Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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What’s on in the Arts online!

Thursday 6th August 2020 at 8am 0 Comments Community Arts , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

What's on in the Arts online! Image: What's on in the Arts online!

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 things to do online, supported by National Lottery funding.

The Prison Arts Foundation: has been working with prisoners in HMP Magilligan who took part in a series of creative writing workshops with Pamela Brown Prison Arts Foundation (PAF) Writer-in-Residence HMP Magilligan.  The prison writers at Magilligan come from different backgrounds and life experiences. Abilities range from those who are extremely well read to those who can’t read and are self-taught. Nevertheless, all prisoners bring their stories and a willingness to trust the creative process, to self-reflect and ‘to give it a go’.  Together they created, "Going Equipped with a Pen – a recording of poems written by students from the Prison Arts Foundation", available to watch on YouTube at

Craft NI’s August Craft Month: The work of local craft makers will be showcased on a global stage as organisers of August Craft Month prepare to host a series of virtual events to celebrate just some of the outstanding work that goes on throughout Northern Ireland.  With internationally-recognised maker talks, behind the scenes studio tours and maker clips, August Craft Month is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the local artists, designers and makers who all invest so much effort into growing the craft sector across Northern Ireland.  In addition to the digital events, which include a webinar series with some of the leading names in the craft world, there will be a special exhibition at Craft NI’s gallery throughout August and September.  Visit

Cara Dillon: one of Ireland’s most celebrated folk artists, has announced details of her first online streamed concert, ‘Live at Cooper Hall’, which will be broadcast globally on Facebook and YouTube on Thursday 13th August at 8pm BST, 2020 and will be free to watch.  Filmed in the intimate surroundings of Cooper Hall, a local performance space near Cara’s home in Frome, Somerset, the concert is intended as a gift to her fans, especially all of those who have missed out on the opportunity to see her perform due to the cancellation of tour dates since the COVID-19 crisis began, and she has tried to bring some of the magic of a live show to this online concert.  Full details are available on Cara’s website and

Beyond Skin: present an online book launch of, Made to Parade, the debut book by Glenn Millar, a Belfast community worker and bandsman.  Made to Parade is set during 1984 and 1985 when Glenn first joined Pride of the Raven band as a flautist growing up on an interface in East Belfast where Protestant and Catholic territories lines met. Joining a band helped Glenn discover a passion for music, and when music became his passion the troubles lost their grip on his life, there was something else to live for and in the flute he found a friend that would never let him down.  A very special online live event will take place on the 13th August 2020 co-hosted between three organisations in Northern Ireland, Colombia and the United States. They are the Fundación Nacional Batuta, Beyond Skin and BuildaBridge International.  All three organisations use music within community development and peacebuilding.  The launch on the 13th August will be broadcasted live at 8pm in Northern Ireland at and

Moving On Music (MOM): continue with their popular All About…’ series featuring Aisling Agnew’s second video on birdsong and flute music exploring Romantic & 20th Century composers such as Saint Saens, Ravel, Prokofiev and Messiaen. Aisling will break down important pieces from such composers and how they use notation and techniques on the flute in different ways to depict the sound of birds.  Also MOM’s ‘BRB series’ of short digital concerts continues this week on Friday at 1pm. The series presents a range of award winning local and international talent and all the videos are available to watch at any time from and all MOM’s social media channels and website.

Artists featured to date include:

  • Scotland’s award winning folk artist Kris Drever
  • Classical & contemporary percussionist Alex Petcu, performing Bach, Ravel and Komitas
  • Free Improvising giants from Brooklyn Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey
  • Mercury nominated folk singer Sam Lee
  • Innovative composer and performer Xenia Pestova Bennett who recorded a world premiere for us and a piece composed at the start of lockdown
  • Classical musicians Michael Trainor & Jessie Ann Richardson recorded a beautiful duo by Reinhold Glière
  • Suhail Yusuf Khan recorded an incredible selection of four songs re-worked and researched in response to the current situation
  • Multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Leyla McCallla presents some of her diverse music, all the way from New Orleans.

Spanner In The Works: has been working on producing extracts from their plays to share online.  These extracts are followed with helplines and signposting to help with the issues that are addressed within the plays.  Visit

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: present a Virtual Summer Scheme for young people from 17-21 August.  They are offering a series of exciting online workshops covering music, drama and dance as-well as cooking lessons, sports and crafts activities, so there is something to suit all tastes and interests.  The cost is £10 per child or £15 for two.  Email to register. 

EastSide Arts Festival: continues until 16th August with a programme of inspiring and creative events featuring music, theatre, literature, story-telling, visual art, talks and tours under the theme, Moments of Joy.  This year’s events can be enjoyed online from the comfort of your own home, outdoors in person, or in a small number of east Belfast locations as part of a live, socially distanced audience.  For the full festival programme and ticket information visit Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #ESAFest20.

ArtisAnn Gallery: presents Hobson’s Choice, an Online Event with artist Trina Hobson as part of the EastSide Arts Festival on Wednesday 12th August from 6 to 8pm.  Head to the ArtisAnn Facebook page to join artist Trina Hobson and Gallery Owners Ann and Ken in conversation.  Trina will be painting live in the exhibition space and answering questions put to her by members of the public.  Obviously, it’s Trina’s choice what to paint and what questions to answer, but the quirkier the question the better the chances of a response.  You can email in questions in advance by sending them to, or just message in on the night.  Watch for free at

Kabosh: Kabosh theatre company crowns 'The King of East Belfast' in a brand new EastSide Arts Festival show.  Theatre fans who have been missing live performance during lockdown won't have long to wait as Kabosh brings its new show ‘The King of East Belfast’ to the Connswater Shopping Centre.  Presented in partnership with the EastSide Arts Festival, the play has been written by and stars local actor Stephen Beggs.  ‘The King of East Belfast’ will be a live, socially distanced performance with a maximum audience of 22 people per show.  Measures which will be available to ensure audience and performer safety will include masks, sanitiser, allocated seating, restricted numbers and regulation spacing.

The 45-minute show will be performed in a unit at Connswater Shopping Centre, as part of the EastSide Arts Festival.  Most performances have now sold out, but they have added two extra shows. Tickets for ‘The King of East Belfast’ are £10 and are available to book now - visit


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