poetry encounter is designed to get kids to think creatively about the world and their place in it.
“There’s so much information out there. We know there are 250 million child labourers in the world for example, we know there are 25,000 who die every day from hunger. But our leaders seem to lack the imagination to do anything about it,” he insists.
“These kids are coming up with weird and wacky ideas to tip the scales but they’re no weirder or wackier than have been tried by governments which are not working. Imagination can change the world. Our imagination is the greatest gift we have.”
The workshops instill confidence in young people to express themselves and help them get over an innate fear of being wrong which can dampen creativity, he believes.
“It’s about knowing the importance of having a voice. We have a voice to articulate the imagination, we can sing, write, draw – but a lot of people don’t have a voice. This is about instilling the confidence in themselves that what they feel and what they think matters.”
Free workshops are also being held in the Galway City Museum for families on Saturday to allow parents to compose poetry with their kids, creating a rich memory for posterity.
Much of Pete’s working life involves teaching, a lot of it teaching poetry to school kids of all ages through his association with Poetry Ireland, which runs the Writers in Schools Scheme, one of the longest running arts-in-education programmes in the country, which is funded by the Arts Council.
He leads a regular creative writing course in Oughterard as well as other creative writing courses with older people throughout the city. He teaches acting classes in the Galway Arts Centre and works with the Galway Youth Theatre, training the young actors in the art of devising plays.
Outside of teaching, there is his own writing. He has published three collections of poetry, the last one in 2011 entitled Session, which is inspired by his love affair with the fiddle and the regular music sessions.
One of his favourite ways to relax is to get lost in the fiddle with the Dusty Banjos, a community session for beginners and improvers held weekly at the Western Hotel in Prospect Hill.
For more, read this week's Galway City Tribune.