Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 30th September 2020 at 1pm 0 Comments


As more and more artists and arts organisations from Northern Ireland go digital to connect with audiences at home, the Arts Council has rounded up just some of these fantastic cultural things to do online.  As the arts sector slowly and safely re-opens we have also highlighted some exhibitions and events to enjoy in galleries and outdoors, supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.


Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The Duncairn team has self-learned everything from video shooting, editing, audio recording and mixing over the course of lockdown and are ready to exhibit the fruits of their labour!  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook, starting Saturday 10th October featuring Joshua Burnside Trio, Laura Quirke (Lemoncello), Colin Hassard Poetry and street artist, Tim McCarthy.  Subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at

Northern Ireland Opera Little Lullabies: has adapted their popular opera series for babies, Little Lullabies, online.  Little Lullabies is suitable for babies aged 0-18months and is an interactive event for babies and their parents or guardians which Northern Ireland Opera has been bringing to festivals and events for a number of years. In this online version, with presenter and opera singer Laura McFall, you’ll be able to enjoy ‘Little Lullabies’ from your own home.  For details visit

Northern Ireland Opera Associate Artists: The Associate Artists are alumni of Northern Ireland Opera and/or the Northern Ireland Opera Studio.  They have been brought together by Northern Ireland Opera to bring live music safely to communities during this pandemic.  They will be performing around Northern Ireland over the next couple of months and details of these events will be updated on the Northern Ireland Opera website.  Please note, that while many of these events are free, you will usually need to book to comply with public health conditions.

Friday 9th October, 2-3pm, Down Arts Centre for Mindwise, Price: Free

Saturday 10th October, 2-4pm, Carers Trust Community Concert, Newry, Price: Free

Wednesday 14th October, 6pm and 8pm, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, Singing Struggle And Agreement (Part of Belfast International Arts Festival), Price: £7.50

Wednesday 28th October, 2-4pm, Connswater Shopping Centre, 'Take Up Space', Price: Free

Friday 13th November, 6-10pm, Outburst Arts

Visit for further booking details.  If you have a community event anywhere in Northern Ireland and you’d like the Associate Artists to perform, please email us at

City of Derry International Choir Festival: The City of Derry International Choir Festival has announced the full programme of exciting and world-class events for its virtual festival, due to take place this October, 21-25.  Available to view on Facebook, YouTube and the festival’s own website, audiences will be treated to workshops and exclusive concerts by guest artists Tenebrae and Ardú, a global virtual choir performance of Danny Boy and a local schools rendition of Amazing Grace. Choirs from around the world will feature in video performances of popular, jazz, gospel and sacred music and viewers will enjoy a mini-series of never-before-seen festival footage from previous years.  The festival will also present a world premiere of brand new music by creative production company Dumbworld, composed especially for its 2020 edition.

The festival has also announced a five-part podcast series, featuring special guests, available to listen to on all standard podcast apps. These include interviews with renowned choral directors as well as episodes from Ireland’s national organisation for choirs, Sing Ireland, and the Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin.  The festival’s Sing Joyfully Symposium returns with a panel discussion exploring how singers and the choral world are coping with the current circumstances of Covid-19.  Further programme information and details of how to participate in the 2020 festival is available at

Moving On Music:  For the final set of ‘All About’ videos, Moving On Music has the wonderful Gráinne Meyer talking to us all about the harp. In Gráinne’s first video, she introduces us to the concert and Irish harp and the differences in how the strings are pitched and tuned. Gráinne also looks at the many different contemporary techniques used in classical music and the contrasting way in which the Irish harp is played. 





Northern Lights: Check out our brilliant Northern Lights Line up that Roe Valley Arts Centre has coming up this Autumn.  Northern Lights brings you live music, storytelling and spoken word streamed right to the comfort of your own home via Facebook, Youtube and Zoom.  Next up is Lore on 8th October.  The band is fronted by singer/songwriter Carolann Carlile. Born in Belfast, Carolann was raised in our very own Limavady. Carolann has never made a cupcake that she didn't like and loves kittens (especially fluffy ones). On piano and from rural Dungiven is composer/song writer Raymond O'Kane. Also from Dungiven, guitarist and composer Luke McCloskey is the founding member and original driving force behind this fantastic 4 piece indie-folk band. Last but not least is Rebecca Hall form Ballymena on violin/fiddle.  Be sure to keep an eye on their social media and website for details of how to watch.  Visit


Lyric Theatre:  Lyric Theatre Belfast is inviting audiences to take a seat at home, tune in and enjoy an exclusive ‘first listen’ of brand-new work from emerging, established and new Northern Ireland writers. ‘Listen at the Lyric’ is part of the theatre’s continued commitment to keeping the spirit of the Lyric alive whilst its doors remain closed due to the impact of the pandemic.  Whilst the autumn/ winter programme celebration of new writing is unable to take to the stage this year; the Lyric has opened its door to welcome cast and creative teams to record a series of audio versions of three dynamic new works.  ‘Listen at the Lyric’ is proud to announce:

The Gap Year by Belfast based writer Clare McMahon: Three women decide enough is enough, life is short - sure didn’t Maire’s husband just drop dead in the bread aisle of Lidl? They’re going to follow in their children’s footsteps and take a Gap Year. Thailand? Europe? Down Under? No, they’re going to visit every county in Ireland, sure aren’t there a few they’ve never even heard of?

Burnt Out by Belfast writer Gary Mitchell: This dark psychological thriller follows a couple as their perfect life unravels into a disorientating nightmare of suspicion, paranoia, and intimidation when they unwittingly move to a new home opposite a bonfire site.

2050 Under the Albert Clock; A selection of short plays from Northern Ireland’s most dynamic female playwrights:  2050 Under the Albert Clock is a series of monologues that will be released in two parts.  Originally commissioned for the Origins 1st Irish Festival in New York in January 2020, these monologues are set in a Belfast of the future and showcase some of Northern Ireland's most dynamic female writers - Sarah Gordon, Emily Dedakis, Gina Donnelly and Alice Malseed. Additional writers to be announced.

Listen at the Lyric’ is available to listen at  on the following dates:

The Gap Year, 29th Sept – 12th Oct

Burnt Out, 13th -26th  Oct

2050 under the Albert Clock, part one,  27th Oct - 9th Nov 

2050 under the Albert Clock, part two, 10th Nov – 23rd Nov

Tickets are on sale at a standard price of £6 with optional donation tickets available at £12 and £20 to support the Lyric in continuing to produce great theatre during the pandemic. #SaveTheArts #SaveOurTheatres #LyricOnline

Big Telly: present Macbeth online as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival.  With a portfolio of critically acclaimed and award winning digital shows under their belt (The Guardian, NY Times, The Telegraph, BBC Front Row), Big Telly presents this imaginative reboot of Shakespeare’s timeless, blood-soaked tale of murder, lust and power in a world where reality and illusion are hard to tell apart; a hinterland of hype where fate is twisted, control is remote, and comfort is in entirely another zone.

Opening at Belfast International Arts Festival with a virtual transfer to Creation Theatre Company, Oxford this horror at home is live, interactive and intent on making you complicit.  £20 per device

Limited capacity across ALL shows. Advanced booking is advised.  To book tickets for Macbeth at the Belfast International Arts Festival, 14 – 17 Oct, please visit

Cahoots NI: The University of Wonder & Imagination is now enrolling students of all ages and magical abilities…and there’s a place with your name on it!  Part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival, you can interact with the liveliest of lecturers, choose your subjects of study, enter themed rooms and encounter all kinds of problems and puzzles, unlocking your and your family's magical powers as you go.  Tickets cost £20 per screen and booking is now open at

Spanner In The Works Theatre Company: continues to offer extracts from their plays online.  These extracts are followed with helplines and signposting to help with the issues that are addressed within the plays.  Visit


Arts Care: has just released details of their upcoming autumn activity programme entitled Connect 2020.  Connect 2020 is an innovative and progressive programme of arts workshops, exhibitions, festivals and performances across health, social and community care services and creatively supporting healthcare staff, service users, residents, families, key workers and the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.  All of these wonderful arts activities are delivered online or in a face to face facilitated workshop that follows all Government health and safety guidelines.  Arts Care 4U Premium + is their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access and Arts Care will be launching an updated version of this channel soon at     


Belfast International Arts Festival: The 58th Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF) has been digitally launched with an imaginative and inspirational programme for the times we live in, as Northern Ireland’s leading contemporary multi-artform festival largely goes virtual for 2020.  From 12th October to 1st November, inspirational events featuring dance, music, theatre, film, visual arts and discussion will be largely hosted online, with a small number experienced in-person. The impressive programme responds creatively to the current pandemic and explores matters of contemporary interest such as gender equality, multi-culturalism, representation, the climate crisis, and democracy.  Visit to view the full programme and access tickets. 

Belfast Music Society: is marking Beethoven’s 250th anniversary of his birth at the Northern Lights Mini-Festival, 18-26 October, as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival.  There are events worldwide to mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth.

For BMS's own anniversary they have extended the annual Mini-Fest to five concerts, two of which are devoted to works for piano by the great composer.  Two superb pianists join them for the occasion: Janina Fialkowska, who won many new fans in Belfast when she performed for BMS in 2016, and John O'Conor, renowned for his performances and recordings of Beethoven and a significant influence over many generations of young pianists throughout Ireland (and worldwide). Janina Fialkowska will perform with the Piatti Quartet, whose first violinist is Belfast-born Michael Trainor.  These will be online concerts which are recorded from the Harty Room at Queen’s University Belfast. If you want to watch the concerts in their first broadcast as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival 2020, book at (free, but donations welcome!). After that, the recordings will be available on the BMS website for one month.

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich:  kick off the 30 year celebration of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiach with an inaugural heritage event, a special art exhibition, Cultúrlann Collection, which will launch in Dánlann Dillon at the beginning of October. They also present their fourth virtual concert celebrating the indigenous Celtic festivals, the Samhain concert will showcase the best of traditional music courtesy of Music in the Glen along with storytelling and mumming with Cleamairí Feirste as per the ancient Samhain tradition. The concert will be broadcast on Cultúrlann Facebook and YouTube channels on Friday 30th October at 8:30pm.


Catalyst Arts: present, Propagate, a public programme of workshops and events initiated by Catalyst Arts which will take place during the 3 - 12 October 2020. Artists will work together with selected participants to explore ideas around collaboration, writing and performance. This programme aims to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and exchange; how do we learn from one another and where do practices overlap? Through this series of events, in the gallery and at various locations, a space for dissemination and the sharing of knowledge will be created. Artists and practitioners, Kevin Breathnach, Niamh Seana Meehan, Nollaig Molloy, Suzanne Walsh and The Tangerine will lead a series of workshops for selected participants which will aim to cultivate and foster new ways of working within an art practice. For a full schedule of workshops and events, see

ArtIsAnn:  ArtisAnn Gallery is delighted to welcome one of Northern Ireland’s most accomplished painters and print makers, Jackie Crooks, for a solo exhibition in October.  The new work for this exhibition comes from moments that have caught the artist’s eye in the spring and summer of 2020. The show features a combination of paintings, silkscreen prints and drawing. All the images are a fusion of lived experience, memory and imagination.

All artworks are available to buy, and can be delivered free of charge.  You can also buy art from this exhibition through the Own Art Scheme, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, which gives you an interest-free loan over 10 months (and you still get to take the art home immediately the exhibition ends).  The exhibition runs at the ArtisAnn Gallery, 70 Bloomfield Avenue, Belfast from Tuesday 29th September to Saturday 31st October 2020

R-Space: in Lisburn is now reopen to the public.  Details of their current and upcoming exhibition are below:

Re: New Wallace #3, Robert Peters, 12 September - 16 October 2020 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday. Augmented reality and mixed media by Robert Peters casting an eye on the fraught relationship between Britain and Ireland in the 19th century; absentee landlords, rent strikes, decadent aristocrats, the Famine and Home Rule.  Re: New Wallace #3 is the much anticipated third in their series of Re:New Wallace Collection exhibitions, in collaboration with The Wallace Collection, London. 

MMM#8 – Obvious, Aimée Nelson, Aoife O'Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers, Pauline Clancy, 7 November - 11 December 2020  11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday. Six artists based in Northern Ireland have been selected from an open call as part of our Materials, Messages and Meaning series. Now in its eighth year, these exhibitions explore artists’ different approaches to materials, methods of production and messages within their work.  The works include interactive screenprinting, mixed media installations, digital imaging, and folk art.

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online and in the centre.  Visit

VOID: Void has a new website! Here you can find all the latest updates about their events, online workshops and exhibitions, past and present.  Learn to make your own prism to hang in your window with Sinead Crumlish who returns with an online workshop with an RGB inspired activity.  Void will provide all materials except for a few that you should have in your home. We have a limited number available to collect from the gallery or if you cannot collect them we can post 15 packs – first come, first served!  Available for collection from the gallery now.

VOID’s public gallery is also now reopened and will be showing an exhibition by artist, Alan Phelan, echoes are always more muted, until 31st October.  Alan Phelan’s exhibition echoes are always more muted is part of an expanded series of exhibitions that encompass his continuing research into the intersections of history, sexuality, material culture and politics which have evolved through sculpture, participatory events, and photography.  Visit

Roe Valley Arts: presents the online Dungiven Regeneration Club Virtual Exhibition from 2nd  September until 10th November.  Dungiven Regeneration Club (DRC) was established in 2015 to advance the arts culture in Dungiven area and to aesthetically regenerate the area through art.  For this exhibition the members of the club have submitted works of art that they have created over the lockdown period. The exhibition highlights the wonderful artistic talent in our local Causeway Coast and Glens Borough and is a brilliant example of how the arts can bring a community together and enhance their local area.

Craft NI: is now reopen to public presenting regular exhibitions of the work of craft makers from around Northern Ireland and also a gallery retail space where you can buy from local craft makers.  Visit

The MAC: has re-opened its café and galleries to the public.  From now until 11th October, The MAC presents the popular, Ulster University BA and MFA Fine Art Graduate Show, across all three MAC galleries.  The MAC is open from 10am-4pm Wed-Sun and you must book to attend the exhibition at

Belfast Exposed: present two exhibitions which will be highlighting the work of a selection of recent graduates from the MFA Photography and BA in Photography and Video at Ulster University.  The exhibitions are:

Anthropology (MFA Exhibition) – 3rd September – 24th October, exhibition link:

Human Condition (BA Exhibition) – 3rd September – 24th October, exhibition link:

University of Atypical: is now open to the public presenting the re-opening of Brian Kielt’s exhibition, Confessionals.  Brian Kielt is a painter based in mid-Ulster who makes work about memory, trauma and anxiety. In 2012 Kielt co-founded the LOFT collective and continues to collaborate with members on numerous projects. This is Kielt’s fifth solo exhibition. His work has featured in several group shows and has work in private collections in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and the USA.

Conscious that many people may continue to shield, they have also organised an online event for those who can’t make it to see the exhibition. A Studio Visit with Brian Kielt will take place on Saturday 3rd of October 2020 from 2pm to 3pm. Join online for an informal tour of the artist’s studio, in the rolling foothills of Glenshane. This is a great opportunity to meet the artist, find out more about his creative process and the ideas that inform his practice, and get a sneak peek of works in progress. Questions for the artist from attendees are welcomed. Register your interest and receive the Zoom link at


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