Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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for The Arts in Northern Ireland

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What’s On in the Arts online!

Wednesday 3rd March 2021 at 10am 0 Comments Arts & Health , Circus & Carnival Arts , Community Arts , Craft , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

What's On in the Arts Image: What's On in the Arts

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, much of it supported by the Department for Communities and National Lottery funding.

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FESTIVALS

Féile An Earraigh 2021: Experience the Féile An Earraigh 2021 at home until 17th March featuring a range of events suitable for all ages.  From visual arts, theatre, ceol, tours, sport & health, Irish language and family events, there’s something to suit all tastes.  To view the programme visit https://virtual.feilebelfast.com/

Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics: one of Belfast’s most innovative and engaging festivals, Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics (22nd – 28th March) returns for its seventh year.  The week-long festival will host 115 webcasts (the great majority of which are free) during March and will explore the theme, ‘The State of Us’ and pertinent topics including, the centenary of the formation of Northern Ireland, Brexit, climate change, COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter. 

Upcoming events include:

22 March
Changing the Game: A roadmap for digital tailored to Northern Ireland’s arts and culture organisations’ needs with Thrive
https://imaginebelfast.com/events/changing-the-game/

22 March
The role of culture in urban regeneration and community development with Dr Gus Casely-Hayford OBE, Director, V&A East and panellists
https://imaginebelfast.com/events/the-role-of-culture-in-urban-regeneration-and-community-development/

23 March
Beyond The Now: Art’s role in a post-pandemic world with Open University
https://imaginebelfast.com/events/art-and-mutual-aid-after-the-pandemic/

24 March
Jo Hunter, 64 Million Artists – Everyday Creativity: Creating cultures of creativity across communities
https://imaginebelfast.com/events/jo-hunter-everyday-creativity/

25 March
Building Creative Communities: A practical workshop exploring citizen-led culture and co-creation for positive social change with Chris Robb, 64 Million Artists
https://imaginebelfast.com/events/building-creative-communities/

28 March
Cultural Democracy, Community Development and the Old/New Normal with Stephen Pritchard
https://imaginebelfast.com/events/cultural-democracy-community-development-and-the-old-new-normal/

To view the full programme visit www.imaginebelfast.com

Belfast Children’s Festival: The Belfast Children’s Festival returns this March with an extended online programme from 5-14 March 2021.  With contemporary dance based on the theme of hope, a ‘part Lord of the Flies, part Animal Farm’ theatre performance set in a post pandemic future, and an exhibition that explores the magic of everyday items found in the home, the line-up for Belfast Children’s Festival 2021 feels very much like art imitating life.

In addition, the 2021 programme will feature Cahoot’s NI’s brain-bamboozling interactive ‘The University of Wonder and Imagination’. Festival favourites like the Book Clinic from Children’s Books Ireland and Baby Rave at Home from Young at Art have been specially adapted for online audiences and Cherrie On Top who performed at last year’s festival will read a selection of diversity and inclusion themed bedtime stories especially for under 5s, throughout the festival. Meanwhile, Young at Art Artists Jane Butler and Duncan Ross asked schoolchildren across Belfast to tell their stories about lockdown and the pandemic from the perspective of the special objects they found within their homes resulting in the ‘My Place’ virtual exhibition.  A full programme is available at www.youngatart.co.uk

IMBOLC International Arts Festival: The Winter solstice has passed and the return of light signals the coming of spring.  Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin will present their IMBOLC International Arts Festival online with an exciting line-up of events including music, spoken word, workshops, films, poetry, photography & much more.  They have put together a very special virtual festival for 2021 bringing great performances and events to festival audiences and friends in their homes up until 19th March 2021.  Stay tuned for more exciting announcements at https://www.facebook.com/imbolcfest

Cultúrlann McAdam O Fiaich: will present Clar Imbolc, a virtual festival to celebrate the beginning of Spring.  They have a range of virtual events you can enjoy from the comfort of your home, including their Coirneal an Cheoil music sessions, the reading circle or art tutorials for young people.  Time to put those resolutions into practice, whether that’s returning to Irish classes after a long absence or beginning something new like yoga. Whether young or old, there is something for everyone.  With a varied and multi-art form programme of events, Cultúrlann McAdam O Fiaich is proud to celebrate the Celtic calendar here.  For full details visit https://www.culturlann.ie/en

International Women’s Day Festival at The MAC: from 4-11th March, The MAC has a packed programme of events to celebrate.  Their International Women’s Day Festival is a time for debate, education, and celebration and The MAC has an exciting line-up of women taking part online.  For full details visit https://themaclive.com/international-womens-day-2021

 

MUSIC

The Belfast Ensemble and Belfast Children’s Festival: presents, The Musician: A Horror Opera for Children, from 12-14 March online and suitable for ages 6+. 

Conor Mitchell’s darkly comic children’s opera retells a familiar story: who was the Pied Piper? and Why did the rats all dance to his tune? This world premiere from the award-winning Belfast Ensemble brings opera home to Northern Ireland. Musically extraordinary, this cautionary tale explores themes of nature, nurture and just desserts!

The Musician is stylishly staged using the latest in technological innovation, a medieval story told in a 21st century way. The international cast exist at the foreground in a bubble of colour and light, accompanied by a socially-distanced 16-piece orchestra, glowing and visible. Filmed live for Belfast Children's Festival in the Lyric Theatre Belfast, this production stands as proof that great theatre can happen even in a pandemic and marks a new direction for opera in Northern Ireland.

The Musician gives a message of hope for young audiences. The Belfast Ensemble’s take on Grimm's fairy tale The Pied Piper of Hamelin gives the story a horror prequel harking back to the legend's roots. A musician in the making is mistreated by the people around him. With the power to control mice and rats with his melodies, will he choose to help the town or take bloody revenge? A tale of poetic justice at a time when artists are in crisis, this is a Covid-reactive production that asks children big questions about art and society.

Tickets are £5 per device, and can be accessed on demand via the QFT player: www.youngatart.co.uk/whats-on/musician Ages 6+

Sean-Nós na Fearsaide: watch back last weekend’s two concerts at

Oíche Airneáil: https://www.facebook.com/cumannmhicreachtain/videos/465499897788883

Live Concert: https://www.facebook.com/cumannmhicreachtain/videos/3095452347224055

Tune in this Saturday 6th March for a live concert featuring Enda Reilly @8pm, followed by Clann Mhic Corraidh @9pm.  Watch at https://www.facebook.com/cumannmhicreachtain/

An Coire Arts Centre: in Maghera will be livestreaming a series of concerts from An Coire's Facebook (ancoirearts) and An Coire's YouTube channel until 5th March.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcLztzG2va2c_QCBcrO5wng

Open House: presents The Court House Sessions featuring music and words by local artists.  The recorded sessions can be viewed on their website and social media in the coming weeks.  Some of the upcoming artists include Moyra Donaldson, Colin Bateman, AEON, The Darkling Air, King Cedar and Ken Haddock.  To view all artists taking part visit www.openhousefestival.com

Belfast Trad: From 5-6 March, BelfastTrad proudly presents the 29th Annual Belfast Piping Tionól.  Join them online for talks, workshops, reed making and more. 

Friday, 5th March 7.30pm
Caoimhín MacAoidh - Annual Piping Tionól Lecture
“Touhey and Taylor- The Riches of the Mercer Museum”

Saturday 6th March
12pm Leonard Barry - Advance Piping Workshop
12.30pm Fionntan Byrne- Intermediate Piping Workshop
1pm Paddy O’Hare - Reed-Making Workshop

Visit www.belfasttrad.com

Walled City Music Festival: The Walled City Music Festival returns this month (25 – 28 March) with a stunning line-up of world-class musicians and ensembles from across the world. The North West’s premier classical music festival was lucky enough to hold a live event last year (early March 2020), one of the last live events in the city before the first lockdown, and has made the decision to continue its mission of bringing outstanding classical music-making to the heart of cultural life in Derry this year, in a new virtual format.

Audiences will be treated to recitals and concerts from guest artists including world-renowned Irish pianist Barry Douglas, contemporary jazz p(f)unk band Miyamoto is Black Enough, Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, revered cellist Li-Wei Qin and virtuosic sibling duo Kirill and Alexandra Troussov (violin, piano).

Co-Artistic Directors Cathal Breslin (Derry) and Sabrina Hu (Texas) will feature in a stunning collaboration of music and dance with the Arizona State University Dance Faculty. This visual spectacle will feature an eclectic mix of modern, hip hop and salsa dancing set to traditional Irish music performed and recorded in Cultúrlann (Derry) and music from five Irish composers; Linda Buckley, Greg Caffrey, Donnacha Dennehy, Jonathan Nangle and Christopher Norby.

Additionally, the festival will present a series of podcasts featuring interviews with guest speakers, zoom workshops for aspiring composers, and a short highlights series from the hugely successful 2020 Walled City Music International Piano Competition. 

All events will be presented on the festival’s website (walledcitymusic.com), Facebook page and YouTube channel and are free of charge to enjoy from the comfort of your own home and in your own time.  For more information visit the brand-new, revamped www.walledcitymusic.com

Live Music Now: Live Music Now provides music sessions for thousands of school children every year and now they have introduced a new series of Facebook Live concerts for schools & families at home every week.  Join them on their Facebook page every Thursday at 2pm for online concerts performed live for early years and key stage 1 aged children.  Concerts last between 35-40mins and each week a different Live Music Now musician will perform a varied programme with opportunities for joining in.  It’s a great opportunity to learn about different instrument and types of music.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/livemusicnow/live/

Live Music Now provides music sessions for thousands of older people every year and now they also are offering free online concerts for older people at home and in residential care homes.  Join them on their Facebook page every Wednesday at 2pm for online concerts performed live for older people. Each week a different Live Music Now musician will perform a varied programme with opportunities for joining in.

Northern Ireland Opera: present, the Rosemary Street Sessions, six short films made in October and November with Northern Ireland Opera's Associate Artists. Northern Ireland Opera will be releasing one each week featuring songs, lieder and opera arias each Tuesday at 8pm over on their YouTube channel.  So far two films are available, soprano Catherine Donnelly performing Philip Martin's arrangement of the WB Yeats poem, 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' and mezzo, Sarah Richmond, performing Franz Schubert's, 'Die Nebensonnen', from his song cycle, 'Winterreise', his setting of poems by Wilhelm Müller. This link takes you to the playlist for the series https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpW0wdBur-HkJLtFzPEVmPWm3v0o-xVI8

Ulster Orchestra: The Ulster Orchestra is delighted to announce the release of a new recording, Our Songs, Our Place, which features nine songs by local songwriters developed through the Orchestra’s Your Song Now project.  With the live music industry thrown into disarray with the Covid-19 restrictions closing venues across the country, musicians have been forced to find new ways to express their creativity. Composer and arranger Paul Campbell approached the Ulster Orchestra in April 2020 with the idea for a project that sought to curate a musical response to the first COVID-19 lockdown.

This became the Your Song Now project, which invited songwriters at any stage of their career to submit a song that spoke to their life and experience of the lockdown. From 69 entries, nine songwriters were selected to work on their songs with mentors Duke Special (2007 Choice Music Prize nominee), Kitt Philippa (NI Music Award Best Album winner in 2020) and Paul Campbell, culminating in this recording, an album that crosses genres and generations, while exploring the common experience of lockdown and how it has changed all our lives.

Our Songs, Our Place is available for purchase digitally from all major online retailers and in CD format from www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk/oursongsourplace at a cost of £10 plus package and postage.

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present a series of concerts in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21.  Visit  www.armaghpipers.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Terra Nova Productions: Northern Ireland’s intercultural theatre company creating culturally diverse, professional and community led projects for over 13 years, has been working with some of Northern Ireland’s most exciting freelance artists, from diverse backgrounds, throughout the lockdowns. The company is delighted to announce that the first set of work developed by the artists is ready to view and will be released weekly online (www.terranovaproductions.net) from 26th Feb to 31st March. Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Organisations Emergency Programme, this project provides a platform to showcase artists who, through various art forms, explore and highlight a range of current issues including the impact of the pandemic, family separation and loss, social justice and #BlackLivesMatter.  Visit www.terranovaproductions.net

Roe Valley & Cultural Centre: has a wonderful range of online activities including craft workshops for children, art workshops for adults, art competitions, storytelling, talks and tours.  For more information visit www.roevalleyarts.com (Please note, these activities are not funded by the Arts Council).

Sole Purpose Productions: will be working in partnership with Solace House in New York to deliver an innovative online project which will use theatre techniques to discuss the signs and symptoms of suicide. They will use the Solace House Suicide Prevention Training and the Sole Purpose Productions’ video of the award winning play, ‘Blinkered’, as a starting point to explore the themes. They will develop ‘Scenes of Intervention’ which will dramatize the training and will illustrate how to approach and respond to this difficult subject. The sessions will also include a live online Q&A with the actors and director who will discuss different aspects of mental health in different and diverse communities. Participants will be invited and guided to devise ‘Scenes of Intervention’ under the direction of Patricia Byrne, Artistic Director of Sole Purpose. The sessions will run over five weeks in February and March 2021. This project is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Self-Arranged Residency Scheme.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/Sole-Purpose-Productions-118776918143791/

In Your Space Circus: has a series of workshops and classes available online.  Current projects include:

Project 1: Circus Together.  Circus Together an opportunity for groups in the Derry area to come together (via zoom initially) to learn about trust, respect, difference and commonality, all through the medium of circus!

Project 2: Every Day Circus.  IYSC are hosting daily Youth Circus classes in specific skills so participants can pick and choose which disciplines they want to skill up in! This project is also open to new participants.

Project 3: Seedlings Circus Online!  The gang at IYSC have designed a new series of digital classes for your little ones (aged 4-8) to get them up and moving in the morning, and to focus on unwinding and mental wellbeing in the afternoon. New participants welcome!

Visit www.inyourspaceni.org and www.facebook.com/inyourspacecircus for further details on all of the above and more.

Island Arts Centre: in Lisburn is encouraging young people to send a little sunshine by creating and sending a postcard to brighten someone’s day.  All the instructions to make a postcard can be found at https://islandartscentre.com/news/discover-little-posties-and-stay-connected-in-lockdown

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is offering a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained at home.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access.  Arts Care’s new dedicated online arts and well-being workshop resource, ‘Break-Time’, accessed via their website to support the mental, emotional and physical well-being of children and young people through the Arts.  All the videos are built on the ‘5 Steps to Well-being’ themes and key funders include Children in Need at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

This new online programme aims to support parents/teachers/play specialists/carers to engage children and young people in the Arts to support their well-being during Covid-19. New art, music, dance & exercise, drama, creative writing and clown doctor’s CDTV videos will be uploaded regularly and it’s all FREE and will give additional much needed creative support for parents, teachers, healthcare staff, play specialists and carers during this difficult time. Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

 

VISUAL ARTS - please continue to check each gallery’s website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: present an online art exhibition, Aesthetic Distance by Vera Ryklova.  Vera Ryklova is a Dublin-based visual artist, working in lens-based media. Performing to the camera she produces series of photographic and video (self-) portraits.

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich’s website now hosts a new page for visual arts and this is the second exhibition they have added so far. You can view the entire exhibition or standalone pieces on this page.  ‘Aesthetic Distance’ by Vera Ryklova will be on display from the 4th of February until the 25th of March.  Visit https://www.culturlann.ie/en/visual-arts

Belfast Exposed: working with Translink, local Belfast Photographic Gallery, Belfast Exposed will this week launch a competition to capture the 'Natural Connections’' which have sustained, surrounded, supported and encouraged people and communities since 23 March 2020, the first day of lockdown last year.  The competition will run from 1 March – 22 April (Earth Day) and can be entered online.

To get involved in the photographic competition, participants can send images taken since 23 March 2020 until Earth Day on 22 April 2021, capturing ‘Natural Connections’ using the hashtag #NaturalConnections2021 on social media.  Entries can also be emailed to naturalconnections@belfastexposed.org

ArtisAnn: Visit https://www.artisann.org/now-on.html

Catalyst Arts: https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

VOID: VOID gallery is still continuing to run activities online and their artist educators have planned some great activities for the whole family.

Art Packs - Make your own kaleidoscope!  Available while stocks last.  This activity allows you to make your own kaleidoscope from some simple materials. We have 30 packs available so send an email with your name and address to get yours! Email hello@derryvoid.com today to order yours.

Once uploaded, all the workshops are on VOID’s Vimeo channel so you can go back and forth to them as many times as you would like.  Find it on our website www.derryvoid.com on Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid and Vimeo www.vimeo.com/derryvoid/

Void Gallery is delighted to announce Slowtime by David Beattie - the second Void Offsites commission generously funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  David Beattie’s sculptural commission addresses place, the environment, and our relationship to time through the rhythm of the tides. Beattie places community participation at the heart of the project; inviting the local community to consider the ebb and flow of the river, encouraging participants to rethink their relationship with the river and their natural environment, prompting introspection and an examination of personal and collective histories.

The project will begin with a series of online workshops, the first taking place on the 6th of March at 11am - you can book now by visiting www.derryvoid.com The artist will introduce the project and invite participants to begin the process using their personal smartphones or recording devices for the first number of sessions. A dedicated equipment lending library will be available from the gallery as the project develops through March and April - in line with public health advice. Stay tuned to their social media for further information @derryvoid

Craft NI: Visit http://www.craftni.org/ for updates.

The MAC: has a series of new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.

The MAC Art at Home: Unlock your imagination with The MAC’s Art at Home activity pack.  The MAC has teamed up with six local artists to create their Art at Home activity pack to help lift your spirits and spark some creativity.  Free to download, these sheets are for anyone to enjoy, whether you are looking for inspiration for home-schooling, would enjoy time out to yourself, or some fun with your family or maybe even your pet.  Designed to enjoy at home, or in a place you call home for now, tucked up in bed or maybe in the great outdoors. Some of the sheets you can work on straightaway, others like the colouring-in are best printed.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates.

The MAC also present, HOME - Noli Timere, a series of short films as a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As announced in the summer, HOME - Noli Timere, has worked to collate the photos, videos, lyrics and literature which have inspired hope in lockdown life. Translated as, ‘don’t be afraid’, Noli Timere was the final text sent by Seamus Heaney to his wife, Marie. The sentiment is equally powerful and appropriate in the context of the current pandemic. Submitted to the project by members of the public and artists alike, these artistic responses to the ongoing pandemic have been transformed into a series of short films that we have released as Facebook and YouTube premieres.  For links to the films visit www.themaclive.com

Golden Thread Gallery: is offering fun online workshops with artist and volunteer, Sophie Daly.  Current workshops include:

Littler Plastic Family: make your very own little version of your family out of plastic bottles. Plastic is a really difficult thing to recycle, but it is also something that is super hard to avoid using. Let’s have a look at upcycling them instead! Each member of your family probably has their own personal empty bottles lying around, it could be shaving foam, makeup, your baby brother’s ear medicine, anything at all. They will be sure to love their own little Mini-Mes!  Children will also have a little chat about how recycling plastic works. Have fun!  Available online until 6th March.

To access the workshops and keep up to date with new ones visit www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk

Belfast Print Workshop:  has three online workshops available online by three of their members as part of Belfast's Festival of Learning's online festival. The workshops are supported by Belfast Learning City. Each workshop is suitable for a different level but all are possible to practice at home, with some equipment required.  Workshops include:

Printing from a Suitcase and Hand Monoprinting by Josephine McCormick
Printing with Card and a Variety of Household Materials by Coby Moore
Cyanotype Print Tutorial by Jonathan Brennan

Their workshops remain online for anyone to access.  For full details visit https://www.bpw.org.uk/

 

FILM, LITERATURE & DRAMA

NI Writers Day: The Royal Society of Literature has joined with the Arts Council to celebrate Northern Irish writers and writing as part of the first NI Writers Day in March (Tuesday 23rd March). This free online day of events, hosted in partnership with the Arts Council, will shine a spotlight on our acclaimed poets, playwrights and authors.

NI Writers Day is part of a UK-wide drive by the Royal Society of Literature to broaden its reach and celebrate diversity in literature.  Through its RSL Open Fellowship Programme, 60 new fellows will be elected this year, from communities under-represented in UK literature - particularly working class writers, writers outside of London, writers of colour, and LGBTQ+ writers.  Tickets and information is available at https://rsliterature.org/rsl-event/rsl-open-northern-ireland-writers-day/

Lyric Theatre and Amadan Ensemble: present Not Another Clown Workshop, 4 March – 8 April.  Thanks to support from the Arts Council, Lyric Theatre and their mentor Eric Davis (Red Bastard, Cirque du Soleil) Amadan has designed a brand new course for artists to immerse themselves in a secure & creative space.  Whether you want to work on a new project or simply dream of the time when you can practice your art form with other people then this is the workshop for you!

This 6 week online course will combine the playful curiosity of Clown, the rigour of the Bouffon and the creative expression and possibilities found in devised theatre to explore how we can build our creative muscles and get ready to make work.   You will engage in exercises, work in collaboration with other artists and have the space to engage in creative conversation to assist with your work or practice.  There will also be will be four guest speaker sessions, one of whom will be Eric Davis, where you can benefit from the experience of established artists and have the opportunity to ask questions. Limited spaces available, visit www.lyrictheatre.co.uk

Kabosh: Kabosh theatre company presents, Before You Go, by Laurence McKeown and directed by Paula McFetridge with James Doran, Lisa Duffy and Eimear Fearon.  A new play about the fragility of love, Sorcha O’Hagan is leaving for Australia. Her bags are packed. Only an overdue conversation with her father remains. Before she goes.  Presented online, in partnership with Redbox Creative, from 2nd to 4th March 2021 and is suitable for ages 14+.  Tuesday - 7.30pm, Wednesday 1pm, Thursday 7.30pm (with post show discussion).  This event will be streamed online. During the week of the shows, you will be sent a link to access the stream from the comfort of your own home. Only one ticket is needed per screen.  Book your tickets at https://kabosh.net/production/before-you-go/

Maiden Voyage: Maiden Voyage Dance, Northern Ireland’s commissioning company for contemporary dance, will present ‘Turnabout’, a new family friendly show exploring children’s thoughts on hope, as part of this year’s Belfast Children’s Festival from 6 - 14 March.

Choreographed by Jennifer Rooney (whose stage credits include Once, Good Vibrations and Teenage Kicks) with new music from internationally acclaimed composer Elaine Agnew, the text for Turnabout was inspired by stories of hope created by Belfast primary school pupils at workshops by poet Olive Broderick.   

In a first for Maiden Voyage, the company has collaborated with Belfast Philharmonic Society to work with 80+ young voices from Belfast Philharmonic Youth and Chamber Choirs to bring this text to life in Elaine Agnew’s musical score.

Free screenings of ‘Turnabout’ by Maiden Voyage Dance will be available online and on demand as part of Belfast Children’s Festival from 6 to 14 March.  Book your places now at www.youngatart.co.uk/festival 

To book a free ‘Turnabout’ primary school or group workshop with Maiden Voyage Dance, email engage@maidenvoyagedance.com

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: Former US Poet Laureate opens ‘In Conversation’ series from Seamus Heaney HomePlace .  Tracy K Smith, United States Poet Laureate (2017-2019), is to open a new virtual ‘in conversation’ programme at Seamus Heaney HomePlace this month (from 22 February) which features Pulitzer Prize winners and three Booker longlisted authors.  Taught by Seamus Heaney at Harvard, the Pulitzer prize-winner and author of four acclaimed collections, will be discussing her work with Daljit Nagra, poet in residence at BBC Radio 4, in the first of six online events.

‘For air and friendly talk’- a series featuring writers in conversation, a title which takes its inspiration from the poem ‘Twice Shy’ where Seamus Heaney recalls a riverside walk with his wife Marie in the early stages of their courtship, will also feature some of Ireland’s foremost novelists, Colum McCann, Donal Ryan and Kevin Barry along with writer Cathy Rentzenbrink and another Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Paul Muldoon.  Leading the discussions will be the journalist and writer John Self, writer Jan Carson, broadcaster John Kelly, Emma Warnock and Paula Shields.

Please note, each individual event will be available for a limited time only and T&Cs apply. Visit: http://seamusheaneyhome.com/ for further information. (Please note this event is not funded through the Arts Council).

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What’s on in the Arts online

Wednesday 24th February 2021 at 6pm 0 Comments Circus & Carnival Arts , Comedy , Community Arts , Craft , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

What's On in the Arts Image: What's On in the Arts

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, much of it supported by the Department for Communities and National Lottery funding.

Skip to section

 

FESTIVALS

Jaipur Literature Festival: The greatest literature festival returns for 2021 online.  Set to take place virtually between 19-28 February, the 10-day literary event will feature a line-up of speakers from across the world.  Local writer, Paul McVeigh will be in conversation with Scottish writer, Douglas Stuart, discussing his novel, Shuggie Bain, winner of the Booker Prize.  For full programming details visit www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org 

Cumann Cultúrtha Mhic Reachtain: will broadcast the Oíche Airneáil concert as part of their virtual Sean-Nós na Fearsaide festival.  The concert will take place this Friday 26th February at 9:00pm.  Workshops will also run Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and the festival finishes with a live concert at 9pm Saturday night.  All concerts and workshops are available on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cumannmhicreachtain/

Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics returns with Virtual Programme
-Annual Festival places Belfast on Global Stage with World-Renowned Line-Up

One of Belfast’s most innovative and engaging festivals, Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics (22nd – 28th March) returns for its seventh year.  The week-long festival will host 115 webcasts (the great majority of which are free) during March and will explore the theme, ‘The State of Us’ and pertinent topics including, the centenary of the formation of Northern Ireland, Brexit, climate change, COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter. 

The virtual nature of this year’s event means it has attracted leading global figures and experts from around the world including Noam Chomsky, regarded as one of the leading intellectuals of our age, renowned playwright and commentator Bonnie Greer and a host of local talent.  Other ‘headliners’ include Bill McKibben, Angie Drobnic Holan, Paul Mason, Claire Fox, Gavin Esler, Roman Krznaric, Neil Hegarty, Sinead Gleeson, Charles Leadbeater and Senator Eileen Flynn.  Working with over 50 festival partners, events have been organised, for example, with the British Academy, Ulster Orchestra, Ballet Black, the Chilian arts group Memorante, open Democracy and the Victoria & Albert Museum. The strictly non-partisan festival offers up an eclectic week of online talks, workshops, theatre, comedy, music, film and poetry to help us navigate the challenges of tomorrow.  The Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics 2021 programme is now available to view online via www.imaginebelfast.com

Echo Echo Festival: presents a series of online artist talks, live-streamed performances and other events from 22nd -27th February 2021.  The programme includes online talks with dance artists, plus live-streamed, solo dance performances by artists of the Echo Echo Ensemble. There is also an online photographic retrospective of the past seven festivals, classes and an opportunity to meet and ask questions with the whole Echo Echo team.  All live events are free and accessed through the Zoom link here:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84408739610?pwd=TjNoSDhUM1N1Vy9KZFA5VW51WFVtUT09
For more details and timings visit www.echoechodance.com

IMBOLC International Arts Festival: The Winter solstice has passed and the return of light signals the coming of spring.  Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin will present their IMBOLC International Arts Festival online with an exciting line-up of events including music, spoken word, workshops, films, poetry, photography & much more.  They have put together a very special virtual festival for 2021 bringing great performances and events to festival audiences and friends in their homes from 5th February to 19th March 2021.  Stay tuned for more exciting announcements at https://www.facebook.com/imbolcfest

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: will present Clár Imbolc, a virtual festival to celebrate the beginning of Spring.  They have a range of virtual events you can enjoy from the comfort of your home, including their Coirnéal an Cheoil music sessions, the reading circle or art tutorials for young people.  Time to put those resolutions into practice, whether that’s returning to Irish classes after a long absence or beginning something new like yoga. Whether young or old, there is something for everyone.  With a varied and multi-art form programme of events, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich is proud to celebrate the Celtic calendar here.  For full details visit https://www.culturlann.ie/en

Belfast Children’s Festival: The Belfast Children’s Festival returns this March with an extended online programme from 5-14 March 2021.  With contemporary dance based on the theme of hope, a ‘part Lord of the Flies, part Animal Farm’ theatre performance set in a post pandemic future, and an exhibition that explores the magic of everyday items found in the home, the line-up for Belfast Children’s Festival 2021 feels very much like art imitating life.

In addition, the 2021 programme will feature Cahoot’s NI’s brain-bamboozling interactive ‘The University of Wonder and Imagination’. Festival favourites like the Book Clinic from Children’s Books Ireland and Baby Rave at Home from Young at Art have been specially adapted for online audiences and Cherrie On Top who performed at last year’s festival will read a selection of diversity and inclusion themed bedtime stories especially for under 5s, throughout the festival. Meanwhile, Young at Art Artists Jane Butler and Duncan Ross asked schoolchildren across Belfast to tell their stories about lockdown and the pandemic from the perspective of the special objects they found within their homes resulting in the ‘My Place’ virtual exhibition.  A full programme is available at www.youngatart.co.uk

International Women’s Day Festival at The MAC: from 4-11th March, The MAC has a packed programme of events to celebrate.  Their International Women’s Day Festival is a time for debate, education, and celebration and The MAC has an exciting line-up of women taking part online.  Visit https://themaclive.com/international-womens-day-2021

 

MUSIC

Moving On Music: The newly launched Middle Aisle agency and development project from Moving On Music, will see two of the roster’s artists performing live streams this weekend:

Ruth McGinley will perform from An Coire in Maghera on Friday 26th February, 8pm, watch from https://www.facebook.com/ancoirearts or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcLztzG2va2c_QCBcrO5wng
Programme will include works by Satie, Piazzolla and folk song arrangements by Neil Martin.

Jack Warnock will perform from Strule Arts Centre in Omagh on Saturday 27th February, 8pm on a double bill with Omagh based folk singer Mollie McKeever. Watch live from https://www.facebook.com/StruleArtsCentre

Catch internationally renowned Belfast born pianist Michael McHale in a digital concert available for free now. The video features the digital world premiere of Áine Mallon’s Raindrop Prelude followed by Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata. The Raindrop Prelude was commissioned by Moving On Music through support from the ACNI commissioning fund, in response to the Appassionata Sonata in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year during 2020. Watch the concert from https://youtu.be/GsOYEsOKnZk or https://www.facebook.com/MovingOnMusic

An Coire Arts Centre: in Maghera will be livestreaming a series of concerts from An Coire's Facebook (ancoirearts) and An Coire's YouTube channel until 5th March.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcLztzG2va2c_QCBcrO5wng

Open House: presents The Court House Sessions featuring music and words by local artists.  The recorded sessions can be viewed on their website and social media in the coming weeks.  Some of the upcoming artists include Moyra Donaldson, Colin Bateman, AEON, The Darkling Air, King Cedar and Ken Haddock.  To view all artists taking part visit www.openhousefestival.com

ITMA: Irish Traditional Music Archive has made four previously unheard acetate recordings of legendary Sligo fiddle player Michael Coleman (1895-1945) publically available. The recordings made in New York in 1942 are available to listen to on the ITMA website.

The acetate disc recordings were privately made in 1942, in the New York home of his fellow Sligo fiddle player James ‘Lad’ O’Beirne (1911-1980), almost 80 years ago. Gifted to Galway accordionist Joe Burke by Lad O’Beirne in the 1960s, the two discs have been personally safeguarded by him since that time. ITMA was honoured in 2020 to be entrusted by Joe Burke with the professional digitisation and preservation of these unique Michael Coleman recordings. With the added blessing of Lad’s son, Jim O’Beirne, they have now been preserved for future generations to freely enjoy.

The Coleman recordings are part of ITMA’s growing collection of Sligo masters recorded in New York. Other acetate recordings made in Lad O’Beirne’s home during the 1940s have been recently donated to ITMA by Mick O’Connor who, in turn, received them from Mrs Kathleen Harrington (née Gardiner). Highlights from the previously unheard Michael Coleman recordings, as well as other recently digitised tracks featuring Lad O’Beirne, Andy McGann, Louis Quinn, Martin Wynne and Tim Fitzpatrick, are freely accessible on the ITMA website as part of a blog written by ITMA Director, Liam O’Connor.  Visit www.itma.ie

Live Music Now: Live Music Now provides music sessions for thousands of school children every year and now they have introduced a new series of Facebook Live concerts for schools & families at home every week.  Join them on their Facebook page every Thursday at 2pm for online concerts performed live for early years and key stage 1 aged children.  Concerts last between 35-40mins and each week a different Live Music Now musician will perform a varied programme with opportunities for joining in.  It’s a great opportunity to learn about different instrument and types of music.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/livemusicnow/live/

Live Music Now provides music sessions for thousands of older people every year and now they also are offering free online concerts for older people at home and in residential care homes.  Join them on their Facebook page every Wednesday at 2pm for online concerts performed live for older people. Each week a different Live Music Now musician will perform a varied programme with opportunities for joining in.

Northern Ireland Opera: present, the Rosemary Street Sessions, six short films made in October and November with Northern Ireland Opera's Associate Artists. Northern Ireland Opera will be releasing one each week featuring songs, lieder and opera arias each Tuesday at 8pm over on their YouTube channel.  So far two films are available, soprano Catherine Donnelly performing Philip Martin's arrangement of the WB Yeats poem, 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' and mezzo, Sarah Richmond, performing Franz Schubert's, 'Die Nebensonnen', from his song cycle, 'Winterreise', his setting of poems by Wilhelm Müller. This link takes you to the playlist for the series https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpW0wdBur-HkJLtFzPEVmPWm3v0o-xVI8

Ulster Orchestra: The Ulster Orchestra is delighted to announce the release of a new recording, Our Songs, Our Place, which features nine songs by local songwriters developed through the Orchestra’s Your Song Now project.  With the live music industry thrown into disarray with the Covid-19 restrictions closing venues across the country, musicians have been forced to find new ways to express their creativity. Composer and arranger Paul Campbell approached the Ulster Orchestra in April 2020 with the idea for a project that sought to curate a musical response to the first COVID-19 lockdown.

This became the Your Song Now project, which invited songwriters at any stage of their career to submit a song that spoke to their life and experience of the lockdown. From 69 entries, nine songwriters were selected to work on their songs with mentors Duke Special (2007 Choice Music Prize nominee), Kitt Philippa (NI Music Award Best Album winner in 2020) and Paul Campbell, culminating in this recording, an album that crosses genres and generations, while exploring the common experience of lockdown and how it has changed all our lives.

Our Songs, Our Place is available for purchase digitally from all major online retailers and in CD format from www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk/oursongsourplace at a cost of £10 plus package and postage.

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com and https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=676917186352325&id=107191574457823

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present a series of concerts in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21.  Visit  www.armaghpipers.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Terra Nova Productions: Northern Ireland’s intercultural theatre company creating culturally diverse, professional and community led projects for over 13 years, has been working with some of Northern Ireland’s most exciting freelance artists, from diverse backgrounds, throughout the lockdowns. The company is delighted to announce that the first set of work developed by the artists is ready to view and will be released weekly online (www.terranovaproductions.net) from 26th Feb to 31st March. Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Organisations Emergency Programme, this project provides a platform to showcase artists who, through various art forms, explore and highlight a range of current issues including the impact of the pandemic, family separation and loss, social justice and #BlackLivesMatter.  Visit www.terranovaproductions.net

Roe Valley & Cultural Centre:  has a wonderful range of online activities including craft workshops for children, art workshops for adults, art competitions, storytelling, talks and tours.  For more information visit www.roevalleyarts.com (Please note, these activities are not funded by the Arts Council).

Sole Purpose Productions: will be working in partnership with Solace House in New York to deliver an innovative online project which will use theatre techniques to discuss the signs and symptoms of suicide. They will use the Solace House Suicide Prevention Training and the Sole Purpose Productions’ video of the award winning play, ‘Blinkered’, as a starting point to explore the themes. They will develop ‘Scenes of Intervention’ which will dramatize the training and will illustrate how to approach and respond to this difficult subject. The sessions will also include a live online Q&A with the actors and director who will discuss different aspects of mental health in different and diverse communities. Participants will be invited and guided to devise ‘Scenes of Intervention’ under the direction of Patricia Byrne, Artistic Director of Sole Purpose. The sessions will run over five weeks in February and March 2021. This project is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Self-Arranged Residency Scheme.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/Sole-Purpose-Productions-118776918143791/

In Your Space Circus: has a series of workshops and classes available online.  Current projects include:

Project 1: Circus Together.  Circus Together an opportunity for groups in the Derry area to come together (via zoom initially) to learn about trust, respect, difference and commonality, all through the medium of circus!

Project 2: Every Day Circus.  IYSC are hosting daily Youth Circus classes in specific skills so participants can pick and choose which disciplines they want to skill up in! This project is also open to new participants.

Project 3: Seedlings Circus Online!  The gang at IYSC have designed a new series of digital classes for your little ones (aged 4-8) to get them up and moving in the morning, and to focus on unwinding and mental wellbeing in the afternoon. New participants welcome!

Visit www.inyourspaceni.org and https://www.facebook.com/inyourspacecircus for further details on all of the above and more.

DU Dance: DU Dance Youth Dance Classes are back for four weeks online.  If you know a young person who loves to dance or wants to try something new in 2021 then look no further.  For details and to book classes visit dudanceni.com

Island Arts Centre: in Lisburn is encouraging young people to send a little sunshine by creating and sending a postcard to brighten someone’s day.  All the instructions to make a postcard can be found at https://islandartscentre.com/news/discover-little-posties-and-stay-connected-in-lockdown

Duncairn: watch back their fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is offering a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained at home.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access.  Arts Care’s new dedicated online arts and well-being workshop resource, ‘Break-Time’, accessed via their website to support the mental, emotional and physical well-being of children and young people through the Arts.  All the videos are built on the ‘5 Steps to Well-being’ themes and key funders include Children in Need at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

This new online programme aims to support parents/teachers/play specialists/carers to engage children and young people in the Arts to support their well-being during Covid-19. New art, music, dance & exercise, drama, creative writing and clown doctor’s CDTV videos will be uploaded regularly and it’s all FREE and will give additional much needed creative support for parents, teachers, healthcare staff, play specialists and carers during this difficult time. Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

 

VISUAL ARTS - please continue to check each gallery’s website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: present an online art exhibition, Aesthetic Distance by Vera Ryklova.  Vera Ryklova is a Dublin-based visual artist, working in lens-based media. Performing to the camera she produces series of photographic and video (self-) portraits.

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich’s website now hosts a new page for visual arts and this is the second exhibition they have added so far. You can view the entire exhibition or standalone pieces on this page.  ‘Aesthetic Distance’ by Vera Ryklova will be on display from the 4th of February until the 25th of March.

On Saturday 27th February at 11am, there will be an online workshop with Vera to accompany her virtual exhibition.  The artists will use this online session to create a new piece of work.  Using the power of language, the artist invites people to compose a piece of creative writing in response to her work. This session takes place via zoom, runs for approx. 1 hr and is limited to a maximum of 11 people. Visit https://www.culturlann.ie/en/visual-arts

Belfast Exposed: presents Street View.  Street View provides a multimedia exhibition experience to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is a large digital window display, complimented with audio narratives, that showcases contemporary artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Until 27th February, Street View will present, Tristan Poyser, which features two projects - The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border and Masked: a Portrait of Amazon - by artist Tristan Poyser. The two projects share a commonality, in that they both explore political, cultural and social issues at a time of great uncertainty. In both projects, Poyser engaged with the public to 'encompass their opinions, hopes and desires about their unique socio-political situations. As a collective, their voices amass an account which is representative of precarious times. Each respondent was invited to tear a print in ‘The Invisible In-between’ to make the invisible visible then to share a written comment about their thoughts on Brexit. In a similar manner, a subset of photographs from ‘Masked’ is a series of 130 Amazon employees asked to write and display their introspections.'

Tristan Poyser’s project The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border, which exhibited at Belfast Exposed in 2019, began as a response to the results of the UK’s Brexit referendum. Poyser spent two years travelling and photographing the full length of the 510 km Irish border.

Poyser's most recent project Masked: a Portrait of Amazon, is a series of performative portraits and still life photographs of the 64 face masks and ephemera he was provided with whilst working at Amazon, during the initial Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The photographs are a reflection of his doubts, frustrations, anxieties, the change in identity, the lack of control over lockdown and decisions made.  For more information visit www.belfastexposed.org

ArtisAnn: ArtisAnn Gallery, on Belfast’s Bloomfield Avenue, celebrates those people who have left their own homes to come to Belfast to make it their home. Artists from across the UK, Ireland and Europe will be showing work that has been inspired by Belfast, the place that is now their home.  This international exhibition features artists Magdalena Blazejewicz (Poland), Wilhelmina Peace Covington (France), Lenka Davidikova (Slovakia), Valerie Giannandrea McKeag (Italy/Scotland) Santa Leimane (Latvia), Jolita Jarutiené (Lithuania), Gary Shaw (Australia), and Anka Sikora (Poland).  This is an exhibition by seven artists who have chosen to make Belfast their home.

Also at ArtisAnn is the exhibition, On the Shoulders of Giants, by Professor Harry McMahon as part of Northern Ireland Science Festival 2021 from Wed 3rd February to Sat 27th February 2021.  This exhibition is presented online and in the gallery (subject to Covid regulations).

On the Shoulders of Giants is a tribute to the pioneers of science such as Leonhard Euler, Dorothy Hodgkin, J.S. Bell and William Campbell.  Each painting celebrates a significant example of humankind’s attempts to bring conceptual order to what might otherwise be seen as an incomprehensible, chaotic world.  The show should be of interest both to art lovers and to those interested in the history of science.

Professor Harry McMahon’s first degree was in physics; his most recent, after he retired, was in Fine and Applied Art.  In “On the Shoulders of Giants”, escaping from his long-term practice in landscape painting, he overlays diagrammatic references to science and mathematics on complex, near-chaotic, painterly backgrounds.  Based on the work of Greek philosophers like Thales and Eratosthenes, mathematicians like Leonhard Euler and William Rowan Hamilton, and 20th and 21st century scientists such as Dorothy Hodgkin, Belfast-born J S Bell and Ramelton-born William Campbell, this is a must-see exhibition for anyone interested in science and art.  Visit https://www.artisann.org/now-on.html

Catalyst Arts: See https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

VOID: VOID gallery is still continuing to run activities online and their artist educators have planned some great activities for the whole family.

Filling in the squares - a drawing meditation for beginners with Stephanie Gaumond
Saturday 20th February, 11am

Tap into your creative mind and practice deep breathing with short mindfulness drawing meditations that allow you to to take a break and relieve stress.  No fancy supplies are needed - just paper and a pen. It’s easy for beginners and fun for experienced artists. These sessions are devised so that they can be accessed at any time – during a break from school work, first thing in the morning as part of a mindfulness practice, or in the evening time with the whole family.

Blind Drawing workshop with Zoe McSparron
Saturday 27th February, 11am

Learn to explore your own environment through Blind Drawing.

Art Packs - Make your own kaleidoscope!
Available while stocks last.  This activity allows you to make your own kaleidoscope from some simple materials. We have 30 packs available so send an email with your name and address to get yours! Email hello@derryvoid.com today to order yours.

Once uploaded, all the workshops are on VOID’s Vimeo channel so you can go back and forth to them as many times as you would like.  Find it on their website www.derryvoid.com on Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid and Vimeo www.vimeo.com/derryvoid/

Craft NI: Visit http://www.craftni.org/ for updates.

Void Gallery is delighted to announce Slowtime by David Beattie - the second Void Offsites commission generously funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  David Beattie’s sculptural commission addresses place, the environment, and our relationship to time through the rhythm of the tides. Beattie places community participation at the heart of the project; inviting the local community to consider the ebb and flow of the river, encouraging participants to rethink their relationship with the river and their natural environment, prompting introspection and an examination of personal and collective histories.

The project will begin with a series of online workshops, the first taking place on the 6th of March at 11am - you can book now by visiting www.derryvoid.com The artist will introduce the project and invite participants to begin the process using their personal smartphones or recording devices for the first number of sessions. A dedicated equipment lending library will be available from the gallery as the project develops through March and April - in line with public health advice. Stay tuned to our social media for further information @derryvoid

The MAC: has a series of new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.

The MAC Art at Home: Unlock your imagination with The MAC’s Art at Home activity pack.  The MAC has teamed up with six local artists to create their Art at Home activity pack to help lift your spirits and spark some creativity.  Free to download, these sheets are for anyone to enjoy, whether you are looking for inspiration for home-schooling, would enjoy time out to yourself, or some fun with your family or maybe even your pet.  Designed to enjoy at home, or in a place you call home for now, tucked up in bed or maybe in the great outdoors. Some of the sheets you can work on straightaway, others like the colouring-in are best printed.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates.

The MAC also present, HOME - Noli Timere, a series of short films as a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As announced in the summer, HOME - Noli Timere, has worked to collate the photos, videos, lyrics and literature which have inspired hope in lockdown life. Translated as, ‘don’t be afraid’, Noli Timere was the final text sent by Seamus Heaney to his wife, Marie. The sentiment is equally powerful and appropriate in the context of the current pandemic. Submitted to the project by members of the public and artists alike, these artistic responses to the ongoing pandemic have been transformed into a series of short films that we have released as Facebook and YouTube premieres.  For links to the films visit www.themaclive.com

Golden Thread Gallery: is offering fun online workshops with artist and volunteer, Sophie Daly.  Current workshops includes:

Littler Plastic Family: make your very own little version of your family out of plastic bottles. Plastic is a really difficult thing to recycle, but it is also something that is super hard to avoid using. Let’s have a look at upcycling them instead! Each member of your family probably has their own personal empty bottles lying around, it could be shaving foam, makeup, your baby brother’s ear medicine, anything at all. They will be sure to love their own little Mini-Mes!  Children will also have a little chat about how recycling plastic works. Have fun!  Available online until 6th March.

To access the workshops and keep up to date with new ones visit www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk

Belfast Print Workshop:  has three online workshops available online by three of their members as part of Belfast's Festival of Learning's online festival. The workshops are supported by Belfast Learning City. Each workshop is suitable for a different level but all are possible to practice at home, with some equipment required.  Workshops include:

Printing from a Suitcase and Hand Monoprinting by Josephine McCormick
Printing with Card and a Variety of Household Materials by Coby Moore
Cyanotype Print Tutorial by Jonathan Brennan

There workshops remain online for anyone to access.  For full details visit https://www.bpw.org.uk/

 

FILM, LITERATURE & DRAMA

NI Writers Day: The Royal Society of Literature has joined with the Arts Council to celebrate Northern Irish writers and writing as part of the first NI Writers Day in March (Tuesday 23rd March). This free online day of events, hosted in partnership with the Arts Council, will shine a spotlight on our acclaimed poets, playwrights and authors.

NI Writers Day is part of a UK-wide drive by the Royal Society of Literature to broaden its reach and celebrate diversity in literature.  Through its RSL Open Fellowship Programme, 60 new fellows will be elected this year, from communities under-represented in UK literature - particularly working class writers, writers outside of London, writers of colour, and LGBTQ+ writers.  Tickets and information is available at RSL Open: Northern Ireland Writers Day | Royal Society of Literature (rsliterature.org)

Lyric Theatre and Amadan Ensemble: present Not Another Clown Workshop, 4 March – 8 April.  Thanks to support from the Arts Council, Lyric Theatre and their mentor Eric Davis (Red Bastard, Cirque du Soleil) Amadan has designed a brand new course for artists to immerse themselves in a secure & creative space.  Whether you want to work on a new project or simply dream of the time when you can practice your art form with other people then this is the workshop for you!

This 6 week online course will combine the playful curiosity of Clown, the rigour of the Bouffon and the creative expression and possibilities found in devised theatre to explore how we can build our creative muscles and get ready to make work.   You will engage in exercises, work in collaboration with other artists and have the space to engage in creative conversation to assist with your work or practice.  There will also be will be four guest speaker sessions, one of whom will be Eric Davis, where you can benefit from the experience of established artists and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Limited spaces available, visit www.lyrictheatre.co.uk

Kabosh: Kabosh theatre company presents, Before You Go, by Laurence McKeown and directed by Paula McFetridge with James Doran, Lisa Duffy and Eimear Fearon.  A new play about the fragility of love, Sorcha O’Hagan is leaving for Australia. Her bags are packed. Only an overdue conversation with her father remains. Before she goes. 

Presented online from 2nd to 4th March 2021 and is suitable for ages 14+.  Tuesday - 7.30pm, Wednesday 1pm, Thursday 7.30pm (with post show discussion).
This event will be streamed online. During the week of the shows, you will be sent a link to access the stream from the comfort of your own home. Only one ticket is needed per screen.  Book your tickets at https://kabosh.net/production/before-you-go/

Maiden Voyage: Maiden Voyage Dance, Northern Ireland’s commissioning company for contemporary dance, will present ‘Turnabout’, a new family friendly show exploring children’s thoughts on hope, as part of this year’s Belfast Children’s Festival from 6 - 14 March.

Choreographed by Jennifer Rooney (whose stage credits include Once, Good Vibrations and Teenage Kicks) with new music from internationally acclaimed composer Elaine Agnew, the text for Turnabout was inspired by stories of hope created by Belfast primary school pupils at workshops by poet Olive Broderick.   

In a first for Maiden Voyage, the company has collaborated with Belfast Philharmonic Society to work with 80+ young voices from Belfast Philharmonic Youth and Chamber Choirs to bring this text to life in Elaine Agnew’s musical score.

Free screenings of ‘Turnabout’ by Maiden Voyage Dance will be available online and on demand as part of Belfast Children’s Festival from 6 to 14 March.  Book your places now at www.youngatart.co.uk/festival 

To book a free ‘Turnabout’ primary school or group workshop with Maiden Voyage Dance, email engage@maidenvoyagedance.com

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: Former US Poet Laureate opens ‘In Conversation’ series from Seamus Heaney HomePlace .  Tracy K Smith, United States Poet Laureate (2017-2019), is to open a new virtual ‘in conversation’ programme at Seamus Heaney HomePlace this month (from 22 February) which features Pulitzer Prize winners and three Booker longlisted authors.  Taught by Seamus Heaney at Harvard, the Pulitzer prize-winner and author of four acclaimed collections, will be discussing her work with Daljit Nagra, poet in residence at BBC Radio 4, in the first of six online events.

‘For air and friendly talk’- a series featuring writers in conversation, a title which takes its inspiration from the poem ‘Twice Shy’ where Seamus Heaney recalls a riverside walk with his wife Marie in the early stages of their courtship, will also feature some of Ireland’s foremost novelists, Colum McCann, Donal Ryan and Kevin Barry along with writer Cathy Rentzenbrink and another Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Paul Muldoon.  Leading the discussions will be the journalist and writer John Self, writer Jan Carson, broadcaster John Kelly, Emma Warnock and Paula Shields.

Please note, each individual event will be available for a limited time only and T&Cs apply. Visit: http://seamusheaneyhome.com/ for further information. (Please note this event is not funded through the Arts Council). 

Strand Arts Centre: With its latest temporary closure due to lockdown restrictions, Strand Arts Centre has teamed up with film distributor Dogwoof to begin virtual screenings.  The first film on offer is resonant new documentary MLK/FBI, uncovering the extent of the FBI's surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government's history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals.

Featuring interviews with key cultural figures including former FBI Director James Comey and directed by Emmy® Award-winner and Oscar®-nominee Sam Pollard, MLK/FBI tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment.

MLK/FBI is available to view from now at www.strandartscentre.com

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What’s on in the Arts online

Wednesday 10th February 2021 at 10am 0 Comments Arts & Disability , Arts & Health , Circus & Carnival Arts , Community Arts , Craft , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

What's On in the Arts Image: What's On in the Arts

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, much of it supported by the Department for Communities and National Lottery funding.

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FESTIVALS

Jaipur Literature Festival: The greatest literature festival returns for 2021 online.  Set to take place virtually between 19-28 February, the 10-day literary event will feature a line-up of speakers from across the world.  Local writer, Paul McVeigh will be in conversation with Scottish writer, Douglas Stuart, discussing his novel, Shuggie Bain, winner of the Booker Prize.  For full programming details visit www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org 

IMBOLC International Arts Festival: The Winter solstice has passed and the return of light signals the coming of spring.  Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin will present their IMBOLC International Arts Festival online with an exciting line-up of events including music, spoken word, workshops, films, poetry, photography & much more.  They have put together a very special virtual festival for 2021 bringing great performances and events to festival audiences and friends in their homes from 5th February to 19th March 2021.  Stay tuned for more exciting announcements at https://www.facebook.com/imbolcfest

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: will present Clár Imbolc, a virtual festival to celebrate the beginning of Spring.  They have a range of virtual events you can enjoy from the comfort of your home, including their Coirnéal an Cheoil music sessions, the reading circle or art tutorials for young people.  Time to put those resolutions into practice, whether that’s returning to Irish classes after a long absence or beginning something new like yoga. Whether young or old, there is something for everyone.  With a varied and multi-art form programme of events, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich is proud to celebrate the Celtic calendar here.  For full details visit https://www.culturlann.ie/en

Belfast Children’s Festival: The Belfast Children’s Festival returns this March with an extended online programme from 5-14 March 2021.  A full programme will be revealed soon at www.youngatart.co.uk

International Women’s Day Festival at The MAC: from 4-11th March, The MAC has a packed programme of events to celebrate.  Their International Women’s Day Festival is a time for debate, education, and celebration and The MAC has an exciting line-up of women taking part online.  Visit https://themaclive.com/international-womens-day-2021

 

MUSIC

BelfastTrad and An Droichead: present Belfast Song Gathering from 12-13 February online.  Events include:

Singing Session with Special Guest Méabh Meir, 12th Feb
Ríoghnach Connolly Singing Workshop, 13th Feb
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh Irish Language Singing Workshop, 13th Feb
Dàibhidh Stiùbhard Illustrated Talk, 13th Feb

For more information visit www.belfasttrad.com

OUTPUT BELFAST: Join OUTPUT Belfast on Zoom on 18th February, 1-6pm, for a half day of conversations around music and the music industry in 2021.  Sessions include discussions into live music, recorded music, composing and song-writing, music and AI, music funding and playlisting on radio.  Discussions will consider where the sector is now and the pathway towards the future of a sustainable and inclusive music industry in Northern Ireland.  For full details and a list of speakers visit www.outputbelfast.com  (Please note this event is not funded through Arts Council).

Live Music Now: Live Music Now provides music sessions for thousands of school children every year and now they have introduced a new series of Facebook Live concerts for schools & families at home every week.  Join them on their Facebook page every Thursday at 2pm for online concerts performed live for early years and key stage 1 aged children.  Concerts last between 35-40mins and each week a different Live Music Now musician will perform a varied programme with opportunities for joining in.  It’s a great opportunity to learn about different instrument and types of music.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/livemusicnow/live/

Live Music Now provides music sessions for thousands of older people every year and now they also are offering free online concerts for older people at home and in residential care homes.  Join them on their Facebook page every Wednesday at 2pm for online concerts performed live for older people. Each week a different Live Music Now musician will perform a varied programme with opportunities for joining in.

Northern Ireland Opera: present, the Rosemary Street Sessions, six short films made in October and November with Northern Ireland Opera's Associate Artists. Northern Ireland Opera will be releasing one each week featuring songs, lieder and opera arias each Tuesday at 8pm over on their YouTube channel.  So far two films are available, soprano Catherine Donnelly performing Philip Martin's arrangement of the WB Yeats poem, 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' and mezzo, Sarah Richmond, performing Franz Schubert's, 'Die Nebensonnen', from his song cycle, 'Winterreise', his setting of poems by Wilhelm Müller. This link takes you to the playlist for the series https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpW0wdBur-HkJLtFzPEVmPWm3v0o-xVI8

Ulster Orchestra: The Ulster Orchestra is delighted to announce the release of a new recording, Our Songs, Our Place, which features nine songs by local songwriters developed through the Orchestra’s Your Song Now project.  With the live music industry thrown into disarray with the Covid-19 restrictions closing venues across the country, musicians have been forced to find new ways to express their creativity. Composer and arranger Paul Campbell approached the Ulster Orchestra in April 2020 with the idea for a project that sought to curate a musical response to the first COVID-19 lockdown.

This became the Your Song Now project, which invited songwriters at any stage of their career to submit a song that spoke to their life and experience of the lockdown. From 69 entries, nine songwriters were selected to work on their songs with mentors Duke Special (2007 Choice Music Prize nominee), Kitt Philippa (NI Music Award Best Album winner in 2020) and Paul Campbell, culminating in this recording, an album that crosses genres and generations, while exploring the common experience of lockdown and how it has changed all our lives.

Our Songs, Our Place is available for purchase digitally from all major online retailers and in CD format from www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk/oursongsourplace at a cost of £10 plus package and postage.

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Belfast poet Michael Longley celebrates BMS's centenary.  Michael Longley, one of Belfast's most cherished and renowned creative artists, has had a lifelong passion for classical music. During his time at the Arts Council, he developed a firm friendship with the then Music Director, Pamela Rogers, who was Chair of BMS for many years and a staunch supporter of the society until her death in 2008.

To mark BMS's centenary this year, Michael has written a beautiful poem in memory of Pamela. Titled 'Key-Changes', it is published in his latest collection, The Candlelight Master, (Cape, 2020). Late last year, Michael kindly agreed to record a reading of the poem, and went on to chat about his love of music and the many memories he has of concerts in Belfast over the years.  To watch the video visit Michael Longley reads 'Key-Changes' - YouTube

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Violinist Michael Trainor explores Bach in a new online series.  Michael Trainor – whom BMS were delighted to present with the Piatti Quartet last October – is bringing in the new year with an exciting series of three online programmes dedicated to JS Bach's solo violin sonatas and partitas.
The series will include guest appearances by other freelance creatives from around Northern Ireland: artist Sharon Adams, dancer Mayte Segura and composer Áine Mallon. There will also be talks on Bach’s life and compositions to accompany each episode.

Michael has been able to put the series together thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Artist Emergency Programme, set up in response to the COVID-19 crisis last spring. Visit J.S. Bach, D minor Partita | Michael Trainor (bandcamp.com) for the first programme, which features Bach's Partita No. 2, BWV 100.

Live from the Ulster Hall: Live from the Ulster Hall is a new, innovative digital event experience, proudly supported by The Arts Council for Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through their Organisations Emergency Programme.  Visit www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com and https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=676917186352325&id=107191574457823

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present a series of concerts in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21.  Visit  www.armaghpipers.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Roe Valley & Cultural Centre: is partnering with the Confucius Institute in Belfast to celebrate Chinese New Year all this week with the following events taking place online,
Wednesday 10th - Colour in your own Chinese Dragon
Thursday 11th - Learn about Animal Kung Fu and Design your own Animal Kung Fu Cartoon Character
Friday 12th - Happy Chinese New Year! Join the Confucius Institute's Chinese New Year online Celebration.

The Centre has a wonderful range of online activities including craft workshops for children, art workshops for adults, art competitions, storytelling, talks and tours.  For more information visit www.roevalleyarts.com (Please note, these activities are not funded by the Arts Council).

Sole Purpose Productions: will be working in partnership with Solace House in New York to deliver an innovative online project which will use theatre techniques to discuss the signs and symptoms of suicide. They will use the Solace House Suicide Prevention Training and the Sole Purpose Productions’ video of the award winning play, ‘Blinkered’, as a starting point to explore the themes. They will develop ‘Scenes of Intervention’ which will dramatize the training and will illustrate how to approach and respond to this difficult subject. The sessions will also include a live online Q&A with the actors and director who will discuss different aspects of mental health in different and diverse communities. Participants will be invited and guided to devise ‘Scenes of Intervention’ under the direction of Patricia Byrne, Artistic Director of Sole Purpose. The sessions will run over five weeks in February and March 2021. This project is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Self-Arranged Residency Scheme.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/Sole-Purpose-Productions-118776918143791

In Your Space Circus: has a series of workshops and classes available online.  Current projects include:

Project 1: Circus Together.  Circus Together an opportunity for groups in the Derry area to come together (via zoom initially) to learn about trust, respect, difference and commonality, all through the medium of circus!

Project 2: Every Day Circus.  IYSC are hosting daily Youth Circus classes in specific skills so participants can pick and choose which disciplines they want to skill up in! This project is also open to new participants.

Project 3: Seedlings Circus Online!  The gang at IYSC have designed a new series of digital classes for your little ones (aged 4-8) to get them up and moving in the morning, and to focus on unwinding and mental wellbeing in the afternoon. New participants welcome!

Visit www.inyourspaceni.org and https://www.facebook.com/inyourspacecircus for further details on all of the above and more.

DU Dance: DU Dance Youth Dance Classes are back for four weeks online.  If you know a young person who loves to dance or wants to try something new in 2021 then look no further.  For details and to book classes visit dudanceni.com

Island Arts Centre: in Lisburn is encouraging young people to send a little sunshine by creating and sending a postcard to brighten someone’s day.  All the instructions to make a postcard can be found at https://islandartscentre.com/news/discover-little-posties-and-stay-connected-in-lockdown

Duncairn: watch back their fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is offering a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained at home.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access.  Arts Care’s new dedicated online arts and well-being workshop resource, ‘Break-Time’, accessed via their website to support the mental, emotional and physical well-being of children and young people through the Arts.  All the videos are built on the ‘5 Steps to Well-being’ themes and key funders include Children in Need at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

This new online programme aims to support parents/teachers/play specialists/carers to engage children and young people in the Arts to support their well-being during Covid-19. New art, music, dance & exercise, drama, creative writing and clown doctor’s CDTV videos will be uploaded regularly and it’s all FREE and will give additional much needed creative support for parents, teachers, healthcare staff, play specialists and carers during this difficult time. Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

 

VISUAL ARTS - please continue to check each gallery’s website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

Belfast Exposed: presents Street View.  Street View provides a multimedia exhibition experience to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is a large digital window display, complimented with audio narratives, that showcases contemporary artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Until 27th February, Street View will present, Tristan Poyser, which features two projects - The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border and Masked: a Portrait of Amazon - by artist Tristan Poyser. The two projects share a commonality, in that they both explore political, cultural and social issues at a time of great uncertainty. In both projects, Poyser engaged with the public to 'encompass their opinions, hopes and desires about their unique socio-political situations. As a collective, their voices amass an account which is representative of precarious times. Each respondent was invited to tear a print in ‘The Invisible In-between’ to make the invisible visible then to share a written comment about their thoughts on Brexit. In a similar manner, a subset of photographs from ‘Masked’ is a series of 130 Amazon employees asked to write and display their introspections.'

Tristan Poyser’s project The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border, which exhibited at Belfast Exposed in 2019, began as a response to the results of the UK’s Brexit referendum. Poyser spent two years travelling and photographing the full length of the 510 km Irish border.

Poyser's most recent project Masked: a Portrait of Amazon, is a series of performative portraits and still life photographs of the 64 face masks and ephemera he was provided with whilst working at Amazon, during the initial Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The photographs are a reflection of his doubts, frustrations, anxieties, the change in identity, the lack of control over lockdown and decisions made.  For more information visit www.belfastexposed.org

Seacourt: Online Relief Printmaking Workshop with Clinton Kirkpatrick
Cost: £35 (online workshop) or £50 (online workshop + materials box)
Suitable For: Beginners. 

Clinton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to facilitate a pre-recorded Lino printing workshop, for you to partake in, from the comfort of your own home. The workshop takes you through 4 steps towards printing your very own Lino print. Perfect if you are looking for some time to escape or learn a new skill in the midst of what has been a tumultuous year. You can stop and start the workshop at your own leisure, offering flexibility to your workshop.

This product also comes with the option of an additional Materials Box, with everything you will need to partake in the hour long workshop. The roller, ink and lino tools can also be used after the workshop, as you continue your printmaking journey. Sign up: https://www.shop.seacourt-ni.org.uk/online-courses

ArtisAnn: ArtisAnn Gallery, on Belfast’s Bloomfield Avenue, celebrates those people who have left their own homes to come to Belfast to make it their home. Artists from across the UK, Ireland and Europe will be showing work that has been inspired by Belfast, the place that is now their home.  This international exhibition features artists Magdalena Blazejewicz (Poland), Wilhelmina Peace Covington (France), Lenka Davidikova (Slovakia), Valerie Giannandrea McKeag (Italy/Scotland) Santa Leimane (Latvia), Jolita Jarutiené (Lithuania), Gary Shaw (Australia), and Anka Sikora (Poland).  This is an exhibition by seven artists who have chosen to make Belfast their home.

Also at ArtisAnn is the exhibition, On the Shoulders of Giants, by Professor Harry McMahon as part of Northern Ireland Science Festival 2021 from Wed 3rd February to Sat 27th February 2021.  This exhibition is presented online and in the gallery (subject to Covid regulations).

On the Shoulders of Giants is a tribute to the pioneers of science such as Leonhard Euler, Dorothy Hodgkin, J.S. Bell and William Campbell.  Each painting celebrates a significant example of humankind’s attempts to bring conceptual order to what might otherwise be seen as an incomprehensible, chaotic world.  The show should be of interest both to art lovers and to those interested in the history of science.

Professor Harry McMahon’s first degree was in physics; his most recent, after he retired, was in Fine and Applied Art.  In “On the Shoulders of Giants”, escaping from his long-term practice in landscape painting, he overlays diagrammatic references to science and mathematics on complex, near-chaotic, painterly backgrounds.  Based on the work of Greek philosophers like Thales and Eratosthenes, mathematicians like Leonhard Euler and William Rowan Hamilton, and 20th and 21st century scientists such as Dorothy Hodgkin, Belfast-born J S Bell and Ramelton-born William Campbell, this is a must-see exhibition for anyone interested in science and art.  Visit https://www.artisann.org/now-on.html

Catalyst Arts: presents Common or Garden
Chris Alton | Jérôme Bel | Bloomers | Emmet Brown | Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books) | Just Books | Aidan Wall | Fiona Woods
Catalyst Arts Gallery, 5 College Court, Belfast, BT16BS

Common or Garden uses the gallery as a space to propose and foster approaches based on the model of the commons in which resources, ideas and knowledge are shared and distributed democratically. By exploring processes of exchange, collaboration and learning, it asks: can we build practices rooted in collectivity?
The exhibition will include works by Chris Alton, Jérôme Bel, Emmet Brown and Aidan Wall. It will also host a zine library, curated by Bloomers, and The Library of Common Knowledge, featuring books donated through an open call which will be open for visitors to use and share throughout.  The associated programme includes contributions from Chris Alton, Bloomers, Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books), Just Books and Fiona Woods and facilitates discussions on topics such as self-publishing, activism, commonist aesthetics and DIY culture.  See https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

VOID: VOID gallery is still continuing to run activities online and their artist educators have planned some great activities for the whole family.

Dragon puppet workshop with Sinead Crumlish
Saturday 13th February, 11am
Join artist facilitator Sinead Crumlish to make your own dragon puppet to celebrate the Chinese New Year!

Filling in the squares - a drawing meditation for beginners with Stephanie Gaumond
Saturday 20th February, 11am
Tap into your creative mind and practice deep breathing with short mindfulness drawing meditations that allow you to to take a break and relieve stress.  No fancy supplies are needed - just paper and a pen. It’s easy for beginners and fun for experienced artists. These sessions are devised so that they can be accessed at any time – during a break from school work, first thing in the morning as part of a mindfulness practice, or in the evening time with the whole family.

Blind Drawing workshop with Zoe McSparron
Saturday 27th February, 11am
Learn to explore your own environment through Blind Drawing.

Art Packs - Make your own kaleidoscope!
Available while stocks last.  This activity allows you to make your own kaleidoscope from some simple materials. We have 30 packs available so send an email with your name and address to get yours! Email hello@derryvoid.com today to order yours.

Once uploaded, all the workshops are on VOID’s Vimeo channel so you can go back and forth to them as many times as you would like.  Find it on our website www.derryvoid.com on Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid and Vimeo www.vimeo.com/derryvoid/

Craft NI: Visit http://www.craftni.org/ for updates.

The MAC: has a series of new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.

The MAC Art at Home: Unlock your imagination with The MAC’s Art at Home activity pack.  The MAC has teamed up with six local artists to create their Art at Home activity pack to help lift your spirits and spark some creativity.  Free to download, these sheets are for anyone to enjoy, whether you are looking for inspiration for home-schooling, would enjoy time out to yourself, or some fun with your family or maybe even your pet.  Designed to enjoy at home, or in a place you call home for now, tucked up in bed or maybe in the great outdoors. Some of the sheets you can work on straightaway, others like the colouring-in are best printed.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates.

The MAC also present, HOME - Noli Timere, a series of short films as a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As announced in the summer, HOME - Noli Timere, has worked to collate the photos, videos, lyrics and literature which have inspired hope in lockdown life. Translated as, ‘don’t be afraid’, Noli Timere was the final text sent by Seamus Heaney to his wife, Marie. The sentiment is equally powerful and appropriate in the context of the current pandemic. Submitted to the project by members of the public and artists alike, these artistic responses to the ongoing pandemic have been transformed into a series of short films that we have released as Facebook and YouTube premieres.  For links to the films visit www.themaclive.com

Golden Thread Gallery: is offering fun online workshops with artist and volunteer, Sophie Daly.  Current workshops includes:

Littler Plastic Family: make your very own little version of your family out of plastic bottles. Plastic is a really difficult thing to recycle, but it is also something that is super hard to avoid using. Let’s have a look at upcycling them instead! Each member of your family probably has their own personal empty bottles lying around, it could be shaving foam, makeup, your baby brother’s ear medicine, anything at all. They will be sure to love their own little Mini-Mes!  Children will also have a little chat about how recycling plastic works. Have fun!  Available online until 6th March.

To access the workshops and keep up to date with new ones visit www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop:  has three online workshops available online by three of their members as part of Belfast's Festival of Learning's online festival. The workshops are supported by Belfast Learning City. Each workshop is suitable for a different level but all are possible to practice at home, with some equipment required.  Workshops include:

Printing from a Suitcase and Hand Monoprinting by Josephine McCormick
Printing with Card and a Variety of Household Materials by Coby Moore
Cyanotype Print Tutorial by Jonathan Brennan

There workshops remain online for anyone to access.  For full details visit https://www.bpw.org.uk/

CCA: Put on your headphones and join artist Jan Uprichard on a self-directed smell walk to explore your surroundings with your nose.  Download the podcast from Anchor, Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts or stream directly from CCA's website.  Available until 21st February. 

For CCA during lockdown, Jan has created OlfactoStroll, a smell walk for the city of Derry~Londonderry. If you're not here though, you can still listen to the audio anywhere in the world or around your own home to create your own OlfactoStroll. Both walking and smell have taken on added importance during the pandemic. This guided walk offers a different way to experience familiar surroundings guided by a series of prompts from the artist. The podcast/guided walk is accompanied by a series of Deep Smelling protocols which are visible through their gallery windows and at various spots around the city.

Jan is an artist and freelance curator/producer based in Belfast. She is currently a PhD researcher at Ulster University. OlfactoStroll is grounded in Jan’s PhD research, in which she is developing a method of Deep Smelling. Deep Smelling is a meditative, experiential and process-based art practice, which brings our attention to our sense of smell.

As an artist and researcher Jan works with smell as a device to re-programme how we perceive our surroundings, whilst themes of friendship fuel her curatorial practice. Jan’s art practice oscillates between participatory events and obsessive research, using smell, walking, archives, mapping, food, sound, film, bookmaking, botany, and interventions as tools.

Jan’s hope, as we negotiate the pandemic and try to figure out what a ‘new normal’ could be, is that we take the opportunity to maintain a slower pace. That we will reflect on our experiences with a quiet activism, that utilises taking time to do nothing but wander around, and in this case, notice what we can smell and sense around us.
If you do not have a device with the ability to play podcasts, email info@cca-derry-londonderry.org  to arrange use of an iPod.  #olfactostroll  Visit https://cca-derry-londonderry.org/public-programme/olfactostroll/

 

FILM, LITERATURE & DRAMA

Big Telly: Following on from the success of their first cookalong, ‘Recipe for DIsaster - Cheese Souffle’, the team is back with a brand-new recipe and a brand new disaster!  ‘Recipe for Disaster - BAKED ALASKA’ promises carnage, culinary delights and cheese (in both the food and music form).

The exact opposite of a quiet night in, you are cordially invited to another extraordinary DIY wedding on ZOOM, catered by top class chef and High Sheriff, Paula McIntyre (MBE).  Part show, part cookery class, once the meals are served and the speeches are said everyone can chill out on the dance floor, eighties style.  This might be the worst wedding in the world, but the best night in. Theatre, you can eat!

Tickets: Priced at £10 per device. Age 11+. ‘Guests’ receive full list of ingredients and prep instructions ahead of time so they can enter the call, full information available at www.big-telly.com

Kabosh: Kabosh theatre company presents, Before You Go, by Laurence McKeown and directed by Paula McFetridge with James Doran, Lisa Duffy and Eimear Fearon.  A new play about the fragility of love, Sorcha O’Hagan is leaving for Australia. Her bags are packed. Only an overdue conversation with her father remains. Before she goes.  Presented online from 2nd to 4th March 2021 and is suitable for ages 14+.  Tuesday - 7.30pm, Wednesday 1pm, Thursday 7.30pm (with post show discussion).

This event will be streamed online. During the week of the shows, you will be sent a link to access the stream from the comfort of your own home. Only one ticket is needed per screen.  Book your tickets at https://kabosh.net/production/before-you-go/

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: Former US Poet Laureate opens ‘In Conversation’ series from Seamus Heaney HomePlace .  Tracy K Smith, United States Poet Laureate (2017-2019), is to open a new virtual ‘in conversation’ programme at Seamus Heaney HomePlace this month (from 22 February) which features Pulitzer Prize winners and three Booker longlisted authors.  Taught by Seamus Heaney at Harvard, the Pulitzer prize-winner and author of four acclaimed collections, will be discussing her work with Daljit Nagra, poet in residence at BBC Radio 4, in the first of six online events.

‘For air and friendly talk’- a series featuring writers in conversation, a title which takes its inspiration from the poem ‘Twice Shy’ where Seamus Heaney recalls a riverside walk with his wife Marie in the early stages of their courtship, will also feature some of Ireland’s foremost novelists, Colum McCann, Donal Ryan and Kevin Barry along with writer Cathy Rentzenbrink and another Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Paul Muldoon.  Leading the discussions will be the journalist and writer John Self, writer Jan Carson, broadcaster John Kelly, Emma Warnock and Paula Shields.

Please note, each individual event will be available for a limited time only and T&Cs apply. Visit: http://seamusheaneyhome.com/ for further information. (Please note this event is not funded through the Arts Council). 

Fighting Words NI: Fighting Words is asking young authors aged 7-12 to send them stories about animals.  In this celebration of creativity, ALL the stories will be published on the Fighting Words website and several of the stories will be animated by their team of volunteers!  There are so many ways to tell your story! Here are some questions to think about and help you get started:

Is the animal a pet, a wild animal or a fantastical creature?
Where does this animal live? Who does the animal live with?
Does the animal have any magic powers?
What journey or adventure will the animal go on?
Does the animal have any friends?
What is the animal’s greatest wish or greatest fear?

You can send a story, a poem, a comic, an illustration or a song!  The stories will be published on the Fighting Words website in April 2021.

Opening date for submissions: Tuesday, 26 January 2021
Closing date for submissions: Friday, 19 February 2021

Visit the website for more details https://www.fightingwords.ie/animalproject

Strand Arts Centre: With its latest temporary closure due to lockdown restrictions, Strand Arts Centre has teamed up with film distributor Dogwoof to begin virtual screenings.  The first film on offer is resonant new documentary MLK/FBI, uncovering the extent of the FBI's surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government's history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals.

Featuring interviews with key cultural figures including former FBI Director James Comey and directed by Emmy® Award-winner and Oscar®-nominee Sam Pollard, MLK/FBI tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment.

MLK/FBI is available to view from now at www.strandartscentre.com

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 3rd February 2021 at 12pm 0 Comments Circus & Carnival Arts , Community Arts , Craft , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

What's On in the Arts Image: What's On in the Arts

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, all supported by the Department for Communities and National Lottery funding.

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FESTIVALS

WANDA: is an annual feminism & moving image event that began in January 2017 and returns from 4-7 February online covering four key areas: Industry Figures Today, The Feminist Archive, Global Lives and New Cinema.

This year WANDA opens with a conversation with Ita O'Brien, pioneer intimacy coordinator on productions like Normal People, I May Destroy You, Industry and It's A Sin. She is revolutionising the way intimate scenes are created by actors and filmmakers on set by ensuring conditions conducive to informed consent.

For 2021 they’re focusing on Dance on Film. As the pandemic has closed theatres and other performance spaces, choreographers and dancers are turning to the camera as a way to make work and reach audiences. WANDA will look at practitioners today with a panel discussion and a programme of recent work, including some made during lockdown, but also expanding this to reflect the long and rich history of dance on screen and its feminist connections with a Maya Deren Double Bill and a screening of Yvonne Rainer's Kristina Talking Pictures. As well as this they have films from two award-winning filmmakers working today who use dance within their work, Onyeka Igwe and Mairéad McClean.

They also have two fantastic documentaries in the programme. Arena: Putting Ourselves in the Picture is a fascinating 1987 film about the English artist Jo Spence, and Purple Sea is a poetic but hard-hitting work from 2019 shot on a waterproof wrist camera when the filmmaker was stranded in the sea with fellow passengers of a capsized boat as they made their way from Syria to Europe.  As well as this there will be an industry discussion around job sharing in film and television between Raising Films and Northern Ireland Screen.

Their closing film is the Northern Irish premiere of Lingua Franca, a critically acclaimed film about immigration, identity and class struggles in Trump's America. To finish the festival, Dublin-based musician FEARS is bringing us a Zoom Dance Party to raise money for Women's Aid.  Head over to their website to see the full programme of events www.wandabelfast.com

Jaipur Literature Festival: The greatest literature festival returns for 2021 online.  Set to take place virtually between 19-28 February, the 10-day literary event will feature a line-up of speakers from across the world.  Local writer, Paul McVeigh will be in conversation with Scottish writer, Douglas Stuart, discussing his novel, Shuggie Bain, winner of the Booker Prize.  For full programming details visit www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org 

IMBOLC International Arts Festival: The Winter solstice has passed and the return of light signals the coming of spring.  Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin will present their IMBOLC International Arts Festival online with an exciting line-up of events including music, spoken word, workshops, films, poetry, photography & much more.  They have put together a very special virtual festival for 2021 bringing great performances and events to festival audiences and friends in their homes from 5th February to 19th March 2021.  Stay tuned for more exciting announcements at Imbolc International Arts Festival | Facebook

The Remembering Bunting Festival: will be held from 5 – 7th February bringing you an amazing line up of online events and musical performances to be enjoyed worldwide.  Edward Bunting was a historical musical figure born in Co. Armagh Northern Ireland and began formal music studies in Drogheda at the young age of seven. By age eleven, he became organist apprentice at St. Anne’s church in Belfast whilst residing at the home of the famous Belfast McCracken family. At age nineteen, with the shared interests and support of siblings, Mary Ann and Henry Joy McCracken, he was hired to transcribe the music presented at the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792. From 1817 -1819, Edward was the church organist at St. George’s Church, High Street, Belfast.

In addition to organising a second festival in 1813, Bunting went on to become a prolific collector of traditional songs and tunes. His three volumes of the Ancient Music of Ireland, were published in 1796, 1809 and 1840 respectively. Lost for many years, these collective works of approximately 250 items have preserved precious history and heritage in addition to invaluable clues and commentary that would reveal the living art practices and perceptions of the day. Bequeathed to Queen’s University, Belfast in 1916, by his grandchildren through Charlotte Milligan Fox, Secretary of the Irish Folk Song Society, his contribution to traditional music cannot be understated and his story, our story, continues to live on through the music of today both knowingly and unknowingly!  For programme details please visit:

Twitter: @CeolBuntingFest
Facebook: @RememberingBuntingFestival
Website: www.rememberingbuntingfestival.com

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: will present Clár Imbolc, a virtual festival to celebrate the beginning of Spring.  They have a range of virtual events you can enjoy from the comfort of your home, including their Coirnéal an Cheoil music sessions, the reading circle or art tutorials for young people.  Time to put those resolutions into practice, whether that’s returning to Irish classes after a long absence or beginning something new like yoga. Whether young or old, there is something for everyone.  With a varied and multi-art form programme of events, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich is proud to celebrate the Celtic calendar here. They have St. Brigid’s Cross workshops to officially welcome the Spring, along with a concert guaranteeing the best in traditional music on Friday 5th February and also a two day intensive language course, among many other activities.  For full details visit Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich | Béal Feirste | Baile (culturlann.ie)

Belfast Children’s Festival: The Belfast Children’s Festival returns this March with an extended online programme from 5-14 March 2021.  A full programme will be revealed soon at www.youngatart.co.uk

 

MUSIC

Live Music Now: Live Music Now provides music sessions for thousands of school children every year and now they have introduced a new series of Facebook Live concerts for schools & families at home every week.  Join them on their Facebook page every Thursday at 2pm for online concerts performed live for early years and key stage 1 aged children.  Concerts last between 35-40mins and each week a different Live Music Now musician will perform a varied programme with opportunities for joining in.  It’s a great opportunity to learn about different instrument and types of music.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/livemusicnow/live/

Live Music Now provides music sessions for thousands of older people every year and now they also are offering free online concerts for older people at home and in residential care homes.  Join them on their Facebook page every Wednesday at 2pm for online concerts performed live for older people. Each week a different Live Music Now musician will perform a varied programme with opportunities for joining in.

Northern Ireland Opera: present, the Rosemary Street Sessions, six short films made in October and November with Northern Ireland Opera's Associate Artists. Northern Ireland Opera will be releasing one each week featuring songs, lieder and opera arias each Tuesday at 8pm over on their YouTube channel.  So far two films are available, soprano Catherine Donnelly performing Philip Martin's arrangement of the WB Yeats poem, 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' and mezzo, Sarah Richmond, performing Franz Schubert's, 'Die Nebensonnen', from his song cycle, 'Winterreise', his setting of poems by Wilhelm Müller. This link takes you to the playlist for the series https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpW0wdBur-HkJLtFzPEVmPWm3v0o-xVI8

Ulster Orchestra: The Ulster Orchestra is delighted to announce the release of a new recording, Our Songs, Our Place, which features nine songs by local songwriters developed through the Orchestra’s Your Song Now project.  With the live music industry thrown into disarray with the Covid-19 restrictions closing venues across the country, musicians have been forced to find new ways to express their creativity. Composer and arranger Paul Campbell approached the Ulster Orchestra in April 2020 with the idea for a project that sought to curate a musical response to the first COVID-19 lockdown.

This became the Your Song Now project, which invited songwriters at any stage of their career to submit a song that spoke to their life and experience of the lockdown. From 69 entries, nine songwriters were selected to work on their songs with mentors Duke Special (2007 Choice Music Prize nominee), Kitt Philippa (NI Music Award Best Album winner in 2020) and Paul Campbell, culminating in this recording, an album that crosses genres and generations, while exploring the common experience of lockdown and how it has changed all our lives.

Our Songs, Our Place is available for purchase digitally from all major online retailers and in CD format from www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk/oursongsourplace at a cost of £10 plus package and postage.

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Belfast poet Michael Longley celebrates BMS's centenary.  Michael Longley, one of Belfast's most cherished and renowned creative artists, has had a lifelong passion for classical music. During his time at the Arts Council, he developed a firm friendship with the then Music Director, Pamela Rogers, who was Chair of BMS for many years and a staunch supporter of the society until her death in 2008.

To mark BMS's centenary this year, Michael has written a beautiful poem in memory of Pamela. Titled 'Key-Changes', it is published in his latest collection, The Candlelight Master, (Cape, 2020). Late last year, Michael kindly agreed to record a reading of the poem, and went on to chat about his love of music and the many memories he has of concerts in Belfast over the years.  To watch the video visit (3) Michael Longley reads 'Key-Changes' - YouTube

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Violinist Michael Trainor explores Bach
in a new online series.  Michael Trainor – whom BMS were delighted to present with the Piatti Quartet last October – is bringing in the new year with an exciting series of three online programmes dedicated to JS Bach's solo violin sonatas and partitas.

The series will include guest appearances by other freelance creatives from around Northern Ireland: artist Sharon Adams, dancer Mayte Segura and composer Áine Mallon. There will also be talks on Bach’s life and compositions to accompany each episode.

Michael has been able to put the series together thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Artist Emergency Programme, set up in response to the COVID-19 crisis last spring. Visit J.S. Bach, D minor Partita | Michael Trainor (bandcamp.com) for the first programme, which features Bach's Partita No. 2, BWV 100.

Live from the Ulster Hall: Live from the Ulster Hall is a new, innovative digital event experience, proudly supported by The Arts Council for Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through their Organisations Emergency Programme.  Visit www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com and https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=676917186352325&id=107191574457823

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present a series of concerts in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21.  Visit  www.armaghpipers.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

In Your Space Circus: has a series of workshops and classes available online.  Current projects include:

Project 1: Circus Together.  Circus Together an opportunity for groups in the Derry area to come together (via zoom initially) to learn about trust, respect, difference and commonality, all through the medium of circus!

Project 2: Every Day Circus.  IYSC are hosting daily Youth Circus classes in specific skills so participants can pick and choose which disciplines they want to skill up in! This project is also open to new participants.

Project 3: Seedlings Circus Online!  The gang at IYSC have designed a new series of digital classes for your little ones (aged 4-8) to get them up and moving in the morning, and to focus on unwinding and mental wellbeing in the afternoon. New participants welcome!

Visit www.inyourspaceni.org and www.facebook.com/inyourspacecircus for further details on all of the above and more.

DU Dance: DU Dance Youth Dance Classes are back for four weeks online.  If you know a young person who loves to dance or wants to try something new in 2021 then look no further.  For details and to book classes visit dudanceni.com

Island Arts Centre: in Lisburn is encouraging young people to send a little sunshine by creating and sending a postcard to brighten someone’s day.  All the instructions to make a postcard can be found at https://islandartscentre.com/news/discover-little-posties-and-stay-connected-in-lockdown

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is offering a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained at home.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care:  Arts Care’s new dedicated online arts and well-being workshop resource, ‘Break-Time’, accessed via their website to support the mental, emotional and physical well-being of children and young people through the Arts.  All the videos are built on the ‘5 Steps to Well-being’ themes and key funders include Children in Need at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

This new online programme aims to support parents/teachers/play specialists/carers to engage children and young people in the Arts to support their well-being during Covid-19. New art, music, dance & exercise, drama, creative writing and clowndoctor’s CDTV videos will be uploaded regularly and it’s all FREE and will give additional much needed creative support for parents, teachers, healthcare staff, play specialists and carers during this difficult time http://www.artscare.co.uk/

 

VISUAL ARTS - please continue to check each gallery’s website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

Belfast Exposed: presents Street View.  Street View provides a multimedia exhibition experience to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is a large digital window display, complimented with audio narratives, that showcases contemporary artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Until 27th February, Street View will present, Tristan Poyser, which features two projects - The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border and Masked: a Portrait of Amazon - by artist Tristan Poyser. The two projects share a commonality, in that they both explore political, cultural and social issues at a time of great uncertainty. In both projects, Poyser engaged with the public to 'encompass their opinions, hopes and desires about their unique socio-political situations. As a collective, their voices amass an account which is representative of precarious times. Each respondent was invited to tear a print in ‘The Invisible In-between’ to make the invisible visible then to share a written comment about their thoughts on Brexit. In a similar manner, a subset of photographs from ‘Masked’ is a series of 130 Amazon employees asked to write and display their introspections.'

Tristan Poyser’s project The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border, which exhibited at Belfast Exposed in 2019, began as a response to the results of the UK’s Brexit referendum. Poyser spent two years travelling and photographing the full length of the 510 km Irish border.

Poyser's most recent project Masked: a Portrait of Amazon, is a series of performative portraits and still life photographs of the 64 face masks and ephemera he was provided with whilst working at Amazon, during the initial Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The photographs are a reflection of his doubts, frustrations, anxieties, the change in identity, the lack of control over lockdown and decisions made.  For more information visit www.belfastexposed.org

Source Photographic Review: is celebrating their new issue - Issue 103 - ’Life Stories’ - with an ONLINE LAUNCH on Thursday 4th February 6.30pm GMT via Zoom. Free to attend and all are welcome. Featuring special live interviews between editor Richard West, featured photographer Nik Roche and regular contributor Dr Annebella Pollen, with Q&A opportunities. In association with Gallery of Photography Ireland. Booking required. All details and registration available at this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/450589515939442/

Seacourt: Online Relief Printmaking Workshop with Clinton Kirkpatrick
Cost: £35 (online workshop) or £50 (online workshop + materials box)
Suitable For: Beginners

Clinton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to facilitate a pre-recorded Lino printing workshop, for you to partake in, from the comfort of your own home. The workshop takes you through 4 steps towards printing your very own Lino print. Perfect if you are looking for some time to escape or learn a new skill in the midst of what has been a tumultuous year. You can stop and start the workshop at your own leisure, offering flexibility to your workshop.

This product also comes with the option of an additional Materials Box, with everything you will need to partake in the hour long workshop. The roller, ink and lino tools can also be used after the workshop, as you continue your printmaking journey. Sign up: https://www.shop.seacourt-ni.org.uk/online-courses

ArtisAnn: Throughout January the ArtisAnn Gallery, on Belfast’s Bloomfield Avenue, celebrates those people who have left their own homes to come to Belfast to make it their home. Artists from across the UK, Ireland and Europe will be showing work that has been inspired by Belfast, the place that is now their home.  This international exhibition features artists Magdalena Blazejewicz (Poland), Wilhelmina Peace Covington (France), Lenka Davidikova (Slovakia), Valerie Giannandrea McKeag (Italy/Scotland) Santa Leimane (Latvia), Jolita Jarutiené (Lithuania), Gary Shaw (Australia), and Anka Sikora (Poland).  This is an exhibition by seven artists who have chosen to make Belfast their home.

Also at ArtisAnn is the exhibition, On the Shoulders of Giants, by Professor Harry McMahon as part of Northern Ireland Science Festival 2021 from Wed 3rd February to Sat 27th February 2021.  This exhibition is presented online and in the gallery (subject to Covid regulations).

On the Shoulders of Giants is a tribute to the pioneers of science such as Leonhard Euler, Dorothy Hodgkin, J.S. Bell and William Campbell.  Each painting celebrates a significant example of humankind’s attempts to bring conceptual order to what might otherwise be seen as an incomprehensible, chaotic world.  The show should be of interest both to art lovers and to those interested in the history of science.

Professor Harry McMahon’s first degree was in physics; his most recent, after he retired, was in Fine and Applied Art.  In “On the Shoulders of Giants”, escaping from his long-term practice in landscape painting, he overlays diagrammatic references to science and mathematics on complex, near-chaotic, painterly backgrounds.  Based on the work of Greek philosophers like Thales and Eratosthenes, mathematicians like Leonhard Euler and William Rowan Hamilton, and 20th and 21st century scientists such as Dorothy Hodgkin, Belfast-born J S Bell and Ramelton-born William Campbell, this is a must-see exhibition for anyone interested in science and art.  Visit https://www.artisann.org/now-on.html

CCA: in Derry-Londonderry are pleased to welcome you back to CCA with Jan McCullough’s Tricks of the Trade, a solo exhibition that explores spaces of construction through sculptural installation.  The works installed across CCA’s galleries reference elements found in spaces such as workshops, garages, factory floors and sheds – that the artist has encountered and photographed over the last decade.  Read more about the exhibition at CCA Derry~Londonderry | Jan McCullough (cca-derry-londonderry.org)

Catalyst Arts: presents Common or Garden

Chris Alton | Jérôme Bel | Bloomers | Emmet Brown | Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books) | Just Books | Aidan Wall | Fiona Woods

Catalyst Arts Gallery, 5 College Court, Belfast, BT16BS

Common or Garden uses the gallery as a space to propose and foster approaches based on the model of the commons in which resources, ideas and knowledge are shared and distributed democratically. By exploring processes of exchange, collaboration and learning, it asks: can we build practices rooted in collectivity?

The exhibition will include works by Chris Alton, Jérôme Bel, Emmet Brown and Aidan Wall. It will also host a zine library, curated by Bloomers, and The Library of Common Knowledge, featuring books donated through an open call which will be open for visitors to use and share throughout.  The associated programme includes contributions from Chris Alton, Bloomers, Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books), Just Books and Fiona Woods and facilitates discussions on topics such as self-publishing, activism, commonist aesthetics and DIY culture.  See https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

VOID: VOID gallery is still continuing to run activities online and their artist educators have planned some great activities for the whole family. They will be updating their social media pages with workshops regularly over the coming weeks so make sure you are signed up to get access!

Make you own kaleidoscope
This activity allows you to make your own kaleidoscope from some simple materials. We have 30 packs available so send an email with your name and address to get yours! Email hello@derryvoid.com

Blind drawing with Zoe McSparron
Explore your own environment through Blind Drawing on Saturday 27th February at 11am.

Mindful drawing with Stephanie Gaumond
Tap into your creative mind and practice deep breathing with short mindfulness drawing meditations that allow you to to take a break and relieve stress.  No fancy supplies are needed - just paper and a pen. It’s easy for beginners and fun for experienced artists. These sessions are devised so that they can be accessed at any time – during a break from school work, first thing in the morning as part of a mindfulness practice, or in the evening time with the whole family.

Filling the Squares- a drawing meditation for beginners
20th February, 11am
Dragon Puppet Workshop
Join artist Sinead Crumlish to make your own dragon to celebrate Chinese New Year on Saturday 13th February at 11am.

Once uploaded, all the workshops are on VOID’s Vimeo channel so you can go back and forth to them as many times as you would like.  Find it on our website www.derryvoid.com on Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid and Vimeo www.vimeo.com/derryvoid/

Craft NI: Visit http://www.craftni.org/ for updates.

The MAC: has a series of new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.

The MAC Art at Home: Unlock your imagination with The MAC’s Art at Home activity pack.  The MAC has teamed up with six local artists to create their Art at Home activity pack to help lift your spirits and spark some creativity.  Free to download, these sheets are for anyone to enjoy, whether you are looking for inspiration for home-schooling, would enjoy time out to yourself, or some fun with your family or maybe even your pet.  Designed to enjoy at home, or in a place you call home for now, tucked up in bed or maybe in the great outdoors. Some of the sheets you can work on straightaway, others like the colouring-in are best printed.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates.

The MAC also present, HOME - Noli Timere, a series of short films as a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As announced in the summer, HOME - Noli Timere, has worked to collate the photos, videos, lyrics and literature which have inspired hope in lockdown life. Translated as, ‘don’t be afraid’, Noli Timere was the final text sent by Seamus Heaney to his wife, Marie. The sentiment is equally powerful and appropriate in the context of the current pandemic. Submitted to the project by members of the public and artists alike, these artistic responses to the ongoing pandemic have been transformed into a series of short films that we have released as Facebook and YouTube premieres.  For links to the films visit www.themaclive.com

Golden Thread Gallery: is offering fun online workshops with artist and volunteer, Sophie Daly.  Current workshops includes:

Mini Chest of Drawers: this workshop will show you how to make your own miniature chest of drawers out of a cardboard box.  The most fun part of making your own mini furniture is painting it however you please – this week’s theme looks at what makes us happy. Available online until 9th February.

Littler Plastic Family: make your very own little version of your family out of plastic bottles. Plastic is a really difficult thing to recycle, but it is also something that is super hard to avoid using. Let’s have a look at upcycling them instead! Each member of your family probably has their own personal empty bottles lying around, it could be shaving foam, makeup, your baby brother’s ear medicine, anything at all. They will be sure to love their own little Mini-Mes!  Children will also have a little chat about how recycling plastic works. Have fun!  Available online until 6th March.

To access the workshops and keep up to date with new ones visit www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop: is launching three online workshops this week by three of their members as part of Belfast's Festival of Learning's online festival. The workshops are supported by Belfast Learning City. Each workshop is suitable for a different level but all are possible to practice at home, with some equipment required.  Workshops include:
1. Printing from a Suitcase and Hand Monoprinting by Josephine McCormick
2. Printing with Card and a Variety of Household Materials by Coby Moore
3. Cyanotype Print Tutorial by Jonathan Brennan

The projects will be launched Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week at 10.30am on all of their social media platforms:
• @belfastprintworkshop Instagram
• @BPW_studio on Twitter
• @BelfastPrintWorkshop on Facebook

Once launched, these workshops will remain online for anyone to access.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

 

FILM, LITERATURE & DRAMA

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: Former US Poet Laureate opens ‘In Conversation’ series from Seamus Heaney HomePlace .  Tracy K Smith, United States Poet Laureate (2017-2019), is to open a new virtual ‘in conversation’ programme at Seamus Heaney HomePlace this month (from 22 February) which features Pulitzer Prize winners and three Booker longlisted authors.  Taught by Seamus Heaney at Harvard, the Pulitzer prize-winner and author of four acclaimed collections, will be discussing her work with Daljit Nagra, poet in residence at BBC Radio 4, in the first of six online events.

‘For air and friendly talk’- a series featuring writers in conversation, a title which takes its inspiration from the poem ‘Twice Shy’ where Seamus Heaney recalls a riverside walk with his wife Marie in the early stages of their courtship, will also feature some of Ireland’s foremost novelists, Colum McCann, Donal Ryan and Kevin Barry along with writer Cathy Rentzenbrink and another Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Paul Muldoon.  Leading the discussions will be the journalist and writer John Self, writer Jan Carson, broadcaster John Kelly, Emma Warnock and Paula Shields.

Please note, each individual event will be available for a limited time only and T&Cs apply. Visit: http://seamusheaneyhome.com/ for further information. (Please note this event is not funded through the Arts Council). 

Fighting Words NI: Fighting Words is asking young authors aged 7-12 to send them stories about animals.  In this celebration of creativity, ALL the stories will be published on the Fighting Words website and several of the stories will be animated by their team of volunteers!  There are so many ways to tell your story! Here are some questions to think about and help you get started:


• Is the animal a pet, a wild animal or a fantastical creature?
• Where does this animal live? Who does the animal live with?
• Does the animal have any magic powers?
• What journey or adventure will the animal go on?
• Does the animal have any friends?
• What is the animal’s greatest wish or greatest fear?

You can send a story, a poem, a comic, an illustration or a song!  The stories will be published on the Fighting Words website in April 2021.
Opening date for submissions: Tuesday, 26 January 2021
Closing date for submissions: Friday, 19 February 2021

Visit the website for more details https://www.fightingwords.ie/animalproject

Tinderbox: Due to new lockdown restrictions, Tinderbox has radically re-directed their Creativity in Motion tour to a series of online creative workshops and online performances called E-Motion 21 to help and entertain during periods of isolation.  The E-Motion project aims to offer creative programmes as tools to develop a sense of play as well as invite audiences to engage with performances specifically created in this current lockdown. Two essential components to the E-Motion programme is their Creative Bubble workshops and performance Bubbles of online comedy performances throughout January 2021.

Creative Bubble Workshops: From 11th January to 5th February 2021, Tinderbox will deliver a variety of online workshops for artists and participants to use creativity as a source of inspiration and well-being during the lockdown. The content for the workshops range from dance, creative writing, music, physical theatre, mental health and laughter yoga and will be delivered by professional facilitators. These workshops will operate on a Pay-What-You-Can initiative to ensure as much accessibility and engagement as possible.

Performances Bubbles: Every week from the 15th January to 5th February 2021, Tinderbox will premiere on social media platforms and our YouTube channel a collection of Burlesque and satirical vignette films based on four characters who are discovering the meaning of life during the 6 week Covid-19 lockdown.

For full details visit https://www.facebook.com/tinderboxtheatre

Strand Arts Centre: With its latest temporary closure due to lockdown restrictions, Strand Arts Centre has teamed up with film distributor Dogwoof to begin virtual screenings.  The first film on offer is resonant new documentary MLK/FBI, uncovering the extent of the FBI's surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government's history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals.

Featuring interviews with key cultural figures including former FBI Director James Comey and directed by Emmy® Award-winner and Oscar®-nominee Sam Pollard, MLK/FBI tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment. MLK/FBI is available to view from now at www.strandartscentre.com

 

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 12pm 48 Comments Building Peace through the Arts: Re-Imaging Communities , Circus & Carnival Arts , Comedy , Community Arts , Craft , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

What's On in the Arts Image: What's On in the Arts

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

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FILM, LITERATURE & DRAMA

Big Telly Theatre Company: presents A Recipe For Disaster, a piece of online cookalong theatre opening next week on 29th and 30th January.  Tickets cost £10 per device.  Contact Linda@big-telly.com to book your tickets.

Tinderbox: Due to new lockdown restrictions, Tinderbox has radically re-directed their Creativity in Motion tour to a series of online creative workshops and online performances called E-Motion 21 to help and entertain during periods of isolation.  The E-Motion project aims to offer creative programmes as tools to develop a sense of play as well as invite audiences to engage with performances specifically created in this current lockdown. Two essential components to the E-Motion programme is their Creative Bubble workshops and performance Bubbles of online comedy performances throughout January 2021.

Creative Bubble Workshops: From 11th January to 5th February 2021, Tinderbox will deliver a variety of online workshops for artists and participants to use creativity as a source of inspiration and well-being during the lockdown. The content for the workshops range from dance, creative writing, music, physical theatre, mental health and laughter yoga and will be delivered by professional facilitators. These workshops will operate on a Pay-What-You-Can initiative to ensure as much accessibility and engagement as possible.

Performances Bubbles: Every week from the 15th January to 5th February 2021, Tinderbox will premiere on social media platforms and our YouTube channel a collection of Burlesque and satirical vignette films based on four characters who are discovering the meaning of life during the 6 week Covid-19 lockdown.

For full details visit Tinderbox Theatre Company | Facebook

Strand Arts Centre: With its latest temporary closure due to lockdown restrictions, Strand Arts Centre has teamed up with film distributor Dogwoof to begin virtual screenings.  The first film on offer is resonant new documentary MLK/FBI, uncovering the extent of the FBI's surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government's history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals.

Featuring interviews with key cultural figures including former FBI Director James Comey and directed by Emmy® Award-winner and Oscar®-nominee Sam Pollard, MLK/FBI tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment.

MLK/FBI is available to view from now at www.strandartscentre.com

 

FESTIVALS

IMBOLC International Arts Festival: The Winter solstice has passed and the return of light signals the coming of spring.  Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin will present their IMBOLC International Arts Festival online with an exciting line-up of events including music, spoken word, workshops, films, poetry, photography & much more.  They have put together a very special virtual festival for 2021 bringing great performances and events to festival audiences and friends in their homes from 5th February to 19th March 2021.  Stay tuned for more exciting announcements at Imbolc International Arts Festival | Facebook

The Remembering Bunting Festival: will be held from 5 – 7th February bringing you an amazing line up of online events and musical performances to be enjoyed worldwide.

Edward Bunting was a historical musical figure born in Co. Armagh Northern Ireland and began formal music studies in Drogheda at the young age of seven. By age eleven, he became organist apprentice at St. Anne’s church in Belfast whilst residing at the home of the famous Belfast McCracken family. At age nineteen, with the shared interests and support of siblings, Mary Ann and Henry Joy McCracken, he was hired to transcribe the music presented at the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792. From 1817 -1819, Edward was the church organist at St. George’s Church, High Street, Belfast.
In addition to organising a second festival in 1813, Bunting went on to become a prolific collector of traditional songs and tunes. His three volumes of the Ancient Music of Ireland, were published in 1796, 1809 and 1840 respectively. Lost for many years, these collective works of approximately 250 items have preserved precious history and heritage in addition to invaluable clues and commentary that would reveal the living art practices and perceptions of the day. Bequeathed to Queen’s University, Belfast in 1916, by his grandchildren through Charlotte Milligan Fox, Secretary of the Irish Folk Song Society, his contribution to traditional music cannot be understated and his story, our story, continues to live on through the music of today both knowingly and unknowingly!  For programme details please visit:

Twitter: @CeolBuntingFest
Facebook: @RememberingBuntingFestival
Website: www.rememberingbuntingfestival.com

Out To Lunch: The 15th annual Out to Lunch Festival continues until 30th January 2021 with a series of shows including Joshua Burnside, Malojian, Jordan Adetunji, Kevin McAleer and Dea Matrona among many others.  For tickets and full programming information visit www.cqaf.com

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: will present Clár Imbolc, a virtual festival to celebrate the beginning of Spring.  They have a range of virtual events you can enjoy from the comfort of your home, including their Coirnéal an Cheoil music sessions, the reading circle or art tutorials for young people.  Time to put those resolutions into practice, whether that’s returning to Irish classes after a long absence or beginning something new like yoga. Whether young or old, there is something for everyone.  With a varied and multi-art form programme of events, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich is proud to celebrate the Celtic calendar here. They have St. Brigid’s Cross workshops to officially welcome the Spring, along with a concert guaranteeing the best in traditional music and a two day intensive language course.  For full details visit Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich | Béal Feirste | Baile (culturlann.ie)

Northern Lights:  Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s acclaimed Northern Lights programme returns for 2021 with virtual music and storytelling events.  Renowned musician and songwriter Arborist launches the new series on Thursday 28th January at 8pm, live and free on Facebook via Flowerfield Arts Centre and Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre. You’ll also be able to catch the concert on YouTube the next day.

Northern Lights continues on Thursday 11th February with another true storytelling event from the acclaimed Tenx9, 7.30pm - 9.30pm on Zoom. With Valentine’s Day ahead and all of us in the grip of the pandemic, nine people will present their ten minute true stories about sickness & health - a phrase said by many couples embarking on life together. Organisers are asking for the public to take part, so if you have a story to share, submit it online or find out more at www.tenx9.com/submissions.

While Northern Lights Sessions events are open to all, it is essential to register in advance.  Visit www.flowerfield.org or www.roevalleyarts.com for further information.  (Please note that this series is not supported by Arts Council funding).

 

MUSIC

Ulster Orchestra: The Ulster Orchestra is delighted to announce the release of a new recording, Our Songs, Our Place, which features nine songs by local songwriters developed through the Orchestra’s Your Song Now project.  With the live music industry thrown into disarray with the Covid-19 restrictions closing venues across the country, musicians have been forced to find new ways to express their creativity. Composer and arranger Paul Campbell approached the Ulster Orchestra in April 2020 with the idea for a project that sought to curate a musical response to the first COVID-19 lockdown.

This became the Your Song Now project, which invited songwriters at any stage of their career to submit a song that spoke to their life and experience of the lockdown. From 69 entries, nine songwriters were selected to work on their songs with mentors Duke Special (2007 Choice Music Prize nominee), Kitt Philippa (NI Music Award Best Album winner in 2020) and Paul Campbell, culminating in this recording, an album that crosses genres and generations, while exploring the common experience of lockdown and how it has changed all our lives. 

Our Songs, Our Place is available for purchase digitally from all major online retailers and in CD format from www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk/oursongsourplace at a cost of £10 plus package and postage.

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Belfast poet Michael Longley celebrates BMS's centenary.  Michael Longley, one of Belfast's most cherished and renowned creative artists, has had a lifelong passion for classical music. During his time at the Arts Council, he developed a firm friendship with the then Music Director, Pamela Rogers, who was Chair of BMS for many years and a staunch supporter of the society until her death in 2008.

To mark BMS's centenary this year, Michael has written a beautiful poem in memory of Pamela. Titled 'Key-Changes', it is published in his latest collection, The Candlelight Master, (Cape, 2020). Late last year, Michael kindly agreed to record a reading of the poem, and went on to chat about his love of music and the many memories he has of concerts in Belfast over the years.  To watch the video visit (3) Michael Longley reads 'Key-Changes' - YouTube

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Violinist Michael Trainor explores Bach
in a new online series.  Michael Trainor – whom BMS were delighted to present with the Piatti Quartet last October – is bringing in the new year with an exciting series of three online programmes dedicated to JS Bach's solo violin sonatas and partitas.

The series will include guest appearances by other freelance creatives from around Northern Ireland: artist Sharon Adams, dancer Mayte Segura and composer Áine Mallon. There will also be talks on Bach’s life and compositions to accompany each episode.

Michael has been able to put the series together thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Artist Emergency Programme, set up in response to the COVID-19 crisis last spring. Visit J.S. Bach, D minor Partita | Michael Trainor (bandcamp.com) for the first programme, which features Bach's Partita No. 2, BWV 1004

Live from the Ulster Hall: Live from the Ulster Hall is a new, innovative digital event experience, proudly supported by The Arts Council for Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through their Organisations Emergency Programme.  Visit www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online. Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com and https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=676917186352325&id=107191574457823

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present a series of concerts in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21.  Visit  www.armaghpipers.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

DU Dance: DU Dance Youth Dance Classes are back for four weeks online.  If you know a young person who loves to dance or wants to try something new in 2021 then look no further.  For details and to book classes visit News : DU Dance (dudanceni.com)

Island Arts Centre: in Lisburn is encouraging young people to send a little sunshine by creating and sending a postcard to brighten someone’s day.  All the instructions to make a postcard can be found at https://islandartscentre.com/news/discover-little-posties-and-stay-connected-in-lockdown

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is offering a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained at home.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

 

VISUAL ARTS - please continue to check each gallery’s website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

Source Photographic Review: is celebrating their new issue - Issue 103 - 'Life Stories' - with an ONLINE LAUNCH on Thursday 4th February 6.30pm GMT via Zoom. Free to attend and all are welcome. Featuring special live interviews between editor Richard West, featured photographer Nik Roche and regular contributor Dr Annebella Pollen, with Q&A opportunities. In association with Gallery of Photography Ireland. Booking required. All details and registration available from https://www.facebook.com/events/450589515939442/

Seacourt: Online Relief Printmaking Workshop with Clinton Kirkpatrick
Cost: £35 (online workshop) or £50 (online workshop + materials box)
Suitable For: Beginners

Clinton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to facilitate a pre-recorded Lino printing workshop, for you to partake in, from the comfort of your own home. The workshop takes you through 4 steps towards printing your very own Lino print. Perfect if you are looking for some time to escape or learn a new skill in the midst of what has been a tumultuous year. You can stop and start the workshop at your own leisure, offering flexibility to your workshop.

This product also comes with the option of an additional Materials Box, with everything you will need to partake in the hour long workshop. The roller, ink and lino tools can also be used after the workshop, as you continue your printmaking journey.

Sign up: https://www.shop.seacourt-ni.org.uk/online-courses

ArtisAnn: Throughout January the ArtisAnn Gallery, on Belfast’s Bloomfield Avenue, celebrates those people who have left their own homes to come to Belfast to make it their home. Artists from across the UK, Ireland and Europe will be showing work that has been inspired by Belfast, the place that is now their home.  This international exhibition features artists Magdalena Blazejewicz (Poland), Wilhelmina Peace Covington (France), Lenka Davidikova (Slovakia), Valerie Giannandrea McKeag (Italy/Scotland) Santa Leimane (Latvia), Jolita Jarutiené (Lithuania), Gary Shaw (Australia), and Anka Sikora (Poland).  This is an exhibition by seven artists who have chosen to make Belfast their home. 

Also at ArtisAnn is the exhibition, On the Shoulders of Giants, by Professor Harry McMahon as part of Northern Ireland Science Festival 2021 from Wed 3rd February to Sat 27th February 2021.  This exhibition is presented online and in the gallery (subject to Covid regulations).

On the Shoulders of Giants is a tribute to the pioneers of science such as Leonhard Euler, Dorothy Hodgkin, J.S. Bell and William Campbell.  Each painting celebrates a significant example of humankind’s attempts to bring conceptual order to what might otherwise be seen as an incomprehensible, chaotic world.  The show should be of interest both to art lovers and to those interested in the history of science.

Professor Harry McMahon’s first degree was in physics; his most recent, after he retired, was in Fine and Applied Art.  In “On the Shoulders of Giants”, escaping from his long-term practice in landscape painting, he overlays diagrammatic references to science and mathematics on complex, near-chaotic, painterly backgrounds.  Based on the work of Greek philosophers like Thales and Eratosthenes, mathematicians like Leonhard Euler and William Rowan Hamilton, and 20th and 21st century scientists such as Dorothy Hodgkin, Belfast-born J S Bell and Ramelton-born William Campbell, this is a must-see exhibition for anyone interested in science and art.

Visit https://www.artisann.org/now-on.html

CCA: in Derry-Londonderry are pleased to welcome you back to CCA with Jan McCullough’s Tricks of the Trade, a solo exhibition that explores spaces of construction through sculptural installation.  The works installed across CCA’s galleries reference elements found in spaces such as workshops, garages, factory floors and sheds – that the artist has encountered and photographed over the last decade.  Read more about the exhibition at CCA Derry~Londonderry | Jan McCullough (cca-derry-londonderry.org)

Catalyst Arts: presents Common or Garden
Chris Alton | Jérôme Bel | Bloomers | Emmet Brown | Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books) | Just Books | Aidan Wall | Fiona Woods
Catalyst Arts Gallery, 5 College Court, Belfast, BT16BS

Common or Garden uses the gallery as a space to propose and foster approaches based on the model of the commons in which resources, ideas and knowledge are shared and distributed democratically. By exploring processes of exchange, collaboration and learning, it asks: can we build practices rooted in collectivity?

The exhibition will include works by Chris Alton, Jérôme Bel, Emmet Brown and Aidan Wall. It will also host a zine library, curated by Bloomers, and The Library of Common Knowledge, featuring books donated through an open call which will be open for visitors to use and share throughout.  The associated programme includes contributions from Chris Alton, Bloomers, Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books), Just Books and Fiona Woods and facilitates discussions on topics such as self-publishing, activism, commonist aesthetics and DIY culture.  See https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

VOIDVOID gallery is still continuing to run activities online and their artist educators have planned some great activities for the whole family. They will be updating their social media pages with workshops regularly over the coming weeks so make sure you are signed up to get access!

Make you own kaleidoscope
This activity allows you to make your own kaleidoscope from some simple materials. We have 30 packs available so send an email with your name and address to get yours! Email hello@derryvoid.com

Blind drawing with Zoe McSparron
Explore your own environment through Blind Drawing on Saturday 27th February at 11am.

Mindful drawing with Stephanie Gaumond
Tap into your creative mind and practice deep breathing with short mindfulness drawing meditations that allow you to to take a break and relieve stress.  No fancy supplies are needed - just paper and a pen. It’s easy for beginners and fun for experienced artists. These sessions are devised so that they can be accessed at any time – during a break from school work, first thing in the morning as part of a mindfulness practice, or in the evening time with the whole family.

Drawing with the Body - a drawing meditation
Saturday 30th January, 11am

Filling the Squares- a drawing meditation for beginners
20th February, 11am

Dragon Puppet Workshop
Join artist Sinead Crumlish to make your own dragon to celebrate Chinese New Year on Saturday 13th February at 11am.

Once uploaded, all the workshops are on VOID’s Vimeo channel so you can go back and forth to them as many times as you would like.  Find it on their website www.derryvoid.com on Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid and Vimeo www.vimeo.com/derryvoid/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, presents, Generation, an exhibition featuring artists: Hugo Byrne, Róisín de Buitléar, Mark Campden, Ryan Connolly, Mourne Textiles, Cara Murphy, Alla Sinkevich, Katherine West.  This exhibition invites us to consider the unique perspective of a group of Irish based designer-makers who are custodians of a familial tradition of making and creativity, continuing and/or reinventing the work begun by previous generations of their family.  It explores how generational relationships and personal histories have encouraged an added sense of responsibility, influenced aesthetic considerations and helped shape overall narratives. Based on the notion that making matters, the exhibition reminds us that no matter what form it takes, the importance of making and respect for tradition remains at the heart of these family enterprises.  The exhibition continues until 23 January 2021. 

Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: Visit http://www.craftni.org/ for updates.

The MAC: has a series of new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop:  is launching three online workshops this week by three of their members as part of Belfast's Festival of Learning's online festival. The workshops are supported by Belfast Learning City. Each workshop is suitable for a different level but all are possible to practice at home, with some equipment required. 

Workshops include:
1. Printing from a Suitcase and Hand Monoprinting by Josephine McCormick
2. Printing with Card and a Variety of Household Materials by Coby Moore
3. Cyanotype Print Tutorial by Jonathan Brennan

The projects will be launched Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week at 10.30am on all of their social media platforms:
• @belfastprintworkshop Instagram
• @BPW_studio on Twitter
• @BelfastPrintWorkshop on Facebook

Once launched, these workshops will remain online for anyone to access.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

Belfast Exposed: presents Street View, a multimedia exhibition experience to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is a large digital window display, complimented with audio narratives, that showcases contemporary artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Until 27th February, Street View will present, Tristan Poyser, which features two projects - The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border and Masked: a Portrait of Amazon - by artist Tristan Poyser. The two projects share a commonality, in that they both explore political, cultural and social issues at a time of great uncertainty. In both projects, Poyser engaged with the public to 'encompass their opinions, hopes and desires about their unique socio-political situations. As a collective, their voices amass an account which is representative of precarious times. Each respondent was invited to tear a print in ‘The Invisible In-between’ to make the invisible visible then to share a written comment about their thoughts on Brexit. In a similar manner, a subset of photographs from ‘Masked’ is a series of 130 Amazon employees asked to write and display their introspections.'

Tristan Poyser’s project The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border, which exhibited at Belfast Exposed in 2019, began as a response to the results of the UK’s Brexit referendum. Poyser spent two years travelling and photographing the full length of the 510 km Irish border.

Poyser's most recent project Masked: a Portrait of Amazon, is a series of performative portraits and still life photographs of the 64 face masks and ephemera he was provided with whilst working at Amazon, during the initial Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The photographs are a reflection of his doubts, frustrations, anxieties, the change in identity, the lack of control over lockdown and decisions made.

For more information visit www.belfastexposed.org

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What’s on in the Arts online

Wednesday 20th January 2021 at 12pm 0 Comments Circus & Carnival Arts , Comedy , Community Arts , Craft , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

Skip to section

 

FILM, LITERATURE & DRAMA

Big Telly Theatre Company: presents A Recipe For Disaster, a piece of online cookalong theatre opening next week on 29th and 30th January.  Tickets cost £10 per device.  Contact Linda@big-telly.com to book your tickets.

Tinderbox: Due to new lockdown restrictions, Tinderbox has radically re-directed their Creativity in Motion tour to a series of online creative workshops and online performances called E-Motion 21 to help and entertain during periods of isolation.  The E-Motion project aims to offer creative programmes as tools to develop a sense of play as well as invite audiences to engage with performances specifically created in this current lockdown. Two essential components to the E-Motion programme is their Creative Bubble workshops and performance Bubbles of online comedy performances throughout January 2021.

Creative Bubble Workshops: From 11th January to 5th February 2021, Tinderbox will deliver a variety of online workshops for artists and participants to use creativity as a source of inspiration and well-being during the lockdown. The content for the workshops range from dance, creative writing, music, physical theatre, mental health and laughter yoga and will be delivered by professional facilitators. These workshops will operate on a Pay-What-You-Can initiative to ensure as much accessibility and engagement as possible.

Performances Bubbles: Every week from the 15th January to 5th February 2021, Tinderbox will premiere on social media platforms and our YouTube channel a collection of Burlesque and satirical vignette films based on four characters who are discovering the meaning of life during the 6 week Covid-19 lockdown.

For full details visit Tinderbox Theatre Company | Facebook

Strand Arts Centre: With its latest temporary closure due to lockdown restrictions, Strand Arts Centre has teamed up with film distributor Dogwoof to begin virtual screenings.  The first film on offer is resonant new documentary MLK/FBI, uncovering the extent of the FBI's surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government's history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals.

Featuring interviews with key cultural figures including former FBI Director James Comey and directed by Emmy® Award-winner and Oscar®-nominee Sam Pollard, MLK/FBI tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment.

MLK/FBI is available to view from now at www.strandartscentre.com

 

FESTIVALS

IMBOLC International Arts Festival: The Winter solstice has passed and the return of light signals the coming of spring.  Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin will present their IMBOLC International Arts Festival online with an exciting line-up of events including music, spoken word, workshops, films, poetry, photography & much more.  They have put together a very special virtual festival for 2021 bringing great performances and events to festival audiences and friends in their homes from 5th February to 19th March 2021.  Stay tuned for more exciting announcements at Imbolc International Arts Festival | Facebook

The Remembering Bunting Festival: will be held from 5 – 7th February bringing you an amazing line up of online events and musical performances to be enjoyed worldwide.

Edward Bunting was a historical musical figure born in Co. Armagh Northern Ireland and began formal music studies in Drogheda at the young age of seven. By age eleven, he became organist apprentice at St. Anne’s church in Belfast whilst residing at the home of the famous Belfast McCracken family. At age nineteen, with the shared interests and support of siblings, Mary Ann and Henry Joy McCracken, he was hired to transcribe the music presented at the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792. From 1817 -1819, Edward was the church organist at St. George’s Church, High Street, Belfast.

In addition to organising a second festival in 1813, Bunting went on to become a prolific collector of traditional songs and tunes. His three volumes of the Ancient Music of Ireland, were published in 1796, 1809 and 1840 respectively. Lost for many years, these collective works of approximately 250 items have preserved precious history and heritage in addition to invaluable clues and commentary that would reveal the living art practices and perceptions of the day. Bequeathed to Queen’s University, Belfast in 1916, by his grandchildren through Charlotte Milligan Fox, Secretary of the Irish Folk Song Society, his contribution to traditional music cannot be understated and his story, our story, continues to live on through the music of today both knowingly and unknowingly!  For programme details please visit:

Twitter: @CeolBuntingFest
Facebook: @RememberingBuntingFestival
Website: www.rememberingbuntingfestival.com

Out To Lunch: The 15th annual Out to Lunch Festival continues until 30th January 2021 with a series of shows including Joshua Burnside, Malojian, Jordan Adetunji, Kevin McAleer and Dea Matrona among many others.  For tickets and full programming information visit www.cqaf.com

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: will present Clár Imbolc, a virtual festival to celebrate the beginning of Spring.  They have a range of virtual events you can enjoy from the comfort of your home, including their Coirnéal an Cheoil music sessions, the reading circle or art tutorials for young people.  Time to put those resolutions into practice, whether that’s returning to Irish classes after a long absence or beginning something new like yoga. Whether young or old, there is something for everyone.  With a varied and multi-art form programme of events, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich is proud to celebrate the Celtic calendar here. They have St. Brigid’s Cross workshops to officially welcome the Spring, along with a concert guaranteeing the best in traditional music and a two day intensive language course.  For full details visit Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich | Béal Feirste | Baile (culturlann.ie)

 

MUSIC

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Belfast poet Michael Longley celebrates BMS's centenary.  Michael Longley, one of Belfast's most cherished and renowned creative artists, has had a lifelong passion for classical music. During his time at the Arts Council, he developed a firm friendship with the then Music Director, Pamela Rogers, who was Chair of BMS for many years and a staunch supporter of the society until her death in 2008.

To mark BMS's centenary this year, Michael has written a beautiful poem in memory of Pamela. Titled 'Key-Changes', it is published in his latest collection, The Candlelight Master, (Cape, 2020). Late last year, Michael kindly agreed to record a reading of the poem, and went on to chat about his love of music and the many memories he has of concerts in Belfast over the years.  To watch the video visit (3) Michael Longley reads 'Key-Changes' - YouTube

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Violinist Michael Trainor explores Bach
in a new online series.  Michael Trainor – whom BMS were delighted to present with the Piatti Quartet last October – is bringing in the new year with an exciting series of three online programmes dedicated to JS Bach's solo violin sonatas and partitas.

The series will include guest appearances by other freelance creatives from around Northern Ireland: artist Sharon Adams, dancer Mayte Segura and composer Áine Mallon. There will also be talks on Bach’s life and compositions to accompany each episode.

Michael has been able to put the series together thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Artist Emergency Programme, set up in response to the COVID-19 crisis last spring. Visit J.S. Bach, D minor Partita | Michael Trainor (bandcamp.com) for the first programme, which features Bach's Partita No. 2, BWV 1004

Live from the Ulster Hall: Live from the Ulster Hall is a new, innovative digital event experience, proudly supported by The Arts Council for Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through their Organisations Emergency Programme.  Visit www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com and https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=676917186352325&id=107191574457823

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present a series of concerts in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21.  Visit  www.armaghpipers.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

DU Dance: DU Dance Youth Dance Classes are back for four weeks online.  If you know a young person who loves to dance or wants to try something new in 2021 then look no further.  For details and to book classes visit News : DU Dance (dudanceni.com)

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is offering a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained at home.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

 

VISUAL ARTS - please continue to check each gallery’s website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

Seacourt Print Workshop: Online Relief Printmaking Workshop with Clinton Kirkpatrick
Cost: £35 (online workshop) or £50 (online workshop + materials box)
Suitable For: Beginners

Clinton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to facilitate a pre-recorded Lino printing workshop, for you to partake in, from the comfort of your own home. The workshop takes you through 4 steps towards printing your very own Lino print. Perfect if you are looking for some time to escape or learn a new skill in the midst of what has been a tumultuous year. You can stop and start the workshop at your own leisure, offering flexibility to your workshop.

This product also comes with the option of an additional Materials Box, with everything you will need to partake in the hour long workshop. The roller, ink and lino tools can also be used after the workshop, as you continue your printmaking journey.

Sign up: https://www.shop.seacourt-ni.org.uk/online-courses

Source Photographic Review: is celebrating their new issue - Issue 103 - 'Life Stories' - with an ONLINE LAUNCH on Thursday 4th February 6.30pm GMT via Zoom. Free to attend and all are welcome. Featuring special live interviews between editor Richard West, featured photographer Nik Roche and regular contributor Dr Annebella Pollen, with Q&A opportunities. In association with Gallery of Photography Ireland. Booking required. All details and registration available from https://www.facebook.com/events/450589515939442/

ArtisAnn: Throughout January the ArtisAnn Gallery, on Belfast’s Bloomfield Avenue, celebrates those people who have left their own homes to come to Belfast to make it their home. Artists from across the UK, Ireland and Europe will be showing work that has been inspired by Belfast, the place that is now their home.

This international exhibition features artists Magdalena Blazejewicz (Poland), Wilhelmina Peace Covington (France), Lenka Davidikova (Slovakia), Valerie Giannandrea McKeag (Italy/Scotland) Santa Leimane (Latvia), Jolita Jarutiené (Lithuania), Gary Shaw (Australia), and Anka Sikora (Poland).  This is an exhibition by seven artists who have chosen to make Belfast their home.  Visit https://www.artisann.org/now-on.html

CCA: in Derry-Londonderry are pleased to welcome you back to CCA with Jan McCullough’s Tricks of the Trade, a solo exhibition that explores spaces of construction through sculptural installation.  The works installed across CCA’s galleries reference elements found in spaces such as workshops, garages, factory floors and sheds – that the artist has encountered and photographed over the last decade.  Read more about the exhibition at CCA Derry~Londonderry | Jan McCullough (cca-derry-londonderry.org)

Catalyst Arts: presents Common or Garden
Chris Alton | Jérôme Bel | Bloomers | Emmet Brown | Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books) | Just Books | Aidan Wall | Fiona Woods
Catalyst Arts Gallery, 5 College Court, Belfast, BT16BS

Common or Garden uses the gallery as a space to propose and foster approaches based on the model of the commons in which resources, ideas and knowledge are shared and distributed democratically. By exploring processes of exchange, collaboration and learning, it asks: can we build practices rooted in collectivity?

The exhibition will include works by Chris Alton, Jérôme Bel, Emmet Brown and Aidan Wall. It will also host a zine library, curated by Bloomers, and The Library of Common Knowledge, featuring books donated through an open call which will be open for visitors to use and share throughout.  The associated programme includes contributions from Chris Alton, Bloomers, Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books), Just Books and Fiona Woods and facilitates discussions on topics such as self-publishing, activism, commonist aesthetics and DIY culture.  See https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

VOID: Visit https://www.derryvoid.com/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, presents, Generation, an exhibition featuring artists: Hugo Byrne, Róisín de Buitléar, Mark Campden, Ryan Connolly, Mourne Textiles, Cara Murphy, Alla Sinkevich, Katherine West.  This exhibition invites us to consider the unique perspective of a group of Irish based designer-makers who are custodians of a familial tradition of making and creativity, continuing and/or reinventing the work begun by previous generations of their family.  It explores how generational relationships and personal histories have encouraged an added sense of responsibility, influenced aesthetic considerations and helped shape overall narratives. Based on the notion that making matters, the exhibition reminds us that no matter what form it takes, the importance of making and respect for tradition remains at the heart of these family enterprises.  The exhibition continues until 23 January 2021. 

Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: Visit http://www.craftni.org/ for updates.

The MAC: has a series of new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop:  is launching three online workshops this week by three of their members as part of Belfast's Festival of Learning's online festival. The workshops are supported by Belfast Learning City. Each workshop is suitable for a different level but all are possible to practice at home, with some equipment required. 

Workshops include:
1. Printing from a Suitcase and Hand Monoprinting by Josephine McCormick
2. Printing with Card and a Variety of Household Materials by Coby Moore
3. Cyanotype Print Tutorial by Jonathan Brennan

The projects will be launched Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week at 10.30am on all of their social media platforms:
• @belfastprintworkshop Instagram
• @BPW_studio on Twitter
• @BelfastPrintWorkshop on Facebook

Once launched, these workshops will remain online for anyone to access.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 13th January 2021 at 11am 0 Comments Film & TV , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Drama , Community Arts , Visual Arts

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

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, all supported by Exchequer and National Lottery funding.

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FILM, LITERATURE & DRAMA

PROPHETS, MAKERS AND RISK TAKERS: A SHOWCASE OF WRITING FROM NORTHERN IRELAND.  Curated by Jan Carson, this year’s Writers’ Symposium aims to bring together leading voices in writing from Northern Ireland to discuss how our writers are approaching global issues and themes; how they are revisiting ideas associated with the history and politics of N.I. but finding new ways to tell the stories; what opportunities exist outside N.I. and how best they might promote their work internationally and finally, what makes writing from Northern Ireland so distinctive.

Dr Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado will deliver the keynote address and participants throughout the day will include writers Nandi Jola, Mícheál McCann, Susan McKay, Darran Anderson and Michelle Gallen, in conversation with Emma Warnock (No Alibis Press), Peggy Hughes (National Centre for Writing), Nora Hickey M’Sichili (Centre Culturel Irlandais), Jim Hinks (British Council), Damian Smyth (Arts Council N.I.), Cathy Brown (Seamus Heaney HomePlace) and Jan Carson.

The symposium will show the breadth of talent that Northern Ireland has to offer and will give representatives from UK and international literary organisations and festivals an opportunity to sit at the table and take note.

Presented by EastSide Arts with support from Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 
Date: Thursday 14th January
Time: 9.15am - 5.15pm
Location: Online
Price: FREE

Visit Prophets, Makers and Risk Takers: A Showcase of Writing from Northern Ireland | Facebook

Tinderbox: Due to new lockdown restrictions, Tinderbox has radically re-directed their Creativity in Motion tour to a series of online creative workshops and online performances called E-Motion 21 to help and entertain during periods of isolation.  The E-Motion project aims to offer creative programmes as tools to develop a sense of play as well as invite audiences to engage with performances specifically created in this current lockdown. Two essential components to the E-Motion programme is their Creative Bubble workshops and performance Bubbles of online comedy performances throughout January 2021.

Creative Bubble Workshops: From 11th January to 5th February 2021, Tinderbox will deliver a variety of online workshops for artists and participants to use creativity as a source of inspiration and well-being during the lockdown. The content for the workshops range from dance, creative writing, music, physical theatre, mental health and laughter yoga and will be delivered by professional facilitators. These workshops will operate on a Pay-What-You-Can initiative to ensure as much accessibility and engagement as possible.

Performances Bubbles: Every week from the 15th January to 5th February 2021, Tinderbox will premiere on social media platforms and our YouTube channel a collection of Burlesque and satirical vignette films based on four characters who are discovering the meaning of life during the 6 week Covid-19 lockdown.

For full details visit Tinderbox Theatre Company | Facebook

Strand Arts Centre: With its latest temporary closure due to lockdown restrictions, Strand Arts Centre has teamed up with film distributor Dogwoof to begin virtual screenings.  The first film on offer is resonant new documentary MLK/FBI, uncovering the extent of the FBI's surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government's history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals.

Featuring interviews with key cultural figures including former FBI Director James Comey and directed by Emmy® Award-winner and Oscar®-nominee Sam Pollard, MLK/FBI tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment.

MLK/FBI is available to view from 15th January with a special extended version with director Q&A on 16th January only. Both are available to pre-order at www.strandartscentre.com

 

FESTIVALS

Out To Lunch: The 15th annual Out to Lunch Festival continues until 30th January 2021 with a series of shows including Joshua Burnside, Malojian, Jordan Adetunji, Kevin McAleer and Dea Matrona among many others.  For tickets and full programming information visit www.cqaf.com

A Taste of Belfast in Brussels: As part of this year’s digital Out to Lunch Festival, the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels will showcase a selection of artists from Northern Ireland online on Tuesday 19th January at 1pm.  The pre-recorded programme features musicians, Anthony Toner, Ursula Burns, Ciara O’Neill and writer, Stephen Connolly, performing in the beautiful and historic Rosemary Street Church.  For details of the full Out to Lunch Festival programme visit www.cqaf.com

 

MUSIC

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Belfast poet Michael Longley celebrates BMS's centenary.  Michael Longley, one of Belfast's most cherished and renowned creative artists, has had a lifelong passion for classical music. During his time at the Arts Council, he developed a firm friendship with the then Music Director, Pamela Rogers, who was Chair of BMS for many years and a staunch supporter of the society until her death in 2008.

To mark BMS's centenary this year, Michael has written a beautiful poem in memory of Pamela. Titled 'Key-Changes', it is published in his latest collection, The Candlelight Master, (Cape, 2020). Late last year, Michael kindly agreed to record a reading of the poem, and went on to chat about his love of music and the many memories he has of concerts in Belfast over the years.  To watch the video visit (3) Michael Longley reads 'Key-Changes' - YouTube

Belfast Music Society (BMS): Violinist Michael Trainor explores Bach
in a new online series.  Michael Trainor – whom we were delighted to present with the Piatti Quartet last October – is bringing in the new year with an exciting series of three online programmes dedicated to JS Bach's solo violin sonatas and partitas.

The series will include guest appearances by other freelance creatives from around Northern Ireland: artist Sharon Adams, dancer Mayte Segura and composer Áine Mallon. There will also be talks on Bach’s life and compositions to accompany each episode.

Michael has been able to put the series together thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Artist Emergency Programme, set up in response to the COVID-19 crisis last spring. Visit J.S. Bach, D minor Partita | Michael Trainor (bandcamp.com) for the first programme, which features Bach's Partita No. 2, BWV 1004

Live from the Ulster Hall: Live from the Ulster Hall is a new, innovative digital event experience, proudly supported by The Arts Council for Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through their Organisations Emergency Programme.  Visit www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com and https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=676917186352325&id=107191574457823

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present a series of concerts in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21.  Visit  www.armaghpipers.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is offering a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained at home.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

 

VISUAL ARTS - please continue to check each gallery’s website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

ArtisAnn: Throughout January the ArtisAnn Gallery, on Belfast’s Bloomfield Avenue, celebrates those people who have left their own homes to come to Belfast to make it their home. Artists from across the UK, Ireland and Europe will be showing work that has been inspired by Belfast, the place that is now their home.

This international exhibition features artists Magdalena Blazejewicz (Poland), Wilhelmina Peace Covington (France), Lenka Davidikova (Slovakia), Valerie Giannandrea McKeag (Italy/Scotland) Santa Leimane (Latvia), Jolita Jarutiené (Lithuania), Gary Shaw (Australia), and Anka Sikora (Poland).  This is an exhibition by seven artists who have chosen to make Belfast their home.  Visit https://www.artisann.org/now-on.html

CCA: in Derry-Londonderry are pleased to welcome you back to CCA with Jan McCullough’s Tricks of the Trade, a solo exhibition that explores spaces of construction through sculptural installation.  The works installed across CCA’s galleries reference elements found in spaces such as workshops, garages, factory floors and sheds – that the artist has encountered and photographed over the last decade.  Read more about the exhibition at CCA Derry~Londonderry | Jan McCullough (cca-derry-londonderry.org)

Catalyst Arts: presents Common or Garden
Chris Alton | Jérôme Bel | Bloomers | Emmet Brown | Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books) | Just Books | Aidan Wall | Fiona Woods
Catalyst Arts Gallery, 5 College Court, Belfast, BT16BS

Common or Garden uses the gallery as a space to propose and foster approaches based on the model of the commons in which resources, ideas and knowledge are shared and distributed democratically. By exploring processes of exchange, collaboration and learning, it asks: can we build practices rooted in collectivity?

The exhibition will include works by Chris Alton, Jérôme Bel, Emmet Brown and Aidan Wall. It will also host a zine library, curated by Bloomers, and The Library of Common Knowledge, featuring books donated through an open call which will be open for visitors to use and share throughout.  The associated programme includes contributions from Chris Alton, Bloomers, Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books), Just Books and Fiona Woods and facilitates discussions on topics such as self-publishing, activism, commonist aesthetics and DIY culture.  See https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

VOID: Visit https://www.derryvoid.com/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, presents, Generation, an exhibition featuring artists: Hugo Byrne, Róisín de Buitléar, Mark Campden, Ryan Connolly, Mourne Textiles, Cara Murphy, Alla Sinkevich, Katherine West.  This exhibition invites us to consider the unique perspective of a group of Irish based designer-makers who are custodians of a familial tradition of making and creativity, continuing and/or reinventing the work begun by previous generations of their family.  It explores how generational relationships and personal histories have encouraged an added sense of responsibility, influenced aesthetic considerations and helped shape overall narratives. Based on the notion that making matters, the exhibition reminds us that no matter what form it takes, the importance of making and respect for tradition remains at the heart of these family enterprises.  The exhibition continues until 23 January 2021Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: Visit http://www.craftni.org/ for updates.

The MAC: has a series of new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop:  is launching three online workshops this week by three of their members as part of Belfast's Festival of Learning's online festival. The workshops are supported by Belfast Learning City. Each workshop is suitable for a different level but all are possible to practice at home, with some equipment required. 

Workshops include:
1. Printing from a Suitcase and Hand Monoprinting by Josephine McCormick
2. Printing with Card and a Variety of Household Materials by Coby Moore
3. Cyanotype Print Tutorial by Jonathan Brennan

The projects  will be launched Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week at 10.30am on all of their social media platforms:
• @belfastprintworkshop Instagram
• @BPW_studio on Twitter
• @BelfastPrintWorkshop on Facebook

Once launched, these workshops will remain online for anyone to access.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

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A Review of the Year in Arts 2020

Thursday 31st December 2020 at 10am 0 Comments Arts & Health , Arts and Older People , Circus & Carnival Arts , Community Arts , Craft , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts , Youth Arts

A Review of the Year in Arts 2020 Image: A Review of the Year in Arts 2020

What a year! Whatever you think of 2020 it’s always useful to take a last glance behind and remember what passed. Interestingly in a year beset with a health pandemic like no other, the public turned to the arts online for solace, comfort and entertainment.

As 2020 draws to a close we remember some of the bright moments in what has been an extraordinary year…

January

Leading theatre companies from NI celebrated at IPAY International Showcase US
Back in January, five of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre and dance companies that create work for children and young people, attended the prestigious IPAY (International Association of Performing Arts for Youth) Showcase 2020 in Philadelphia, USA.

Young at Art, Prime Cut Productions, Replay Theatre Company, Maiden Voyage Dance and Cahoots NI, had an opportunity to promote their productions and network with international touring agents, festival organisers, artists and other theatre professionals, with a view to touring their work outside of Northern Ireland in the future.

 

February

£580,000 investment announced to support NI musicians
One hundred and seven musical groups, bands and musicians across Northern Ireland celebrated the news in February that they would receive funding to help upgrade worn out instruments and purchase new ones.  Among those to benefit were schools groups, community choirs, marching and brass bands, and individual professional musicians.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland provided the funding worth almost £580,000 under its Musical Instruments Scheme. Thanks to capital investment from the Department for Communities, the scheme, set up to increase the quality of music making in Northern Ireland, was extended for the first time in 2020 to offer grants to a range of professional and non-professional musicians and groups.

 

March

iDA Awards 2020 
In early Spring, sixteen artists with disabilities were announced as recipients of the University of Atypical’s Individual Disabled Artist (iDA) Award.

Supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the iDA funding programme is a dedicated annual arts development programme, delivered through the University of Atypical, to enable deaf and disabled artists who are working in a range of art forms to develop their professional artistic careers. The bursaries provide valuable opportunities for each artist to produce a new high-quality creative work, receive training or professional mentoring.

 

April

Local projects lead the way in the community
National Lottery funded organisations from Northern Ireland have been at the forefront of efforts to keep people safe, healthy and active during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In April we celebrated arts organisations carrying out amazing acts for their community. Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million of National Lottery funding will be reallocated over the coming months to help projects in the UK offset the impact of coronavirus and support the most vulnerable in our communities.

 

May

BBC and the Lyric Theatre produce new theatrical isolation dramas with top Northern Ireland talent 
Theatre lovers across the country finally had something to look forward to with the launch of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine series, which aimed to continue to bring culture into the homes of audiences during lockdown. A collaboration between BBC Arts, the Lyric Theatre, BBC Northern Ireland, with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, six new short dramas were commissioned from some of Northern Ireland’s biggest names in writing and acting - including Lisa McGee (Derry Girls) and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones). Under the title Splendid Isolation: Lockdown Drama, the dramas explored the positive and negative aspects of social isolation and lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

June

Socially distanced theatre brought to patients and hospital staff
Thanks to investment of more than £500,000 from the Department of Communities and National Lottery, over 200 projects were awarded funding through the Arts Council’s Emergency Programme. In June we saw some fantastic artists delivering a truly diverse array of projects, tutorials and even performances in new and different ways.

Among those was actress and writer Maria Connolly, who transformed into Judy Garland for her new show The Broads, as she asked  residents, hospital patients and healthcare workers to Forget Your Troubles for a few moments with a socially distanced theatre performance brought right to their door.

 

July

Communities Minister & children from Scoil an Droichid join in Arts Care’s SAY A GREAT BIG HELLO 
As summer arrived, Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín joined Arts Care for its Say A Great Big Hello campaign. The initiative called upon children throughout the region to paint a happy picture, take a fun photograph or record a song, poem or dance using the word ‘hello’ and send them to Arts Care to share them with other children who are currently hospital, hospice or residential care, to cheer them up. 

All the photos and video clips formed part of an online art exhibition on Arts Care’s Facebook page and Arts Care 4U YouTube channel for children everywhere to enjoy.

 

August

Children’s theatre show tours Northern Ireland
A converted transit van may not be the normal setting for a theatre show but Replay Theatre Company took to the road in August to bring a very special performance to children at home.

Created for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities and complex needs, Coco told the story of a small koala and his adventures through the jungle. Written and performed by Mary McGurk and directed by Andrew Stanford, each performance was tailored to just one child and their family, creating a very different and intimate theatre experience.

 

September

Culture Night Belfast 2020 
Culture Night is one of the most hotly anticipated cultural celebrations in Belfast when every September the streets fill with excited people enjoying everything the Arts have to offer.  While this year the event couldn’t happen in quite the same way, the Culture Night team came together to deliver a fantastic, jam-packed programme of music, debates, exhibitions and films, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and Belfast Harbour.

Streaming across a number of virtual platforms, among the performers and organisations taking part were, the Ulster Orchestra, Lyric Theatre, The MAC, Cherrie On Top, Susie Blue, Sinead O’Donnell, tenx9, Charles Hurts, Becha, Stephen Beggs, Paul Currie, George Quinn, Rachael McCabe, Bounce Culture, The Swing Gals and many more.

 

October

Individual artists first to benefit from £29m funding package
In October, it was confirmed that individual artists would be the first recipients to benefit from the £29m funding approved by the Executive to support the arts, heritage, culture and language sectors as a result of the impact of Covid-19.

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín gave the green light for £3m of the funding to be immediately distributed to individual artists through an existing programme administered by the Arts Council.

 

November

Ulster Orchestra collaborates with Ryan McMullan in an emotive new song that honours the NHS 
Rising international star Ryan McMullan, joined forces with the Ulster Orchestra in November to record a beautiful new piece of music titled If This Is The End. Commissioned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the song marked the commitment and contribution of the NHS and its staff during the Covid19 pandemic.

Ryan, who has toured internationally with Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol, took inspiration for the song from the incredible work of the NHS, paying a poignant tribute to those who have lost someone during 2020 and have been unable to mourn their loved ones in the usual way. Combined with the Orchestra’s soaring string arrangements by Paul Campbell, it brings to mind a spirit leaving this realm and entering the next.

 

December

Nine schools to take part in landmark educational programme
In December, funding was confirmed for nine post-primary schools to take part in the Creative Schools Partnership Programme. The schools have been awarded grants of up to £8,000 each as part of the three-year £300,000 initiative backed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The Executive Office’s Urban Villages Initiative and delivered by the Education Authority.

The Creative Schools Programme, which had been put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is based on research which indicates that access to quality arts experiences in school can benefit all aspects of learning. Groups of students within each participating school will have an opportunity to work with professional artists to develop a range of skills from script writing and theatre production, to musical composition and performance.

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 23rd December 2020 at 4pm 0 Comments

What's On in the Arts Image: What's On in the Arts

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

Skip to section

 

MUSIC

Snow Water: presents, UNDER A CHRISTMAS SKY, from 10th – 24th December, 2020.Under a Christmas Sky features Northern Ireland’s finest musicians, actors, poetry and story-telling, filmed live at the Ulster Folk Museum. From traditional to contemporary everything you will see and hear has one thing in common. The…magic…of…Christmas!

Snow Water (the creators and curators of Distant Sky and Atlantic Sessions) are bringing you one cultural treat per day from 10th – 24rd December, and on Christmas Eve you can watch our full programme, hosted by BBC’s Joe Lindsay. Each day, an advent door will open online to reveal a delicious film for the viewer. Under a Christmas Sky combines beautiful poetry from the likes of Michael Longley, George Bernard Shaw, Thackeray and Frank Ormsby, with songs by Darlene Love, Joni Mitchell, Bing Crosby as well as traditional carols. But with a twist – all are given new interpretations by some of Northern Ireland’s finest artists! Watch on YouTube at Under a Christmas Sky and Facebook & Instagram: @distantsky

Ulster Orchestra: has created their own Countdown To Christmas Advent Calendar. Check in at 1pm every day from 1st December to Christmas Eve for a musical gift from them to you! Visit www.twitter.com/ulsterorchestra

Ulster Orchestra will also present an online concert, The Magic of Christmas, on 18th December and this is still available to purchase and view until 1st January 2021.  Their Festive extravaganza features their very own Santa – otherwise known as Derry Girls star Ian McElhinney – and features popular local performers Peter Corry and Emma Morwood. We also welcome Cormac Thompson, the 11 year old schoolboy whose videos for his Nannie turned him into an online singing sensation! Their conductor and music arranger for the evening is Paul Campbell and NI Opera's Associate Artists will also be performing.  This wonderful one-hour Christmas show features an array of enchanting carols, festive music and a few little surprises that will make it fun for all the family – get ready to sing along in your living room and enjoy a real Christmas cracker of a night!  Tickets for the concert are priced at £12 per household.   Visit The Magic of Christmas - A Special Online Concert - Ulster Orchestra

Sestina: After 3 years of sell-out performances, Sestina Music is delighted to announce that 'Carols at the Museum' will be presented this year online instead, recorded in the spectacular surroundings of the Ulster Museum, Belfast.  Regular attendees of 'Carols at the Museum' can expect the usual unique mix of traditional favourites, lesser-known carols and contemporary arrangements from composers around the world, sung by the stunning voices of Sestina.

The concert was broadcast online on Saturday 19th December at 7pm, and will remain online for 2 weeks. Tickets are free to book, but they ask that you consider supporting their artistic costs with a donation when making your booking. You will receive a link to watch the concert prior to its broadcast.  This concert is supported by sponsors, Exitex Ltd. and funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery Programme. Watch back at  https://youtu.be/D6MvmnHRFAA

Belfast Philharmonic Choir: presents the Belfast Philharmonic’s Christmas Virtual Choir Project online and is available to watch for two weeks. The concert was part-funded by the Arts Council’s Organisations Emergency Programme.  The performance is a full virtual recording of Britten’s Saint Nicolas, and features singers from all of the Phil’s choirs, from the P4s in Phil Kids right through to the adults, plus a community chorus in the two hymns. There are more than 250 individual voices who all recorded themselves from home while choirs have not been able to meet in person. The concert includes Irish tenor, Ross Scanlon,  singing the title role, plus an ensemble of Northern Irish musicians who also all recorded themselves remotely before the concert was mixed together for viewing online.  To enjoy the  free concert visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgSkDMula9k&ab_channel=BelfastPhilharmonic

Armagh Rhymers: The Armagh Rhymers have been delighting schools with song, dance, music & stories for 42 years.  To keep the magic alive this Christmas, the Armagh Rhymers moved online with our first-ever digital-only school series.  This pilot program featured 6 primary schools across Northern Ireland with classes of all ages logging on to see The Rhymers bring their much-loved festive spirit, with a special visit from the Big Man himself, Santa!  Featuring traditional classics such as ‘The Wren’ as well as some Christmas favourites, this highly interactive performance got all the kids up, dancing and singing along.

With fun festive yarns, Santa getting into mischief, and a dancing lesson from the Horse it was an action-packed performance full of the joys of Christmas.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=191359129366123

Live from the Ulster Hall: Live from the Ulster Hall is a new, innovative digital event experience, proudly supported by The Arts Council for Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through their Organisations Emergency Programme.  For the first concert in the series, the Ulster Hall is delighted to welcome back Ryan McMullan to the iconic stage to perform as part of the new digital entertainment experience.  Ryan McMullan is recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s biggest and brightest talents and is thrilled to be back performing for all his fans who can continue to enjoy his live sessions via this new platform from the safety and comfort of their own home.  Tickets cost £15 and are available at www.ulsterhall.co.uk

National Youth Choir Northern Ireland (NYCNI):  is releasing a series of virtual choir performances each weekend for five weeks on both Facebook and YouTube. These are the final performances from their online courses which took place in October.  View the first release at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug-3K68ILDs

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com and https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=676917186352325&id=107191574457823

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present a series of concerts in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21.  Visit  www.armaghpipers.com

Panarts: Let it Grow, From Seed To Song is a brand new series of music videos recorded by local singer-songwriters with Panarts, the team behind the brilliant Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival.  Follow the Panarts Twitter account to access the songs as they’re released.  https://twitter.com/BelNash

Northern Ireland Opera: Join some of Northern Ireland’s best known opera singers as they take you to their home county or city and perform a selection of art songs composed by Northern Irish or Irish composers. ‘Northern Songs’ is a set of eight short films showcasing this beautiful country’s stunning locations, landscapes and historic monuments with songs performed by Giselle Allen, Doreen Curran, Carolyn Dobbin and Ben McAteer with pianist, Ruth McGinley.   To hear all songs, visit their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ 

Strabane Brass Band: has released a virtual advent calendar to perfectly count our way down to Christmas! At 7pm every evening, a new performance will be released on Facebook featuring members of the band. During the lockdown period, members of the band have been busy recording lots of new music including full band pieces, ensembles, duets and solos.  Don’t forget to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ Strabane Brass Band on Facebook to find your daily festive treat.  Visit www.facebook.com/strabanebrass

 

FESTIVALS

Out To Lunch: The 15th annual Out to Lunch Festival returns from 8th-30th January 2021 with a series of shows already announced including Joshua Burnside, Malojian, Jordan Adetunji, Kevin McAleer and Dea Matrona among many others.For tickets and full programming information visit www.cqaf.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Tumble Circus: presents Winter Circus the movie live watch party on 27th December at 3pm.  Tumble Circus is back with their ever-popular Winter Circus, and this Christmas they are coming to you!  With no big top tent in Writers Square Belfast, this year Tumble Circus are treating you and your family and friends to Winter Circus the Movie, in the comfort of your front room, kitchen, bathroom or anywhere you can get the internet.  Made and filmed in iconic locations around Belfast, Winter Circus the Movie is a new hammer smashing film, with everything you expect from the world class Tumble Circus troupe and more.

Directed by award winning maker of circus films Ken Fanning, Winter Circus the Movie will be all human, all skill and all thrill.  Forget what you think you know about circus and experience breathtaking acts, including acrobats, trapeze, and jugglers, and plenty of laughs too, packed into half an hour of revolutionary Belfast inspired circus. With a modern soundtrack, international circus artists and comedy characters that both young and old can enjoy. See for yourself what’s made Tumble Circus an international award-winning modern circus company, from the comfort of your own home.

Winter Circus the Movie is available to watch from 3pm on Sunday 27th December 2020 on Facebook, YouTube and www.tumblecircus.com

Christmas on the Stage Beyond Tree: Stage beyond is an award-winning theatre company for adults with learning disabilities.  This December the company will create a five-part production, Christmas on the Stage Beyond Tree, which will be shared on their Facebook page and on their website.  Visit www.stagebeyond.com

Culturlann McAdam O Fiaich:  presents Fleadh Feirste 2020.  There'll be a fantastic mixture of music, drama, discussion and family events taking place virtually across the Gaeltacht Quarter as part of Fleadh Feirste 2020.  To view the full programme visit https://mcusercontent.com/e21a94f6d04f3fb5cdf573a13/files/6448cc20-d52c-4900-98dc-585ac18918e0/Fleadh_Feirste2020.01.pdf

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained over the festive period.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com
Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

LITERATURE & DRAMA

Lyric Theatre:  Whilst the doors of this much-loved theatre remain temporarily closed, the magic of the Lyric lives on with not one but four Christmas show to enjoy from the safety and comfort of our homes this festive season.  Families can join the Lyric Online and take a trip to marvelous magical places with Peter Pan: The Musical, Alice: The Musical and Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf from 5th December – 3rd January.  Why not wrap up your family Christmas experience with a bespoke Christmas hamper from the Lyric and local Belfast sweetshop, Aunt Sandra's.

The Listen at The Lyric series gets into the festive spirit with a Christmas special from Conor Grimes and Alan McKee from 8th December – 3rd January. The Nativity…What the Donkey Heard is an audio adaption of their hugely popular 2016 show, The Nativity…What the Donkey Saw.  The Lyric has also inventively created a wonderful range of merchandise to treat yourself or a loved one this Christmas including Christmas cards, tote bags, t-shirts, books and more.  Visit www.lyrictheatre.com

Jack and The Beanstalk at the drive-in cinema: Christmas is cancelled! Oh no it isn’t! Cre8 Theatre partnered with Let’s Go Hydro in presenting a family friendly pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at the drive-in cinema, Belfast featuring the Giant, Jack, Jill, Dame Ms. Pinch, Daisy Cow and more.  This is a colourful, high energy contemporary performance featuring typical pantomime elements; dancing, singing and banter with the audience. As well as the pantomime streamed directly to the big screen, Cre8 have devised a programme of pre and mid show entertainment to truly engage audiences in the safety of their cars.

Enter into festive spirit from the comfort of your own sleigh at this socially distanced Panto. The original rags to riches story with modern Christmassy twist and a sprinkling of Cre8 Theatre magic!  The shows continues until Christmas Eve and tickets include, panto performance from Cre8 Theatre, REAL actors interacting live at the venue, popcorn, soft drinks, festive cheer!  Book at  https://letsgohydro.com/drive-in-cinema/drive-in-panto/

VISUAL ARTS - please check each galleries website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

CCA: in Derry-Londonderry are pleased to welcome you back to CCA with Jan McCullough’s Tricks of the Trade, a solo exhibition that explores spaces of construction through sculptural installation.  The works installed across CCA’s galleries reference elements found in spaces such as workshops, garages, factory floors and sheds – that the artist has encountered and photographed over the last decade.  Read more about the exhibition at http://cca-derry-londonderry.org/exhibitions/tricks-of-the-trade/ 

Catalyst Arts: presents Common or Garden
Chris Alton | Jérôme Bel | Bloomers | Emmet Brown | Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books) | Just Books | Aidan Wall | Fiona Woods
Catalyst Arts Gallery, 5 College Court, Belfast, BT16BS
Opening: Friday 11 December, 12-8pm
Common or Garden uses the gallery as a space to propose and foster approaches based on the model of the commons in which resources, ideas and knowledge are shared and distributed democratically. By exploring processes of exchange, collaboration and learning, it asks: can we build practices rooted in collectivity?

The exhibition will include works by Chris Alton, Jérôme Bel, Emmet Brown and Aidan Wall. It will also host a zine library, curated by Bloomers, and The Library of Common Knowledge, featuring books donated through an open call which will be open for visitors to use and share throughout.

The associated programme includes contributions from Chris Alton, Bloomers, Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books), Just Books and Fiona Woods and facilitates discussions on topics such as self-publishing, activism, commonist aesthetics and DIY culture.  See https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

VOID:  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at VOID with three online workshops for kids with artist facilitators, Karen Cassidy, Sinead Crumlish, Zoe McSparron.  Sinead Crumlish will show you how to make your own air drying clay so that you can make your own Christmas decorations, Karen Cassidy has your Christmas cards sorted with her workshop on Watercolour Christmas Cards and join Zoe McSparron to make a Swirling paper plate Christmas Tree that you can hang in your window. For full details, see their website or stay tuned on social media. Workshops will be posted to VOID’s website, Facebook videos, and Instagram IGTV at 11am on each Saturday at Christmas.  Visit https://www.derryvoid.com/

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, presents, Generation, an exhibition featuring artists: Hugo Byrne, Róisín de Buitléar, Mark Campden, Ryan Connolly, Mourne Textiles, Cara Murphy, Alla Sinkevich, Katherine West.

This exhibition invites us to consider the unique perspective of a group of Irish based designer-makers who are custodians of a familial tradition of making and creativity, continuing and/or reinventing the work begun by previous generations of their family.  It explores how generational relationships and personal histories have encouraged an added sense of responsibility, influenced aesthetic considerations and helped shape overall narratives. Based on the notion that making matters, the exhibition reminds us that no matter what form it takes, the importance of making and respect for tradition remains at the heart of these family enterprises.  The exhibition continues until 23 January 2021 and to book an appointment to view the exhibition please email hazel@millenniumcourt.org
Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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.  The new exhibition is called, Pinned, and it is an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths in Northern Ireland.  Pinned presents the work of 23 local jewellers and silversmiths who have each responded to the exhibition’s theme to produce one-of-a-kind pieces beyond the scope of their usual commission or production work.

Participating makers include Anne Earls Boylan, Stuart Cairns, Robyn Galway and Celine Traynor and the exhibition features over 50 variations on the idea of a brooch, with versions in both precious and non-precious materials. Traditionally set stones contrast with re-purposed vintage tins and toys, precision geometry meets abstract forms. Gold, silver and gemstones sit alongside found objects in unexpected interpretations that demonstrate technical accomplishment, innovation and creativity.  The exhibition opened on 4th November and continues until 2nd January 2021.  Craft NI is located at 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast.  Visit http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: has a series of new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  They also have a series of movies at Christmas showing in the venue and a range of online activities.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop: Belfast Print Workshop has created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work and an online shop.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

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Webinar Q&A: Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme 2

Wednesday 23rd December 2020 at 1pm 0 Comments

PLEASE START TO UPLOAD YOUR APPLICATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – DON’T LEAVE THIS TO CHANCE OR TECHNICAL HITCH.

ALSO REFER AT ALL TIMES TO THE FAQs and the GUIDANCE NOTES available from http://artscouncil-ni.org/funding/scheme/individuals-emergency-resilience-programme-2

Deadline for applications: Thursday 7th January 2021 at 4pm

 

You mentioned the award is not means tested?  Many artists have had to take other forms of employment. will this income be held against an applicant?
No.

If the work is paid for in March, can it be completed after March? For example…If I want to apply for PR for a project in April, can I pay in March?
No. All expenditure must be delivered by end March 2021. You can prepare material for example (print brochures, flyers) before end March for April, or design online work which would occur after end March, for example, but all expenditure must be delivered by end March 2021.

How do we calculate how much we apply for? Is there a criteria or formula?
The amount you request will be determined by your awareness of your own needs; this would hopefully be supported by evidence of loss of earnings, and perhaps vouched for in your letter of reference. But the main basis will be your own calculation of need.

Is the referee to email you separately or on paper and scanned along with the application?
You should obtain the reference and, if necessary, scan it and upload it onto the system associated with your application. Remember to get some identifier on any email if you can – logo for example; and it must be signed. Electronic or scanned signature is acceptable. Check the Guidance and FAQs.

As a gigging musician can my reference be from a teacher instead of having to bother bar managers for a reference?
Yes. Anyone who can vouch for your activity/career in the sector can be a referee. There is an opportunity for such a person also to help evidence loss of earnings. But that is not a necessary part of the reference.

Audio visual technician needing to buy new kit to move from supporting  live events to streaming virtual events. would it help to enclose quotes for the new equipment? 
This would always help. You should also retain receipts. Our funds here can only be used to purchase new equipment, not reconditioned or second-hand.

Is the grant taxable income?
Yes. This is between you and HMRC.

Do you indicate on the application how the funding will support you or is that in a separate document that we upload along with the CV and Support letter from venue!?
There is a place on the form for you to describe the benefit of the award for you and your career.

Do you need to have submitted your final statement from the previous funding?
No.

What if you have worked part-time in the acts sector?
You are eligible to apply for loss of earnings incurred in the arts/creative sector.

Can you use the same referee? Same reference as previous application?
Yes.

Can I submit multiple references from different employers?
Yes, but it is preferable that one good reference be sufficient. There will be a very large number of people applying and documentation needs to be kept to the minimum necessary.

Can you confirm that this all has to refer to need up till 31st March? you wouldn’t count anything beyond it?
We can confirm this.

As a member of venue staff, can i apply for funding for retraining in other areas?
Yes.

Just to confirm, typed signatures on this occasion will suffice.
Yes.

Does any disability element in an award have to be spent before 31 March?
This will be managed on a case-by-case basis. Please give as much detail as you can on your request.

Do we need to provide evidence of ineligibility for government support. EG I haven’t been eligible for any government support, do we need to provide that?
No. You simply need to respond if you have or haven’t accessed such support.

Is it a CV AND a statement or one or other?
DO NOT FORGET to fill in the relevant box on the online form. Then, in addition, you must upload EITHER a CV OR a statement describing your career in the sector.  You must also provide a reference from someone who can vouch for your role in the sector.

Does the self employed income support scheme count as support?
Yes.

If you haven’t been able to avail of any govt. or Arts Council funding thus far - is there a best area of the application to make this clear (assuming these individuals are prioritised if their application is applicable)
Yes. You will be asked on the online form to indicate if you have or haven’t received any such support.

Does the referee need to submit a written statement or is it just a matter of putting their name and contact details in the app?
There must be an actual letter of reference for your application to be eligible. You should obtain this and upload it with your application. Do not simply write ‘please see the following link’ or ask us to contact a referee.

Is HRMC made aware of who is successful and awarded funds?
We do make the names of those who receive public funding public on our website. We do not issue lists to third parties.

Should your contribution to the creative sector in NI be included in your CV or is separate?
DO NOT FORGET to fill in the relevant box on the online form. Then, in addition, you must upload EITHER a CV OR a statement describing your career in the sector. You must also provide a reference from someone who can vouch for your role in the sector.

I have had vocal issues and I’m awaiting investigative surgery, I had been having vocal lessons to help but I had to stop due to costs, can I apply for funding for this and if so can I backdate it as if the award is granted in Feb and must be completed by Mar 31st that would only be roughly a month worth of lessons.
Yes, such costs are eligible as they are directed at sustaining your career in the sector. Please make your needs clear in your applications, with as much detail as possible in this or similar instances.

The reference from an independent source to verify your practice - is a screenshot of an email reply sufficient?
Yes. But, as above, a signature is essential and please try to get an identifier (logo, for example) if you can.

 

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 16th December 2020 at 10am 0 Comments Circus & Carnival Arts , Community Arts , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

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MUSIC

Snow Water: presents, UNDER A CHRISTMAS SKY, from 10th – 24th December, 2020.  Under a Christmas Sky features Northern Ireland’s finest musicians, actors, poetry and story-telling, filmed live at the Ulster Folk Museum. From traditional to contemporary everything you will see and hear has one thing in common. The…magic…of…Christmas!

Snow Water (the creators and curators of Distant Sky and Atlantic Sessions) are bringing you one cultural treat per day from 10th – 24rd December, and on Christmas Eve you can watch our full programme, hosted by BBC’s Joe Lindsay. Each day, an advent door will open online to reveal a delicious film for the viewer. Under a Christmas Sky combines beautiful poetry from the likes of Michael Longley, George Bernard Shaw, Thackeray and Frank Ormsby, with songs by Darlene Love, Joni Mitchell, Bing Crosby as well as traditional carols. But with a twist – all are given new interpretations by some of Northern Ireland’s finest artists! Watch on YouTube at Under a Christmas Sky and Facebook & Instagram: @distantskysw

Ulster Orchestra: has created their own Countdown To Christmas Advent Calendar. Check in at 1pm every day from 1st December to Christmas Eve for a musical gift from them to you!  Visit www.twitter.com/ulsterorchestra

Ulster Orchestra will also present an online concert, The Magic of Christmas, on 18th December.  Their Festive extravaganza features their very own Santa – otherwise known as Derry Girls star Ian McElhinney – and features popular local performers Peter Corry and Emma Morwood. We also welcome Cormac Thompson, the 11 year old schoolboy whose videos for his Nannie turned him into an online singing sensation! Their conductor and music arranger for the evening is Paul Campbell and NI Opera's Associate Artists will also be performing.  This wonderful one-hour Christmas show features an array of enchanting carols, festive music and a few little surprises that will make it fun for all the family – get ready to sing along in your living room and enjoy a real Christmas cracker of a night!  Tickets for the concert are priced at £12 per household. This event will be streamed on 18 December at 7pm and will be available to purchase and view until 1 January 2021.  Visit The Magic of Christmas - A Special Online Concert - Ulster Orchestra

NI Opera:  Following the success of their tribute in May to the NHS and key workers ‘At Home for Heroes’, Northern Ireland Opera has curated a festive film with musical contributions from some of Northern Ireland’s best-loved classical musicians.  Contributors include The Priests with Ruth McGinley, Neil Martin, Michael McHale and a chorister from the Belfast Children’s Cathedral Choir plus readings and a performance by Mukesh Sharma and Daniel Perskawiec on harmonium and sitar. NI Opera’s Associate Artists, formed in response to the pandemic to bring opera to the community, will perform with David Corr, winner of the Festival of Voice 2020.  ‘At Home for Christmas’ will also feature readings from journalist Anne Hailes and broadcaster Sean Rafferty, our Patron, who also hosts the film.  Expect to hear favourite carols, readings, a Christmas piano medley, a chorus from ‘Die Fledermaus’, a Sanskrit prayer for peace and some beautiful ‘cello pieces amongst the performances in the film.  ‘At Home for Christmas’ will premiere their YouTube channel www.youtube.com/northernirelandopera on Wednesday 16th December at 8pm.

Live from the Ulster Hall: Live from the Ulster Hall is a new, innovative digital event experience, proudly supported by The Arts Council for Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through their Organisations Emergency Programme.  For the first concert in the series, the Ulster Hall is delighted to welcome back Ryan McMullan to the iconic stage to perform as part of the new digital entertainment experience.  Ryan McMullan is recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s biggest and brightest talents and is thrilled to be back performing for all his fans who can continue to enjoy his live sessions via this new platform from the safety and comfort of their own home.  Tickets cost £15 and are available at www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Irish Traditional Music Archive: is releasing their beautiful Drawing from the Well series on their YouTube channel ITMAVideos - YouTube with some released already which you can view back and a few more to follow on:
16 December 2020
Brían Mac Gloinn
Songs from Arranmore Island

Dun Uladh: has launched, Exploring our Culture, a series of free talks in December on the following dates:
15th Dec –Ian Burrows, RSPBA NI
Plus Saturday 19th December at 8.30pm, Four Men and a Dog online concert.  Visit www.dunuladh.ie

National Youth Choir Northern Ireland (NYCNI):  is releasing a series of virtual choir performances each weekend for five weeks on both Facebook and YouTube. These are the final performances from their online courses which took place in October.  View the first release at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug-3K68ILDs

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present a series of concerts in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21.  Visit  www.armaghpipers.com

Panarts: Let it Grow, From Seed To Song is a brand new series of music videos recorded by local singer-songwriters with Panarts, the team behind the brilliant Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival.  Follow the Panarts Twitter account to access the songs as they’re released.  https://twitter.com/BelNash

Portico of Ards: Exciting news for artists and audiences as the Portico of Ards announces four live music gigs before Christmas. These ‘behind closed doors’ concerts will be broadcast live on YouTube for audiences to enjoy from the safety of their homes.  On Sun 20 Dec local hero and international music sensation, Ryan McMullan, delivers a Christmas ‘Napolean Session’ with a special surprise guest.  The purchase of Portico’s streaming equipment is courtesy of the Arts Council’s Organisations Emergency Programme. Improved stage lighting system has been made possible by the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Programme. The classical music programme is subsidised by National Lottery Project Funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Portico is supported by the Arts Service of Ards and North Down Borough Council.  For further information or to buy tickets visit www.porticoards.com

Northern Ireland Opera: Join some of Northern Ireland’s best known opera singers as they take you to their home county or city and perform a selection of art songs composed by Northern Irish or Irish composers. ‘Northern Songs’ is a set of eight short films showcasing this beautiful country’s stunning locations, landscapes and historic monuments with songs performed by Giselle Allen, Doreen Curran, Carolyn Dobbin and Ben McAteer with pianist, Ruth McGinley.   To hear all songs, visit their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ 

Strabane Brass Band: has released a virtual advent calendar to perfectly count our way down to Christmas! At 7pm every evening, a new performance will be released on Facebook featuring members of the band. During the lockdown period, members of the band have been busy recording lots of new music including full band pieces, ensembles, duets and solos.  Don’t forget to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ Strabane Brass Band on Facebook to find your daily festive treat.  Visit www.facebook.com/strabanebrass

Northern Lights Sessions: return with an evening of timeless Christmas classics from the Swingtime Starlets.  Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Northern Lights programme is set to deliver a musical evening of timeless Christmas classics with the Swingtime Starlets.  The close harmony trio will take to the virtual stage for the free to view performance on Thursday 17th December at 8pm via the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre Facebook Page.  The trio, made up of Orla Mullan, Rosie Barry and Colette Lennon Doug, will perform songs from the Swing, Big Band and golden Hollywood eras.  The special Christmas concert will transport you back to the 40's and 50's with an Andrews Sisters inspired celebration of great music. Dust off your dancing shoes and get ready for a sprinkling of special Starlet Christmas magic, with what is sure to be a cracker of an evening.  For more information visit the Roe Valley Arts Centre Facebook page or go to www.roevalleyarts.com

 

FESTIVALS

Out To Lunch: The 15th annual Out to Lunch Festival returns from 8th-30th January 2021 with a series of shows already announced including Joshua Burnside, Malojian, Jordan Adetunji, Kevin McAleer and Dea Matrona among many others.  For tickets and full programming information visit www.cqaf.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

New Lodge Arts: New Lodge Arts is very excited to announce the North Belfast Bicycle Parade happening on Thursday 17th & Friday 18th December – departing from Girdwood Community Hub at 6pm!  This moonlight cycle will travel approx 4 miles around North Belfast on beautifully lit up bicycles bringing some Christmas cheer to the area.  They have spaces for people to participate. If interested, please complete the online forms following this link. Bikes/helmets can be provided if need be.  Click here to register for Thursday 17th December https://forms.gle/pevuoYp2GsoQHCH18 or click here to register for Friday 18th December  https://forms.gle/YY2zXxy2YqYskiHJ9   *please note there are hills on the route!  A full Risk Assessment is in place and all Covid-19 protocols will be in place.

Tumble Circus: presents Winter Circus the movie live watch party on 27th December at 3pm.  Tumble Circus is back with their ever-popular Winter Circus, and this Christmas they are coming to you!  With no big top tent in Writers Square Belfast, this year Tumble Circus are treating you and your family and friends to Winter Circus the Movie, in the comfort of your front room, kitchen, bathroom or anywhere you can get the internet.  Made and filmed in iconic locations around Belfast, Winter Circus the Movie is a new hammer smashing film, with everything you expect from the world class Tumble Circus troupe, and more. 

Directed by award winning maker of circus films Ken Fanning, Winter Circus the Movie will be all human, all skill and all thrill.  Forget what you think you know about circus and experience breathtaking acts, including acrobats, trapeze, and jugglers, and plenty of laughs too, packed into half an hour of revolutionary Belfast inspired circus. With a modern soundtrack, international circus artists and comedy characters that both young and old can enjoy. See for yourself what’s made Tumble Circus an international award-winning modern circus company, from the comfort of your own home. 

Winter Circus the Movie is available to watch from 3pm on Sunday 27th December 2020 on: 
https://www.facebook.com/tumblecircus/
https://www.youtube.com/user/tumblecircus 
https://www.tumblecircus.com/ 


Brassneck Theatre Company and Brassneck Youth present: 'A bELFast Christmas', written & Directed by Tony Devlin and produced by Alison McCrudden.  Starring Keith Singleton, Christina Nelson, Debra Hill and the young performers from Brassneck Youth, the film will be broadcast online in Sunday 20th December at 6pm for broadcast on Youtube and Brassneck/Feile Facebook pages.

Santa has crash landed in the Falls Park on Christmas eve. To avoid further disaster, Mrs Claus sends head elf MistleJoe McJingles to find Santa, fix the sleigh and deliver the last of the presents. There's one problem however... MistleJoe McJingles is a buck eejit. Can MistleJoe team up with the Fairy of the Falls to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West and save Christmas? Find out in Brassneck’s epic festive film.  This project kindly funded by Arts Council NI and Halifax Foundation NI. Thanks also to BCC for use of Falls Park.  Filmed on location in the Falls Park and Priors Scrapyard

Christmas on the Stage Beyond Tree: Stage beyond is an award-winning theatre company for adults with learning disabilities.  This December the company will create a five-part production, Christmas on the Stage Beyond Tree, which will be shared on their Facebook page and on their website.  Visit www.stagebeyond.com

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich:  presents Fleadh Feirste 2020.  There'll be a fantastic mixture of music, drama, discussion and family events taking place virtually across the Gaeltacht Quarter as part of Fleadh Feirste 2020.  To view the full programme visit https://mcusercontent.com/e21a94f6d04f3fb5cdf573a13/files/6448cc20-d52c-4900-98dc-585ac18918e0/Fleadh_Feirste2020.01.pdf

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained over the festive period.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

LITERATURE & DRAMA

Lyric Theatre:  Whilst the doors of this much-loved theatre remain temporarily closed, the magic of the Lyric lives on with not one but four Christmas show to enjoy from the safety and comfort of our homes this festive season.  Families can join the Lyric Online and take a trip to marvelous magical places with Peter Pan: The Musical, Alice: The Musical and Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf from 5th December – 3rd January.  Why not wrap up your family Christmas experience with a bespoke Christmas hamper from the Lyric and local Belfast sweetshop, Aunt Sandra's.

The Listen at The Lyric series gets into the festive spirit with a Christmas special from Conor Grimes and Alan McKee from 8th December – 3rd January. The Nativity…What the Donkey Heard is an audio adaption of their hugely popular 2016 show, The Nativity…What the Donkey Saw.  The Lyric has also inventively created a wonderful range of merchandise to treat yourself or a loved one this Christmas including Christmas cards, tote bags, t-shirts, books and more.  Visit www.lyrictheatre.com

c21 Theatre Company: one of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre companies, is collaborating with care & nursing homes across the country on a unique project. ‘Through The Glass’ The Reminiscence Project’ creatively interacts with residents stimulating conversations and encouraging them to share stories from their past. A selection of these stories will be developed into theatrical films and shared with residents, councils and online.  The Project features five short theatrical films based around the themes of home, community, school days, work and going out.  To watch, subscribe to their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9JG10BS_Qo

Jack and The Beanstalk at the drive-in cinema: Christmas is cancelled! Oh no it isn’t! Cre8 Theatre partnered with Let’s Go Hydro in presenting a family friendly pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at the drive-in cinema, Belfast featuring the Giant, Jack, Jill, Dame Ms. Pinch, Daisy Cow and more.  This is a colourful, high energy contemporary performance featuring typical pantomime elements; dancing, singing and banter with the audience. As well as the pantomime streamed directly to the big screen, Cre8 have devised a programme of pre and mid show entertainment to truly engage audiences in the safety of their cars.

Enter into festive spirit from the comfort of your own sleigh at this socially distanced Panto. The original rags to riches story with modern Christmassy twist and a sprinkling of Cre8 Theatre magic!  Dates include: 19th, 20th December and includes, panto performance from Cre8 Theatre, REAL actors interacting live at the venue, popcorn, soft drinks, festive cheer!  Book at https://letsgohydro.com/drive-in-cinema/drive-in-panto/

VISUAL ARTS - please check each galleries website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

CCA: in Derry-Londonderry are pleased to welcome you back to CCA with Jan McCullough’s Tricks of the Trade, a solo exhibition that explores spaces of construction through sculptural installation.  The works installed across CCA’s galleries reference elements found in spaces such as workshops, garages, factory floors and sheds – that the artist has encountered and photographed over the last decade.  Read more about the exhibition at CCA Derry~Londonderry | Jan McCullough (cca-derry-londonderry.org)

Catalyst Arts: presents Common or Garden
Chris Alton | Jérôme Bel | Bloomers | Emmet Brown | Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books) | Just Books | Aidan Wall | Fiona Woods
Catalyst Arts Gallery, 5 College Court, Belfast, BT16BS
Opening: Friday 11 December, 12-8pm

Common or Garden uses the gallery as a space to propose and foster approaches based on the model of the commons in which resources, ideas and knowledge are shared and distributed democratically. By exploring processes of exchange, collaboration and learning, it asks: can we build practices rooted in collectivity?

The exhibition will include works by Chris Alton, Jérôme Bel, Emmet Brown and Aidan Wall. It will also host a zine library, curated by Bloomers, and The Library of Common Knowledge, featuring books donated through an open call which will be open for visitors to use and share throughout.

The associated programme includes contributions from Chris Alton, Bloomers, Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books), Just Books and Fiona Woods and facilitates discussions on topics such as self-publishing, activism, commonist aesthetics and DIY culture.  See https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

VOID:  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at VOID with three online workshops for kids with artist facilitators, Karen Cassidy, Sinead Crumlish, Zoe McSparron.  Sinead Crumlish will show you how to make your own air drying clay so that you can make your own Christmas decorations, Karen Cassidy has your Christmas cards sorted with her workshop on Watercolour Christmas Cards and join Zoe McSparron to make a Swirling paper plate Christmas Tree that you can hang in your window. For full details, see their website or stay tuned on social media. Workshops will be posted to VOID’s website, Facebook videos, and Instagram IGTV at 11am on each Saturday at Christmas.  Visit https://www.derryvoid.com/

Golden Thread Gallery: presents WHAT AL-NADEEM KNEW – Outburst Arts Festival at the GTG from Friday 27th November until Friday 18th December
All Day.  Golden Thread Gallery is delighted to welcome Outburst Arts Festival back to the gallery with a remarkable video and multimedia installation.  ‘What al-Nadeem Knew‘ is a multimedia storytelling project that uses collective memory and official and non-official records to unearth different meanings to the current political and economic predicament of Egypt.  Examining the symbolism of music and its performance, specifically that of iconic Egyptian singer and film actress, Um Kalthoum, as being an essential part of the regime propaganda, the installation tries to reconstruct alternative stories about the past, while opening different possibilities to reimagine the future.
Concept: Ismail Fayed
Music/Sound Conception/Dramaturgy: Adham Hafez
Video/Visual Score: Mohammad Shawky Hassan

In order to keep all visitors and staff safe, and follow government guidelines,  GTG is asking all visitors to book their visit in advance by emailing info@gtgallery.co.uk

Belfast Exposed: As part of the Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Exposed is delighted to launch ‘Street View’ - a digital gallery space of curated exhibitions to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is an initiative, which provides a multimedia exhibition experience, in response to the restrictions put in place due to covid-19 that prevent people from visiting galleries and viewing exhibitions. 

Street View is a large digital window display that will showcase artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers. Street View will launch with the work of Jill Quigley, followed by the work of Noel Bowler, Matthew Finn and Daragh McDonagh, among many others. Street View is a 55” high brightness professional screen that provides a platform to exhibit contemporary photography complimented with audio narratives to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Jill Quigley’s work will be supported by audio of actor Monique Kelly who will describe Jill’s artwork and practice. Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.  For details visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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.  The new exhibition is called, Pinned, and it is an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths in Northern Ireland.  Pinned presents the work of 23 local jewellers and silversmiths who have each responded to the exhibition’s theme to produce one-of-a-kind pieces beyond the scope of their usual commission or production work. 

Participating makers include Anne Earls Boylan, Stuart Cairns, Robyn Galway and Celine Traynor and the exhibition features over 50 variations on the idea of a brooch, with versions in both precious and non-precious materials. Traditionally set stones contrast with re-purposed vintage tins and toys, precision geometry meets abstract forms. Gold, silver and gemstones sit alongside found objects in unexpected interpretations that demonstrate technical accomplishment, innovation and creativity.  The exhibition opened on 4th November and continues until 2nd January 2021.  Craft NI is located at 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast.  Visit http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: In line with the restrictions announced by the NI Executive, the MAC is planning to reopen their galleries and cafe with new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  They also have a series of movies at Christmas showing in the venue and a range of online activities.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

R-Space: in Lisburn present a rescheduled exhibition, Obvious, which runs until 11 December 2020 at R-Space Gallery (32 Castle Street, Lisburn).  Six artists based in Northern Ireland (Aimée Nelson, Aoife O’Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers and Pauline Clancy) have been selected from an open call as part of R-Space’s 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.  This year R-Space has selected artists who have responded to the theme ‘Obvious’, and the works include interactive screen printing, mixed media installations, digital imaging, and folk art.  Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/ for full details on opening times.

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop: Belfast Print Workshop has created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work and an online shop.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 9th December 2020 at 10am 0 Comments Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts , Community Arts

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

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FESTIVALS

Out To Lunch: The 15th annual Out to Lunch Festival returns from 8th-30th January 2021 with a series of shows already announced including Joshua Burnside, Malojian, Jordan Adetunji, Kevin McAleer and Dea Matrona among many others.  For tickets and full programming information visit www.cqaf.com

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Beyond Skin: will launch, Far Away, their official music video launch 11th December 2020.  On December 11th Min-On Concert Association & Min-On Music Research Centre Japan will be presenting, SHARE MUSIC DAY, an 80-minute programme featuring professional music performances and collaborations.  As part of the YouTube broadcast will be the premiere of the song, Far Away, accompanied by a music video featuring students from C & S Music School Japan and Glengormley High School Northern Ireland.The pre-recorded broadcast will be available from 11th December at www.youtube.com/channel/UCpRUH9jeJvYVjef7tklWQ-Q and for more information about the project visit www.beyondskin.net/japan

Brassneck Theatre Company and Brassneck Youth present: 'A bELFast Christmas', written & Directed by Tony Devlin and produced by Alison McCrudden.  Starring Keith Singleton, Christina Nelson, Debra Hill and the young performers from Brassneck Youth, the film will be broadcast online in Sunday 20th December at 6pm for broadcast on Youtube and Brassneck/Feile Facebook pages.

Santa has crash landed in the Falls Park on Christmas eve. To avoid further disaster, Mrs Claus sends head elf MistleJoe McJingles to find Santa, fix the sleigh and deliver the last of the presents. There's one problem however... MistleJoe McJingles is a buck eejit. Can MistleJoe team up with the Fairy of the Falls to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West and save Christmas? Find out in Brassneck’s epic festive film.  This project kindly funded by Arts Council NI and Halifax Foundation NI. Thanks also to BCC for use of Falls Park.  Filmed on location in the Falls Park and Priors Scrapyard

Christmas on the Stage Beyond Tree: Stage beyond is an award-winning theatre company for adults with learning disabilities.  This December the company will create a five-part production, Christmas on the Stage Beyond Tree, which will be shared on their Facebook page and on their website.  Visit www.stagebeyond.com

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: presents Fleadh Feirste 2020.  There'll be a fantastic mixture of music, drama, discussion and family events taking place virtually across the Gaeltacht Quarter as part of Fleadh Feirste 2020.  To view the full programme visit https://mcusercontent.com/e21a94f6d04f3fb5cdf573a13/files/6448cc20-d52c-4900-98dc-585ac18918e0/Fleadh_Feirste2020.01.pdf

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Youth Action NI / Rainbow Factory: present the Virtual Winter Wonder Zoom on Thursday 10th December at 5pm.  Join the arts team for fun, games and Christmas spirit.  Suitable for young people aged 13 and under visit www.therainbowfactory.co.uk 

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained over the festive period.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access. Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

MUSIC

Snow Water: presents, UNDER A CHRISTMAS SKY, from 10th – 24th December, 2020.  Under a Christmas Sky features Northern Ireland’s finest musicians, actors, poetry and story-telling, filmed live at the Ulster Folk Museum. From traditional to contemporary everything you will see and hear has one thing in common. The…magic…of…Christmas!

Snow Water (the creators and curators of Distant Sky and Atlantic Sessions) are bringing you one cultural treat per day from 10th – 24rd December, and on Christmas Eve you can watch our full programme, hosted by BBC’s Joe Lindsay. Each day, an advent door will open online to reveal a delicious film for the viewer. Under a Christmas Sky combines beautiful poetry from the likes of Michael Longley, George Bernard Shaw, Thackeray and Frank Ormsby, with songs by Darlene Love, Joni Mitchell, Bing Crosby as well as traditional carols. But with a twist – all are given new interpretations by some of Northern Ireland’s finest artists! Watch on YouTube at Under a Christmas Sky and Facebook & Instagram: @distantskysw

Ulster Orchestra: has created their own Countdown To Christmas Advent Calendar. Check in at 1pm every day from 1st December to Christmas Eve for a musical gift from them to you!  Visit www.twitter.com/ulsterorchestra

Ulster Orchestra will also present an online concert, The Magic of Christmas, on 18th December.  Their Festive extravaganza features their very own Santa – otherwise known as Derry Girls star Ian McElhinney – and features popular local performers Peter Corry and Emma Morwood. We also welcome Cormac Thompson, the 11 year old schoolboy whose videos for his Nannie turned him into an online singing sensation! Their conductor and music arranger for the evening is Paul Campbell and NI Opera's Associate Artists will also be performing.  This wonderful one-hour Christmas show features an array of enchanting carols, festive music and a few little surprises that will make it fun for all the family – get ready to sing along in your living room and enjoy a real Christmas cracker of a night!  Tickets for the concert are priced at £12 per household. This event will be streamed on 18 December at 7pm and will be available to purchase and view until 1 January 2021.  Visit https://www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk/whats-on/the-magic-of-christmas-a-special-online-concert/

NI Opera: Following the success of their tribute in May to the NHS and key workers ‘At Home for Heroes’, Northern Ireland Opera has curated a festive film with musical contributions from some of Northern Ireland’s best-loved classical musicians.  Contributors include The Priests with Ruth McGinley, Neil Martin, Michael McHale and a chorister from the Belfast Children’s Cathedral Choir plus readings and a performance by Mukesh Sharma and Daniel Perskawiec on harmonium and sitar. NI Opera’s Associate Artists, formed in response to the pandemic to bring opera to the community, will perform with David Corr, winner of the Festival of Voice 2020.  ‘At Home for Christmas’ will also feature readings from journalist Anne Hailes and broadcaster Sean Rafferty, our Patron, who also hosts the film.  Expect to hear favourite carols, readings, a Christmas piano medley, a chorus from ‘Die Fledermaus’, a Sanskrit prayer for peace and some beautiful ‘cello pieces amongst the performances in the film.  ‘At Home for Christmas’ will premiere their YouTube channel www.youtube.com/northernirelandopera on Wednesday 16th December at 8pm.

Live from the Ulster Hall: Live from the Ulster Hall is a new, innovative digital event experience, proudly supported by The Arts Council for Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through their Organisations Emergency Programme.  For the first concert in the series, the Ulster Hall is delighted to welcome back Ryan McMullan to the iconic stage to perform as part of the new digital entertainment experience.  Ryan McMullan is recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s biggest and brightest talents and is thrilled to be back performing for all his fans who can continue to enjoy his live sessions via this new platform from the safety and comfort of their own home.  Tickets cost £15 and are available at www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Irish Traditional Music Archive: is releasing their beautiful Drawing from the Well series on their YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ITMAVideos with some released already which you can view back and a few more to follow on:
16 December 2020
Brían Mac Gloinn
Songs from Arranmore Island

Dun Uladh: has launched, Exploring our Culture, a series of free talks in December on the following dates:
10th  Dec – Dr Peter Smith, University of Ulster
15th Dec – Ian Burrows, RSPBA NI
Plus Saturday 19th December at 8.30pm, Four Men and a Dog online concert.  Visit www.dunuladh.ie

National Youth Choir Northern Ireland (NYCNI):  is releasing a series of virtual choir performances each weekend for five weeks on both Facebook and YouTube. These are the final performances from their online courses which took place in October.  View the first release at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug-3K68ILDs

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Here are the links to Episode three!
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/K7UeLxdb56w
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/ScottsJazzClub/posts/179606290549684
Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present another concert in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21 on Friday 11th December featuring Rioghnach Connolly and Martin McGinley.  You can also watch back a stunning performance from 13th November featuring Jarlath Henderson and Brian Finnegan at www.armaghpipers.com

Panarts: Let it Grow, From Seed To Song is a brand new series of music videos recorded by local singer-songwriters with Panarts, the team behind the brilliant Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival.  Follow the Panarts Twitter account to access the songs as they’re released.  https://twitter.com/BelNash

Portico of Ards: Exciting news for artists and audiences as the Portico of Ards announces four live music gigs before Christmas. These ‘behind closed doors’ concerts will be broadcast live on YouTube for audiences to enjoy from the safety of their homes.  On Sun 20 Dec local hero and international music sensation, Ryan McMullan, delivers a Christmas ‘Napolean Session’ with a special surprise guest.  The purchase of Portico’s streaming equipment is courtesy of the Arts Council’s Organisations Emergency Programme. Improved stage lighting system has been made possible by the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Programme. The classical music programme is subsidised by National Lottery Project Funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Portico is supported by the Arts Service of Ards and North Down Borough Council.  For further information or to buy tickets visit www.porticoards.com

Northern Ireland Opera: Join some of Northern Ireland’s best known opera singers as they take you to their home county or city and perform a selection of art songs composed by Northern Irish or Irish composers. ‘Northern Songs’ is a set of eight short films showcasing this beautiful country’s stunning locations, landscapes and historic monuments with songs performed by Giselle Allen, Doreen Curran, Carolyn Dobbin and Ben McAteer with pianist, Ruth McGinley.   To hear all songs, visit their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ 

Strabane Brass Band: has released a virtual advent calendar to perfectly count our way down to Christmas! At 7pm every evening, a new performance will be released on Facebook featuring members of the band. During the lockdown period, members of the band have been busy recording lots of new music including full band pieces, ensembles, duets and solos.  Don’t forget to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ Strabane Brass Band on Facebook to find your daily festive treat.  Visit www.facebook.com/strabanebrass

 

LITERATURE & DRAMA

Lyric Theatre:  Whilst the doors of this much-loved theatre remain temporarily closed, the magic of the Lyric lives on with not one but four Christmas show to enjoy from the safety and comfort of our homes this festive season.  Families can join the Lyric Online and take a trip to marvelous magical places with Peter Pan: The Musical, Alice: The Musical and Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf from 5th December – 3rd January.  Why not wrap up your family Christmas experience with a bespoke Christmas hamper from the Lyric and local Belfast sweetshop, Aunt Sandra's.

The Listen at The Lyric series gets into the festive spirit with a Christmas special from Conor Grimes and Alan McKee from 8th December – 3rd January. The Nativity…What the Donkey Heard is an audio adaption of their hugely popular 2016 show, The Nativity…What the Donkey Saw.  The Lyric has also inventively created a wonderful range of merchandise to treat yourself or a loved one this Christmas including Christmas cards, tote bags, t-shirts, books and more.  Visit www.lyrictheatre.com

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: Actors, authors and an ambassador come together for a one-off programme of performances on Friday 11th December to mark the 25th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Seamus Heaney.  A Nobel Celebration, will be opened by actor Ciarán Hinds with a specially recorded reading of ‘Digging’. The occasion will include a key note address from Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador for Ireland to the United States, talks by renowned academics and authors Rosie Lavan and Roy Foster, and an introduction to her acclaimed version of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Anahorish’ by Lisa Hannigan. 

As well as its focus on Heaney’s work, this bespoke production will also celebrate the work of the other three Irish Nobel Literature Laureates - WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.seamusheaneyhome.com

c21 Theatre Company: one of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre companies, is collaborating with care & nursing homes across the country on a unique project. ‘Through The Glass’ The Reminiscence Project’ creatively interacts with residents stimulating conversations and encouraging them to share stories from their past. A selection of these stories will be developed into theatrical films and shared with residents, councils and online.  The Project features five short theatrical films based around the themes of home, community, school days, work and going out.  To watch, subscribe to their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9JG10BS_Qo

Jack and The Beanstalk at the drive-in cinema: Christmas is cancelled! Oh no it isn’t! Cre8 Theatre partnered with Let’s Go Hydro in presenting a family friendly pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at the drive-in cinema, Belfast featuring the Giant, Jack, Jill, Dame Ms. Pinch, Daisy Cow and more.  This is a colourful, high energy contemporary performance featuring typical pantomime elements; dancing, singing and banter with the audience. As well as the pantomime streamed directly to the big screen, Cre8 have devised a programme of pre and mid show entertainment to truly engage audiences in the safety of their cars.

Enter into festive spirit from the comfort of your own sleigh at this socially distanced Panto. The original rags to riches story with modern Christmassy twist and a sprinkling of Cre8 Theatre magic!  Dates include: 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th December and includes, panto performance from Cre8 Theatre, REAL actors interacting live at the venue, popcorn, soft drinks, festive cheer!  Book at  https://letsgohydro.com/drive-in-cinema/drive-in-panto/

 

VISUAL ARTS - please check each galleries website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

Catalyst Arts: presents Common or Garden
Chris Alton | Jérôme Bel | Bloomers | Emmet Brown | Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books) | Just Books | Aidan Wall | Fiona Woods
Catalyst Arts Gallery, 5 College Court, Belfast, BT16BS
Opening: Friday 11 December, 12-8pm

Common or Garden uses the gallery as a space to propose and foster approaches based on the model of the commons in which resources, ideas and knowledge are shared and distributed democratically. By exploring processes of exchange, collaboration and learning, it asks: can we build practices rooted in collectivity?

The exhibition will include works by Chris Alton, Jérôme Bel, Emmet Brown and Aidan Wall. It will also host a zine library, curated by Bloomers, and The Library of Common Knowledge, featuring books donated through an open call which will be open for visitors to use and share throughout.

The associated programme includes contributions from Chris Alton, Bloomers, Victoria Brunetta & Kate O’Shea (Durty Books), Just Books and Fiona Woods and facilitates discussions on topics such as self-publishing, activism, commonist aesthetics and DIY culture.  See https://www.catalystarts.org.uk/whatson for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

QSS: QSS (Queen Street Studios) is delighted to present their 2020 Christmas Show on 12th & 13th December from 11am-6pm each day. This year works will be priced at £200 or under to adhere to the #artistssupportpledge brief, with 100% of the selling price going directly to the artists.  The QSS Christmas Show will provide a perfect opportunity to pick up a special Christmas gift whilst supporting local, emerging and established talent during uncertain times.  For more information visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/qss-20243430984

VOID:  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at VOID with three online workshops for kids with artist facilitators, Karen Cassidy, Sinead Crumlish, Zoe McSparron.  Sinead Crumlish will show you how to make your own air drying clay so that you can make your own Christmas decorations, Karen Cassidy has your Christmas cards sorted with her workshop on Watercolour Christmas Cards and join Zoe McSparron to make a Swirling paper plate Christmas Tree that you can hang in your window. For full details, see their website or stay tuned on social media. Workshops will be posted to VOID’s website, Facebook videos, and Instagram IGTV at 11am on each Saturday at Christmas.  Visit https://www.derryvoid.com/

Golden Thread Gallery: presents WHAT AL-NADEEM KNEW – Outburst Arts Festival at the GTG from Friday 27th November until Friday 18th December
All Day.  Golden Thread Gallery is delighted to welcome Outburst Arts Festival back to the gallery with a remarkable video and multimedia installation.  ‘What al-Nadeem Knew‘ is a multimedia storytelling project that uses collective memory and official and non-official records to unearth different meanings to the current political and economic predicament of Egypt.  Examining the symbolism of music and its performance, specifically that of iconic Egyptian singer and film actress, Um Kalthoum, as being an essential part of the regime propaganda, the installation tries to reconstruct alternative stories about the past, while opening different possibilities to reimagine the future.

Concept: Ismail Fayed
Music/Sound Conception/Dramaturgy: Adham Hafez
Video/Visual Score: Mohammad Shawky Hassan
In order to keep all visitors and staff safe, and follow government guidelines,  GTG is asking all visitors to book their visit in advance by emailing info@gtgallery.co.uk

Belfast Exposed: As part of the Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Exposed is delighted to launch ‘Street View’ - a digital gallery space of curated exhibitions to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is an initiative, which provides a multimedia exhibition experience, in response to the restrictions put in place due to covid-19 that prevent people from visiting galleries and viewing exhibitions. 

Street View is a large digital window display that will showcase artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers. Street View will launch with the work of Jill Quigley, followed by the work of Noel Bowler, Matthew Finn and Daragh McDonagh, among many others. Street View is a 55” high brightness professional screen that provides a platform to exhibit contemporary photography complimented with audio narratives to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Jill Quigley’s work will be supported by audio of actor Monique Kelly who will describe Jill’s artwork and practice. Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.  For details visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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.  The new exhibition is called, Pinned, and it is an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths in Northern Ireland.  Pinned presents the work of 23 local jewellers and silversmiths who have each responded to the exhibition’s theme to produce one-of-a-kind pieces beyond the scope of their usual commission or production work. 

Participating makers include Anne Earls Boylan, Stuart Cairns, Robyn Galway and Celine Traynor and the exhibition features over 50 variations on the idea of a brooch, with versions in both precious and non-precious materials. Traditionally set stones contrast with re-purposed vintage tins and toys, precision geometry meets abstract forms. Gold, silver and gemstones sit alongside found objects in unexpected interpretations that demonstrate technical accomplishment, innovation and creativity.  The exhibition opened on 4th November and continues until 2nd January 2021.  Craft NI is located at 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast.  Visit http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: In line with the restrictions announced by the NI Executive, the MAC is planning to reopen their galleries and cafe with new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  They also have a series of movies at Christmas showing in the venue and a range of online activities.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

R-Space: in Lisburn present a rescheduled exhibition, Obvious, which runs until 11 December 2020 at R-Space Gallery (32 Castle Street, Lisburn).  Six artists based in Northern Ireland (Aimée Nelson, Aoife O’Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers and Pauline Clancy) have been selected from an open call as part of R-Space’s 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.  This year R-Space has selected artists who have responded to the theme ‘Obvious’, and the works include interactive screen printing, mixed media installations, digital imaging, and folk art.  Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/ for full details on opening times.

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop: Belfast Print Workshop has created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work and an online shop.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

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Best Books of 2020

Tuesday 8th December 2020 at 11am 0 Comments

Best Books of 2020 Image: Best Books of 2020

If ever there has been a time for escaping it all and curling up with a good book, it’s been 2020 - a year, more than most, that we’ve needed to shut out the noise and find comfort and distraction in a good read.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland asked children’s writer Myra Zepf, crime fiction author Kelly Creighton and Patsy Horton, Blackstaff Press, to pick their favourite books of the last twelve months.

Here’s their recommendations for some last minute gifts that will make the perfect stocking fillers this Christmas…. 

Myra Zepf

Myra Zepf was the first Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland (2017-19), appointed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. The Co. Down author has written 11 books for children, from picture books to a YA verse novel. Winner of two Children’s Book Awards from the Literacy Association of Ireland (2017 & 2019), an IBBY Honour Award (2018) and two Oireachtas Awards for Fiction (2016 & 2018), her books appear in seven languages worldwide.

Savage her Reply, Deirdre Sullivan (Little Island)
This latest young adult offering from the pen of Tangleweed and Brine author Deirdre Sullivan, tells the story of the Children of Lir, but from the point of view of its stepmother villain, Aífe, who turns the children into swans through an evil curse. It is dark and disquieting to read, but exquisitely so. Sullivan’s prose is mesmerizing, bewitching and thought-provoking. The process of seeing through the eyes of this troubled character has changed how I will feel about this legend forever.

Rónán and the Mermaid, Marianne McShane & Jordi Solano (Walker Books Ltd)
This is my choice for purest escapism. An older age-range picture book (5-8 years), it is a stunningly beautiful reimagining of the lesser-known Irish myth of Lí Ban the mermaid. Brimming full of monks, seals, harp music and a certain mysterious mermaid, it has bucket-loads of heart. The language itself has that soft lyrical quality that transports the reader and is perfect to read aloud. Meanwhile, the grey-green sea-swept palette of the illustrations will soothe your very soul.

Molly and the Lighthouse, Malachy Doyle & Andrew Whitson (Graffeg)
This latest adventure in the ‘Molly’ series of picture books is an action-packed story, but with all the gentleness we have come to love about this little island girl. One night, Molly realises the lighthouse isn't working, wakes up her friend Dylan, and sets off to help. But will Molly and Dylan be able to get the light working again in time to save their father's fishing boats? A little hair-raising and utterly heart-warming, this book is a gem in both words and pictures.

A Ghost in the Throat, Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Tramp Press)
This first prose book by poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa is an astonishing read. It is genre-defying and completely unique, but if you try to imagine a mash-up between an intimate memoir of a young mother, a love-song to an Irish poem from the 1700s (Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoighre), and an obsessive real-world quest for knowledge about the fate of its author, and layer it all with the language of one of our most exciting contemporary poets, you will hopefully at least be curious enough to dive into this extraordinarily special book. You won’t regret it.

 

Kelly Creighton

Kelly Creighton is a Northern Irish crime writer, short story writer, novelist, poet and editor. She is the author of the Belfast-based DI Harriet Sloane series. Her latest novel, Problems with Girls (2020), is the second instalment in the DI Sloane series. Set in East Belfast is tackles issues around consent, cyberbullying and the invisibility of young women in society. Kelly is also the co-editor of a Christmas story anthology called Underneath the Tree. The collection showcases Northern Ireland writers and features a range of stories, including horror, sci-fi, fantasy and crime.

Witness, Simon Maltman (New Pulp Press)
Post-Troubles Belfast, where the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Pastor Tom believes he can still make a difference but secrets from his past still haunt him. Shady people from his past make a last grab for power. There is murder, kidnapping and corruption. This book is action-packed and fast-paced. Witness has an interesting structure, flitting back and forward to the pinnacle of the story which works really well. All interesting to read books set close to home.

Rejuvenation Trilogy, Byddi Lee (Castrum Press)
A locally-set dystopian tale told after the Melter War. Bobbie Chan is a doctor caring for the ultra-elderly when she notices a new disease afflicting her patients that causes age reversal. But that’s not necessarily a good thing! Bobbie begins a race against time to rescue the Rejuvenees and uncover their true enemy. This book is such an intelligent, well-paced read. Dark comedy shines through. The trilogy has all been released this year so there is plenty to get your teeth into.

Under Your Skin, Rose McClelland (Crooked Cat)
When Kyle’s wife Hannah goes missing, the whole town is out in force to try to find her. One person knows where she is. One person is keeping a secret. Detective Inspector Simon Peters and Detective Kerry Lawlor have been brought in to investigate the case but Hannah has left no traces and Kyle has no clues. The book weaves in the stories of a surrounding cast, told in multiple points of view. It deals perfectly with the issue of coercive control. Unputdownable.

The Last Crossing, Brian McGilloway (The Dome Press)
Tony, Hugh and Karen thought they’d seen the last of each other thirty years ago. Time has passed and memories have been buried. They agree to reunite and as they take the ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland the past is brought into the light. But of course memory is unreliable and truth is all about perspective. The legacy of the Troubles shows its head. This is a carefully plotted thriller with chilling, political undertones meshed with stunning writing.

 

Patsy Horton

Patsy Horton is Managing Editor of Blackstaff Press, widely regarded as one of Ireland’s foremost publishers and a leading publisher of quality Irish books. Founded in 1971 the iconic brand has a long and rich heritage. It has published authors such as John Hewitt, Bernard McLaverty, Glenn Patterson, Patricia Craig and Ciaran Carson.

Little Red and Other Stories, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne (Blackstaff Press)
Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s Little Red and Other Stories is a brilliant new collection of eleven short stories. Like most of Ní Dhuibhne’s writing, these stories focus on the lives of women and, in this collection, it’s women who are trying to recover from a crisis that has derailed their lives in some way. Death, divorce, family tensions and splits – this is rich territory that allows Ní Dhuibhne to explore how we define ourselves and our place in the world.  A brave and wise collection, full of sharp and wry observations and writing that is breathtakingly good.

Inventory: A River, A City, A Family, Darran Anderson (Chatto & Windus)
Inventory: A River, A City, A Family is Darran Anderson’s powerful memoir about growing up in Derry during the Troubles. Anderson is deeply conscious of how difficult it is to put a shape on the past, especially a past – his, his family’s, his city’s – that is marked by loss and trauma. The inventory of over eighty objects that he uses to structure the book is a way of finding that shape, making for a terrific story and a compelling exploration of history, memory and legacy.

My Homeplace Inheritance: Recipes for Life from My Irish Country Childhood, Susan Farrell (Blackstaff Press)
My Homeplace Inheritance: Recipes for Life from My Irish Country Childhood by Susan Farrell is her evocative account of what it was like to grow up in rural Armagh and Tyrone. Beginning with her grandparents, Farrell uses food to trace the legacy of her upbringing – the making of bread, food remedies and broths, Cake Sundays – and how, in spite of change, it continues to sustain her. Affectionate and often funny, this memoir is a timely reminder that that we derive much of our happiness from simple things like eating home-cooked food together around a table.

Big Girl, Small Town, Michelle Gallen (John Murray)
I devoured Michelle Gallen’s Big Girl, Small Town in two days, carried along by the energy and personality of its narrator Majella who lives in a small town in Northern Ireland. Majella is resistant to ‘normal’ rules, and her observations about the world around her and her own distinctive way of understanding reality generate much humour in the book. Gallen covers some dark territory and the humour often has an edge to it but there’s plenty of affection and laughter here too, and the prose pulses with Gallen’s exuberant delight in Majella’s voice.

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 2nd December 2020 at 11am 0 Comments Community Arts , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

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FESTIVALS

Out To Lunch: The 15th annual Out to Lunch Festival returns from 8th-30th January 2021 with a series of shows already announced including Joshua Burnside, Malojian, Jordan Adetunji, Kevin McAleer and Dea Matrona among many others.  For tickets and full programming information visit www.cqaf.com

University of Atypical Bounce arts festival:  Bounce is the annual arts festival produced by the University of Atypical that showcases outstanding new work by D/deaf and disabled writers, producers, actors, dancers, musicians and directors.  The festival returns from 4th-6th December and it free to enjoy.  Visit www.bounce2020.org

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

ISLAND Arts: To celebrate the City of Lisburn & Castlereagh's Virtual Switch-on and the spirit of Christmas, ISLAND Arts would like to invite you to test drive ISLAND Arts' Christmas activities for children and families.  Enter the magical, theatrical world of Cahoots Theatre Company's, 'The University of Wonder and Imagination' or join ISLAND Arts' FREE 'Christmas Creative Club for Children.'  Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so the sooner you go online the better the chance you have of securing the tickets you want.  For details visit www.islandartscentre.com future

Brassneck Theatre Company and Brassneck Youth present: 'A bELFast Christmas', written & Directed by Tony Devlin and produced by Alison McCrudden.  Starring Keith Singleton, Christina Nelson, Debra Hill and the young performers from Brassneck Youth, the film will be broadcast online in Sunday 20th December at 6pm for broadcast on Youtube and Brassneck/Feile Facebook pages.

Santa has crash landed in the Falls Park on Christmas eve. To avoid further disaster, Mrs Claus sends head elf MistleJoe McJingles to find Santa, fix the sleigh and deliver the last of the presents. There's one problem however... MistleJoe McJingles is a buck eejit. Can MistleJoe team up with the Fairy of the Falls to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West and save Christmas? Find out in Brassneck’s epic festive film.

This project kindly funded by Arts Council NI and Halifax Foundation NI. Thanks also to BCC for use of Falls Park.  Filmed on location in the Falls Park and Priors Scrapyard

Christmas on the Stage Beyond Tree: Stage beyond is an award-winning theatre company for adults with learning disabilities.  This December the company will create a five-part production, Christmas on the Stage Beyond Tree, which will be shared on their Facebook page and on their website.  Visit www.stagebeyond.com

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich:  presents Fleadh Feirste 2020.  There'll be a fantastic mixture of music, drama, discussion and family events taking place virtually across the Gaeltacht Quarter as part of Fleadh Feirste 2020.  To view the full programme visit https://issuu.com/culturlannmcadamofiaich/docs/fleadh_feirste2020

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Youth Action NI / Rainbow Factory: present the Virtual Winter Wonder Zoom on Thursday 10th December at 5pm.  Join the arts team for fun, games and Christmas spirit.  Suitable for young people aged 13 and under visit www.therainbowfactory.co.uk 

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online arts and craft activities to keep you entertained over the festive period.  Visit www.wheelworksarts.com

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

MUSIC

Ulster Orchestra: has created their own Countdown To Christmas Advent Calendar. Check in at 1pm every day from 1st December to Christmas Eve for a musical gift from them to you!  Visit www.twitter.com/ulsterorchestra

On Saturday 5th December, the Ulster Orchestra perform in a chamber concert to celebrate Belfast Music Society’s centenary.  This is part of the extended Belfast International Arts Festival and takes place online at 8pm  Reserve your free virtual seat at www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

Live from the Ulster Hall: Live from the Ulster Hall is a new, innovative digital event experience, proudly supported by The Arts Council for Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through their Organisations Emergency Programme.  For the first concert in the series, the Ulster Hall is delighted to welcome back Ryan McMullan to the iconic stage to perform as part of the new digital entertainment experience.  Ryan McMullan is recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s biggest and brightest talents and is thrilled to be back performing for all his fans who can continue to enjoy his live sessions via this new platform from the safety and comfort of their own home.  Tickets cost £15 and are available at www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Irish Traditional Music Archive: is releasing their beautiful Drawing from the Well series on their YouTube channel ITMAVideos - YouTube with some released already which you can view back and a few more to follow on:

2 December 2020
Mary Bergin, Tony Linnane & John Blake
The Wiliam Forde Music Manuscripts

16 December 2020
Brían Mac Gloinn
Songs from Arranmore Island

Dun Uladh: has launched, Exploring our Culture, a series of free talks in December on the following dates:
1st Dec – Derek Moore, Londonderry Bands Forum
3rd Dec – Fintan Vallely, musician, writer, lecturer
8th Dec – Linda Ervine, East Belfast Mission
10th  Dec – Dr Peter Smith, University of Ulster
15th Dec – Ian Burrows, RSPBA NI
Plus Saturday 19th December at 8.30pm, Four Men and a Dog online concert.  Visit www.dunuladh.ie

National Youth Choir Northern Ireland (NYCNI): is releasing a series of virtual choir performances each weekend for five weeks on both Facebook and YouTube. These are the final performances from their online courses which took place in October.  View the first release at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug-3K68ILDs

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Cormac O'Kane and Richard Brown have installed a sound and lighting setup and are filming and livestreaming the performances. They are also producing Scott's Jazz Club Bites, a series featuring interviews and performances from the shows. The club has already built a strong social media following and ran two sold out shows before the current lockdown.  In episode 2 of Scott's Jazz club, Scott was joined by renowned Belfast Jazz trumpeter, Linley Hamilton.  This episode features Linley's funky performance of 'Happy People' with Jack Kelly on bass and the amazing drummer, Dominic Mullan, from Dublin.

Facebook Link: https://fb.watch/1YTqAHZ8NP/
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/kSHmL5cgmVA
Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present another concert in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21 on Friday 11th December featuring Rioghnach Connolly and Martin McGinley.  You can also watch back a stunning performance from 13th November featuring Jarlath Henderson and Brian Finnegan at www.armaghpipers.com

Panarts: Let it Grow, From Seed To Song is a brand new series of music videos recorded by local singer-songwriters with Panarts, the team behind the brilliant Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival.  Follow the Panarts Twitter account to access the songs as they’re released.  https://twitter.com/BelNash

Portico of Ards: Exciting news for artists and audiences as the Portico of Ards announces four live music gigs before Christmas. These ‘behind closed doors’ concerts will be broadcast live on YouTube for audiences to enjoy from the safety of their homes.  NI Opera’s Associate Artists bring their Christmassy numbers on Sat 5 Dec at 7.30pm and on Sun 20 Dec local hero and international music sensation, Ryan McMullan, delivers a Christmas ‘Napolean Session’ with a special surprise guest. 

The purchase of Portico’s streaming equipment is courtesy of the Arts Council’s Organisations Emergency Programme. Improved stage lighting system has been made possible by the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Programme. The classical music programme is subsidised by National Lottery Project Funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Portico is supported by the Arts Service of Ards and North Down Borough Council.  For further information or to buy tickets visit www.porticoards.com

Northern Ireland Opera: Join some of Northern Ireland’s best known opera singers as they take you to their home county or city and perform a selection of art songs composed by Northern Irish or Irish composers. ‘Northern Songs’ is a set of eight short films showcasing this beautiful country’s stunning locations, landscapes and historic monuments with songs performed by Giselle Allen, Doreen Curran, Carolyn Dobbin and Ben McAteer with pianist, Ruth McGinley.   To hear all songs, visit their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ

 

LITERATURE & DRAMA

Lyric Theatre:  Whilst the doors of this much-loved theatre remain temporarily closed, the magic of the Lyric lives on with not one but four Christmas show to enjoy from the safety and comfort of our homes this festive season.  Families can join the Lyric Online and take a trip to marvelous magical places with Peter Pan: The Musical, Alice: The Musical and Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf from 5th December – 3rd January.  Why not wrap up your family Christmas experience with a bespoke Christmas hamper from the Lyric and local Belfast sweetshop, Aunt Sandra's.

The Listen at The Lyric series gets into the festive spirit with a Christmas special from Conor Grimes and Alan McKee from 8th December – 3rd January. The Nativity…What the Donkey Heard is an audio adaption of their hugely popular 2016 show, The Nativity…What the Donkey Saw.  The Lyric has also inventively created a wonderful range of merchandise to treat yourself or a loved one this Christmas including Christmas cards, tote bags, t-shirts, books and more.  Visit www.lyrictheatre.com

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: Actors, authors and an ambassador come together for a one-off programme of performances on Friday 11th December to mark the 25th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Seamus Heaney.  A Nobel Celebration, will be opened by actor Ciarán Hinds with a specially recorded reading of ‘Digging’. The occasion will include a key note address from Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador for Ireland to the United States, talks by renowned academics and authors Rosie Lavan and Roy Foster, and an introduction to her acclaimed version of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Anahorish’ by Lisa Hannigan.

As well as its focus on Heaney’s work, this bespoke production will also celebrate the work of the other three Irish Nobel Literature Laureates - WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett.  Star of stage and screen Fiona Shaw will read an excerpt of Beckett’s ‘Happy Days’, the life and work of George Bernard Shaw will be analysed by friend of HomePlace, Fintan O’Toole, who will also be part of the panel discussion on Yeats with Mark O’Connell and Emma Dabiri, titled ‘The Centre Cannot Hold’. This event will celebrate the 100 years anniversary of the publication of ‘The Second Coming’ and is presented in conjunction with Yeats Society, Sligo.  For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.seamusheaneyhome.com

c21 Theatre Company: one of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre companies, is collaborating with care & nursing homes across the country on a unique project. ‘Through The Glass’ The Reminiscence Project’ creatively interacts with residents stimulating conversations and encouraging them to share stories from their past. A selection of these stories will be developed into theatrical films and shared with residents, councils and online.  The Project features five short theatrical films based around the themes of home, community, school days, work and going out.  It provides employment to 11 professionals over 22 weeks as well as creating innovative social interaction with the participating nursing and care homes (operating within COVID-19 guidelines). The films will feature actors, music, visuals and poetry and will be broadcast between November and December on c21 Theatre’s YouTube Channel and social media platforms.

c21 Theatre Company worked with the education departments within local museums to supply reminiscence loan boxes to the nursing and care homes who used them in workshops facilitated by the activity coordinators located in the homes. The loan boxes contained historical items ranging from powdered milk from WWII to 1970s shoes. The stories gathered provided the project’s writers Gary Wilson, Tom Rowntree-Finlay and poet Shelley Tracey with content for brand new work for the films. The films which are directed by Stephen Kelly and produced by Donna Hunter, feature local actors Colm McCready, Christina Nelson, Debra Hill, and Eoghan Lamb.  To watch, subscribe to their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9JG10BS_Qo

Jack and The Beanstalk at the drive-in cinema: Christmas is cancelled! Oh no it isn’t! Cre8 Theatre partnered with Let’s Go Hydro in presenting a family friendly pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at the drive-in cinema, Belfast featuring the Giant, Jack, Jill, Dame Ms. Pinch, Daisy Cow and more.  This is a colourful, high energy contemporary performance featuring typical pantomime elements; dancing, singing and banter with the audience. As well as the pantomime streamed directly to the big screen, Cre8 have devised a programme of pre and mid show entertainment to truly engage audiences in the safety of their cars.

Enter into festive spirit from the comfort of your own sleigh at this socially distanced Panto. The original rags to riches story with modern Christmassy twist and a sprinkling of Cre8 Theatre magic!  Dates include: 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th December and includes, panto performance from Cre8 Theatre, REAL actors interacting live at the venue, popcorn, soft drinks, festive cheer!  Book at https://letsgohydro.com/drive-in-cinema/drive-in-panto/

 

VISUAL ARTS - please check each galleries website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

VOID: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at VOID with three online workshops for kids with artist facilitators, Karen Cassidy, Sinead Crumlish, Zoe McSparron.  Sinead Crumlish will show you how to make your own air drying clay so that you can make your own Christmas decorations, Karen Cassidy has your Christmas cards sorted with her workshop on Watercolour Christmas Cards and join Zoe McSparron to make a Swirling paper plate Christmas Tree that you can hang in your window. For full details, see their website or stay tuned on social media. Workshops will be posted to VOID’s website, Facebook videos, and Instagram IGTV at 11am on each Saturday at Christmas.  Visit https://www.derryvoid.com/

Golden Thread Gallery: presents WHAT AL-NADEEM KNEW – Outburst Arts Festival at the GTG from Friday 27th November until Friday 18th December
All Day.  Golden Thread Gallery is delighted to welcome Outburst Arts Festival back to the gallery with a remarkable video and multimedia installation.  ‘What al-Nadeem Knew‘ is a multimedia storytelling project that uses collective memory and official and non-official records to unearth different meanings to the current political and economic predicament of Egypt.  Examining the symbolism of music and its performance, specifically that of iconic Egyptian singer and film actress, Um Kalthoum, as being an essential part of the regime propaganda, the installation tries to reconstruct alternative stories about the past, while opening different possibilities to reimagine the future.
Concept: Ismail Fayed
Music/Sound Conception/Dramaturgy: Adham Hafez
Video/Visual Score: Mohammad Shawky Hassan
In order to keep all visitors and staff safe, and follow government guidelines,  GTG is asking all visitors to book their visit in advance by emailing info@gtgallery.co.uk

Belfast Exposed: As part of the Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Exposed is delighted to launch ‘Street View’ - a digital gallery space of curated exhibitions to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is an initiative, which provides a multimedia exhibition experience, in response to the restrictions put in place due to covid-19 that prevent people from visiting galleries and viewing exhibitions. 

Street View is a large digital window display that will showcase artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers. Street View will launch with the work of Jill Quigley, followed by the work of Noel Bowler, Matthew Finn and Daragh McDonagh, among many others. Street View is a 55” high brightness professional screen that provides a platform to exhibit contemporary photography complimented with audio narratives to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Jill Quigley’s work will be supported by audio of actor Monique Kelly who will describe Jill’s artwork and practice. Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.  For details visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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.  The new exhibition is called, Pinned, and it is an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths in Northern Ireland.  Pinned presents the work of 23 local jewellers and silversmiths who have each responded to the exhibition’s theme to produce one-of-a-kind pieces beyond the scope of their usual commission or production work. 

Participating makers include Anne Earls Boylan, Stuart Cairns, Robyn Galway and Celine Traynor and the exhibition features over 50 variations on the idea of a brooch, with versions in both precious and non-precious materials. Traditionally set stones contrast with re-purposed vintage tins and toys, precision geometry meets abstract forms. Gold, silver and gemstones sit alongside found objects in unexpected interpretations that demonstrate technical accomplishment, innovation and creativity.  The exhibition opened on 4th November and continues until 2nd January 2021.  Craft NI is located at 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast.  Visit http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: In line with the restrictions announced by the NI Executive, the MAC is planning to reopen their galleries and cafe with new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  They also have a series of movies at Christmas showing in the venue and a range of online activities.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

R-Space: in Lisburn present a rescheduled exhibition, Obvious, which runs until 11 December 2020 at R-Space Gallery (32 Castle Street, Lisburn).  Six artists based in Northern Ireland (Aimée Nelson, Aoife O’Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers and Pauline Clancy) have been selected from an open call as part of R-Space’s 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.  This year R-Space has selected artists who have responded to the theme ‘Obvious’, and the works include interactive screen printing, mixed media installations, digital imaging, and folk art.  Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/ for full details on opening times.

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop: Belfast Print Workshop has created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work and an online shop.   They also have some spaces left in their courses in November and December, all conducted under strict COVID-19 safety standards.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

 

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Arts Council of Northern Ireland Christmas Gift Guide

Monday 30th November 2020 at 3pm 0 Comments

Christmas Gift Guide 2020 Image: Christmas Gift Guide 2020

From music, books, crafts and original art, to vouchers to a great play or concert, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has picked a selection of arts-inspired gifts from local artists to treat a loved one this festive season.  It couldn’t be easier to support local this Christmas! 

For more gifts by local artists visit www.buyartni.co.uk

Buy a dream art work

Own Art is an interest free loan scheme, supported by the Arts Council, which makes buying a piece of art easier and more affordable by spreading the cost over 10 months.  Spoil your loved one and choose from jewellery, ceramics, paintings, original prints and objet d’art. Participating galleries include Gormleys, ArtisAnn Gallery, Craft NI Gallery and Steensons. ArtisAnn Christmas show is now on with all artworks priced £250 or less with a wider range at various prices available in the main gallery space, all available through Own Art.  For more information visit www.ownart.org.uk

Golden Thread Gallery is encouraging everyone to buy local art this year and has opened their online platform to artists from Northern Ireland to showcase and sell their work.  Visit www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk/buy-local/?v=79cba1185463 to view the work of a range of artists.

Belfast Print Workshop will open their 2020 Members Christmas Show Exhibition, inspired by ‘Light’, on the 10th December at 7pm for purchase.  Works can also be viewed in advance on their website.  This exhibition will run until the 19th of December, and will be open for visitors to view safely under our COVID-19 safety guidelines.  Booking is essential, find out more details by contacting office@BPW.org.uk

To view the prints on offer visit www.bpw.prg.uk

Buy a new musical instrument

Own that musical instrument of your dreams with Take It Away.  Similar to Own Art, the Take It Away scheme, supported by the Arts Council, offers the opportunity to purchase a musical instrument, equipment or software, with an interest free loan repaid over 10 months.  See www.artscouncil-ni.org/takeitaway for more information on participating stores in Northern Ireland.

Books galore

Books always make a great gift at Christmas.  Here are some seasonal offerings from Northern Ireland authors:

Underneath the Tree: Twelve Christmas Stories from Writers in Northern Ireland, (Sesheta Press £10), edited by Kelly Creighton and Claire Savage.  Available on Amazon Kindle and paperback.

The Art of the Glimpse (Head of Zeus £7.99), edited by Sinéad Gleeson, a selection of 100 Irish stories from the past and present, across a whopping 800 pages, with a good representation of top writers from Northern Ireland.  Available in all good book shops and online.

Finally, in honour of the great Sam McBratney, everyone – of any age, but particularly youngsters – should have Guess How Much I Love You (Walker Books, £6.99) by Sam McBratney in their Christmas stocking.  Available in all good book shops and online.

Get crafty

Craft NI on Belfast’s Royal Avenue features the Craft NI Gallery, an exhibition space currently showing Pinned, an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths until 2nd January.  Craft NI is also a place where you can buy extraordinary gifts by designer-makers from Northern Ireland.  Craft NI has launched its own online shop and is adding new work every day.  You can also pick up the phone if you see anything on their social media platforms that you want more information on. And for bigger or really special pieces, Craft NI Gallery is now part of the Arts Council’s Own Art scheme, increasing accessibility to beautiful contemporary craft.  Visit www.craftnigallery.org

Also visit www.craftniwheretobuy.org where you’ll find a list of Northern Ireland craft retailers by county, as well as links to local craft makers who are selling online. Every day between now and Christmas, Craft NI will profile local craft retailers and makers, so keep an eye on @craftni and @craftnigallery on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and ideas.

It’s showtime!

Give the gift of a theatre voucher or make a gift donation! Whilst our theatres and performances spaces remain closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.  The MAC, Lyric Theatre, Ulster Orchestra, Grand Opera House, Millennium Forum and The Playhouse all have fantastic shows coming up in 2021, including panto, musicals, comedy and family theatre.  If you’re unsure what tickets to buy, simply pick up a voucher!   Visit
www.themaclive.co.uk
www.lyrictheatre.co.uk
www.goh.co.uk
www.millenniumforum.co.uk
www.derryplayhouse.co.uk 
www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk

Lyric Theatre Merch
Treat yourself or a loved one to theatre inspired gifts at the Lyric’s brand new merchandise online shop.  From elegant Christmas cards designed by Lyric Theatre Costume Supervisor, Gillian Lennox, to kids t-shirts and tote bags, CDs featuring the music from their magical Christmas shows and books, there’s something to suit all.  Shop at https://lyrictheatre.co.uk/merchandise/

The crème de la crème of Northern Ireland music

Electronic musician, Ryan Vail and classical contemporary pianist, Ruth McGinley have released a new track, Chrysalism.  The track was written and recorded remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown in their homes and is supported by Moving on Music and National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  Through this one-off collaboration, Vail and McGinley offer a blend of contemporary and classical composition with the track moving smoothly between minimalist expression and Ryan Vail's trademark sweeping, vibrant electronica.  Available to buy now on Spotify and iTunes. 

The NI Music Prize, organised by the Oh Yeah Centre, was held in November and was a chance to celebrate and highlight the huge amount of musical talent that released new music in 2020.  The overall winner of Best Album of 2020 went to artist, Kitt Philippa, for the album, ‘Human’.  Other contenders for this prestigious prize included Malojian, Ciaran Lavery, The Darklin Air, Arvo Party, Arborist, Careerist, Junk Drawer, Joel Harkin, Our Krypton Son, Phil Kieran and The Lost Brothers.  To find out more and purchase albums visit www.nimusicprize.com

Why not gift membership of the Friends of Northern Ireland Opera and help support the development of local talent while getting access to exclusive ticket offers and behind-the-scenes events.  From £50 per year/£20 for students.  Full details here: https://www.niopera.com/support-us/individuals/

Buy a photography course with Belfast Exposed

Belfast Exposed has over 35 years of experience delivering photography courses to the general public. Their training courses enable participants to learn and develop new skills in photography. They provide photography courses in Digital Photography, Film Photography, Post-Production, Printing & Presenting and Traditional Processes.  Belfast Exposed gift vouchers can also be purchased for any value of your choice and can be used towards courses, books, journals and magazines as well as photographic prints and postcards.  Visit www.belfastexposed.org for details or email c.obrien@belfastexposed.org

For more gifts by local artists visit www.buyartni.co.uk

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Disability Awareness Week 2020

Monday 30th November 2020 at 11am 0 Comments Arts & Disability

Pictured with Gilly Campbell, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, are Stage Beyond members, Frank Nelis, Bernadette Shiels and Bryan Sutherland at the rehearsals for Gulliver’s Travels in 2018. Image: Pictured with Gilly Campbell, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, are Stage Beyond members, Frank Nelis, Bernadette Shiels and Bryan Sutherland at the rehearsals for Gulliver’s Travels in 2018.

In celebration of Disability Awareness Week, 30th November - 4th December 2020, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland will be revisiting and highlighting some of the amazing arts organisations that work with people with disabilities.

Kids in Control (KIC) firmly believe that Art is about everything and for everyone.  KIC is a professional theatre company that values children and young people of all abilities and backgrounds and is the foremost professional physical theatre company working with young people in Northern Ireland. They are profoundly inclusive and cut through traditional divisions of physical and learning ability, religion and social background.  Skill sharing and empathy between participants are the cornerstones of KIC’s artistic practice, which ensures diversity, tolerance and creative generosity among all of their participants.

In this video from March 2020 we get an insight into, Physical Graffiti, a KIC core programme that runs annually, providing supported access for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder to high quality creative learning programmes.   https://youtu.be/RmOebGaXPQ0

Drake Music Project Ireland provides access to independent music making for children and adults with complex disabilities. Workshops in composition and performance skills are afforded by the provision of adapted computer interfacing technology, in order that physical and cognitive ability is matched to an appropriate gestural interface, allowing people with disabilities the opportunity to express their creativity in an independent and controllable environment.  The Professional Access Music Tutors of the Drake Music Project Northern Ireland design, implement and deliver music creativity and learning programmes for children and adults with diverse and complex disabilities, to give people with disabilities the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

As an arts organisation that crosses the boards into design and research with assistive technology needed and created for workshops, Drake Music NI are involved in several research projects, and are currently partners in 3 PhD programs with QUB and the Sonic Arts Research Centre. Drake musicians are involved with design programs to create new instruments and controllers for physical control of the creative process, and our musicians have performed in Bern, Hamburg, Dublin, at Acoustic Picnic and many times at the Black Box sessions. Our instrument designs and trials mean that more and more talented people get the opportunity to be creative on their own terms.
www.drakemusicni.com

In this video we revisit a 2015 Big Ears public engagement partnership project between QUB Sonic Arts Research Centre and Drake Music NI, which has developed out to date with currently 3 full funded PhD programs partnered with both organisations.  On the first day of this collaboration, the researchers met with the musicians from Drake Music NI, together they planned how they would create bespoke input devices for Ableton Live workstations. Their remit was to design accessible musical instruments. The prototype interfaces that were created included a hacked game controller, gestural video camera interaction using an LED glove, and touch sensors that were calibrated to the musician’s facial movements.  https://youtu.be/WLtVDfQri5k

Project Sparks harnesses the empathy and resilience of creatively gifted disabled young-people by training them to teach music and dance to primary school children. These young people are called ‘Leaders’, to empower them to make a step toward emancipating themselves from the marginalising labels they may have been given in the past. Over the last three years, Sparks' Leaders have taught over 1,000 children from Catholic, Protestant, rural and minority-ethnic communities. These inspirational young-people have proven that, by teaching alongside qualified teachers, they have a singular capacity to use music to inspire the most disadvantaged children to embrace difference and overcome adversity.

Here we revisit a project launched in August 2020, an exciting collaboration by Project Sparks with the children and teachers of The Model, St Paul's and Greenhaw Primary Schools.  This first-of-its-kind programme will help fifteen disabled young-artists and project staff teach over 200 children.  Kids will explore creative expression by learning from inspirational young people who have overcome incredible challenges and teachers will gain new skills to capture their pupils' imaginations, as they use music to drive the entire curriculum.  https://youtu.be/-bxuTve_wUE

Replay Theatre Company has been running for over 30 years. Funded by the Arts Council, it is a small company, with big ambitions, and its success has been built on the belief that all children should have access to high quality theatre experiences. Although it creates all kinds of shows for the youngest of children right up to teens, it’s probably best known for its work with children with profound and multiple learning disabilities and complex needs.

Its August production, COCO, was a story about a small koala and his adventures through the jungle. Written and performed by Mary McGurk and directed by Andrew Stanford, who also composed the sound design for the show, it is a full sensory experience, set against a brightly coloured, feathery backdrop, designed to immerse the audience into COCO’s rainforest home.  But this was a theatre show with a difference. The performance space was a converted transit van, the back of which flipped down to transform into a bespoke travelling theatre and the performance was, rather unusually, designed for an audience of one.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmWqEUxDOD4

University of Atypical is a disabled-led arts charity, taking an empowerment based approach towards supporting disabled and D/deaf people’s involvement in the arts.  The organisation specialises in developing and promoting the work of disabled and D/deaf artists in reaching disabled a D/deaf audiences.

Working with all art forms and across all impairments, University of Atypical delivers a year-round programme of exhibitions and events including the annual Bounce Arts Festival, which presents an exciting range of music, theatre, dance and visual arts by disabled and D/deaf artists, alongside family-friendly activities. Atypical Gallery shows work by disabled and D/deaf visual artists on a year-round basis. University of Atypical also manages the iDA grant scheme for individual disabled and deaf artists, with funds from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and the Arts & Disability Equality Charter, which supports venues to be as accessible as possible for disabled and D/deaf audiences and artists. 

Bounce is the annual arts festival produced by the University of Atypical that showcases outstanding new work by D/deaf andabled wri disters, producers, actors, dancers, musicians and directors.  The festival returns from 4th-6th December and it free to enjoy.  Watch the trailer at https://vimeo.com/485028224 and for tickets visit www.bounce2020.org

Stage Beyond, based in Derry-Londonderry, is an award-winning Theatre Company for adults with learning disabilities.  The company offer professional arts training in a variety of disciplines with the aims of using the arts as a tool to promote self-esteem, sociability and life skills. 
From entertaining the people of Derry with Shakespeare in the Street, to staging epic Christmas pantos, Hamlet and opera, this talented bunch are not afraid to tackle anything and bring high energy, talent and huge amounts of passion to everything they do!  They’ve also just won yet another award picking up 2020 National Showcase Award in the Achates Philanthropy Competition. 

Here we look back at a 2018 production of Gulliver’s Travels and talk to some of the Stage Beyond group members about just how much Stage Beyond benefits their lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PkCT38lGDY

VOID Gallery, in Derry-Londonderry, is a contemporary art gallery which showcases the work of established Irish and international artists.  In addition, VOID do an incredible amount of outreach work with schools, older people and with people with disabilities.  Today (30th November) the gallery welcomes back artist, Clare Mc Laughlin, who will bring her art project, Seen-Unseen, to the Zoom platform. Seen-Unseen deals with the non–visual exploration of art and allows the blind or vision impaired person to experience artwork through their other senses.  Each participant will visit Alan Phelan’s exhibition, Echoes Are Always More Muted, through an online tour. Clare will lead a thought provoking, memory stimulating, interactive and sensory session which will explore the exhibition through a tactile workshop.  Seen-Unseen at Void Gallery is funded by DCSDC and will take place during Disability Week NI 2020.  Visit www.derryvoid.com

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 25th November 2020 at 12pm 0 Comments Community Arts , Dance , Drama , Craft , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

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DANCE

Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre:  Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre launches the first ever Inside Outside Youth Festival, from November 27-29th 2020, showcasing fantastic creative work by young people 15-21 years of age from across Fermanagh. Building on the highly successful Inside Outside Festival established in May 2020, the Youth Festival will take place over the final weekend of November bring together an eclectic programme of performances, presentations and discussions from and with young people across Fermanagh. 

Platforming dance, drama, music, visual arts and a unique conversation event, the inaugural youth festival will provide a dedicated platform for talented local young artists. Invitations have been issued to schools across the county and any young person 15-21 interested in sharing their artistic work is welcome to contact the festival to explore opportunities for participation.  In order to support the ongoing development and delivery of local professional and participatory arts programmes the festival will be selling tickets in two methods, a full price all access 3 day Festival Weekend Ticket is £10 and a Student All Access 3 day Festival Ticket is £5. The full festival programme will shortly be available to view online at  www.insideoutsidefestival.com

 

MUSIC

National Youth Choir Northern Ireland (NYCNI):  is releasing a series of virtual choir performances each weekend for five weeks on both Facebook and YouTube. These are the final performances from their online courses which took place in October.  View the first release at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug-3K68ILDs

Scott’s Jazz Club: Scott's Jazz Club is based at Ballyhackamore Club, 1A Sandown Road. The club was formed by Cormac O'Kane, Colin Harper, Scott Flannigan and Karen Smyth and is a dedicated jazz concert environment featuring amazing sound, lighting and projection mapping.  Keyboard virtuoso, Scott Flannigan, is the club's musical curator and host. The gigs will feature the best of Irish Jazz talent in upcoming performances that will be live streamed online.  Cormac O'Kane and Richard Brown have installed a sound and lighting setup and are filming and livestreaming the performances. They are also producing Scott's Jazz Club Bites, a series featuring interviews and performances from the shows. The club has already built a strong social media following and ran two sold out shows before the current lockdown.  In episode 2 of Scott's Jazz club, Scott was joined by renowned Belfast Jazz trumpeter, Linley Hamilton.  This episode features Linley's funky performance of 'Happy People' with Jack Kelly on bass and the amazing drummer, Dominic Mullan, from Dublin.
Facebook Link: https://fb.watch/1YTqAHZ8NP/
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/kSHmL5cgmVA
Find out more at www.scottsjazzclub.com

Armagh Pipers: The Armagh Pipers present another concert in their Fonn Friday’s Concert Series 2020-21 on Friday 11th December featuring Rioghnach Connolly and Martin McGinley.  You can also watch back a stunning performance from 13th November featuring Jarlath Henderson and Brian Finnegan at www.armaghpipers.com

Panarts: Let it Grow, From Seed To Song is a brand new series of music videos recorded by local singer-songwriters with Panarts, the team behind the brilliant Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival.  Follow the Panarts Twitter account to access the songs as they’re released.  https://twitter.com/BelNash

Portico of Ards: Exciting news for artists and audiences as the Portico of Ards announces four live music gigs before Christmas. These ‘behind closed doors’ concerts will be broadcast live on YouTube for audiences to enjoy from the safety of their homes.

The concerts continue with Dea Matrona on Sat 28 Nov at 8pm. These three young energetic women will astonish you with their talent for playing both rock and roll classics and self-penned pieces.  NI Opera’s Associate Artists bring their Christmassy numbers on Sat 5 Dec at 7.30pm and on Sun 20 Dec local hero and international music sensation, Ryan McMullan, delivers a Christmas ‘Napolean Session’ with a special surprise guest. 

The purchase of Portico’s streaming equipment is courtesy of the Arts Council’s Organisations Emergency Programme. Improved stage lighting system has been made possible by the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Programme. The classical music programme is subsidised by National Lottery Project Funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Portico is supported by the Arts Service of Ards and North Down Borough Council.  For further information or to buy tickets visit www.porticoards.com

Belfast Trad: presents a very special weekend of online events from 27th-28th November with leading, award-winning harpist, Úna Monaghan, and flautist and tin whistle player, Emer Mayock.  There will be an evening in conversation with both musicians, a series of workshops and also a series of recitals.  For more details visit https://www.belfasttrad.com/shop

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Northern Ireland Opera: Join some of Northern Ireland’s best known opera singers as they take you to their home county or city and perform a selection of art songs composed by Northern Irish or Irish composers. ‘Northern Songs’ is a set of eight short films showcasing this beautiful country’s stunning locations, landscapes and historic monuments with songs performed by Giselle Allen, Doreen Curran, Carolyn Dobbin and Ben McAteer with pianist, Ruth McGinley.   To hear all songs, visit their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ

 

LITERATURE & DRAMA

Lyric Theatre:  Whilst the doors of this much-loved theatre remain temporarily closed, the magic of the Lyric lives on with not one but four Christmas show to enjoy from the safety and comfort of our homes this festive season.  Families can join the Lyric Online and take a trip to marvelous magical places with Peter Pan: The Musical, Alice: The Musical and Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf from 5th December – 3rd January.  Why not wrap up your family Christmas experience with a bespoke Christmas hamper from the Lyric and local Belfast sweetshop, Aunt Sandra's.

The Listen at The Lyric series gets into the festive spirit with a Christmas special from Conor Grimes and Alan McKee from 8th December – 3rd January. The Nativity…What the Donkey Heard is an audio adaption of their hugely popular 2016 show, The Nativity…What the Donkey Saw.  The Lyric has also inventively created a wonderful range of merchandise to treat yourself or a loved one this Christmas including Christmas cards, tote bags, t-shirts, books and more.  Visit www.lyrictheatre.com

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: Actors, authors and an ambassador come together for a one-off programme of performances on Friday 11th December to mark the 25th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Seamus Heaney.  A Nobel Celebration, will be opened by actor Ciarán Hinds with a specially recorded reading of ‘Digging’. The occasion will include a key note address from Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador for Ireland to the United States, talks by renowned academics and authors Rosie Lavan and Roy Foster, and an introduction to her acclaimed version of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Anahorish’ by Lisa Hannigan. 

As well as its focus on Heaney’s work, this bespoke production will also celebrate the work of the other three Irish Nobel Literature Laureates - WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett.  Star of stage and screen Fiona Shaw will read an excerpt of Beckett’s ‘Happy Days’, the life and work of George Bernard Shaw will be analysed by friend of HomePlace, Fintan O’Toole, who will also be part of the panel discussion on Yeats with Mark O’Connell and Emma Dabiri, titled ‘The Centre Cannot Hold’. This event will celebrate the 100 years anniversary of the publication of ‘The Second Coming’ and is presented in conjunction with Yeats Society, Sligo.  For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.seamusheaneyhome.com

c21 Theatre Company: one of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre companies, is collaborating with care & nursing homes across the country on a unique project. ‘Through The Glass’ The Reminiscence Project’ creatively interacts with residents stimulating conversations and encouraging them to share stories from their past. A selection of these stories will be developed into theatrical films and shared with residents, councils and online.  The Project features five short theatrical films based around the themes of home, community, school days, work and going out.  It provides employment to 11 professionals over 22 weeks as well as creating innovative social interaction with the participating nursing and care homes (operating within COVID-19 guidelines). The films will feature actors, music, visuals and poetry and will be broadcast between November and December on c21 Theatre’s YouTube Channel and social media platforms.

c21 Theatre Company worked with the education departments within local museums to supply reminiscence loan boxes to the nursing and care homes who used them in workshops facilitated by the activity coordinators located in the homes. The loan boxes contained historical items ranging from powdered milk from WWII to 1970s shoes. The stories gathered provided the project’s writers Gary Wilson, Tom Rowntree-Finlay and poet Shelley Tracey with content for brand new work for the films. The films which are directed by Stephen Kelly and produced by Donna Hunter, feature local actors Colm McCready, Christina Nelson, Debra Hill, and Eoghan Lamb.  To watch, subscribe to their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9JG10BS_Qo

Jack and The Beanstalk at the drive-in cinema: Christmas is cancelled! Oh no it isn’t! Cre8 Theatre partnered with Let’s Go Hydro in presenting a family friendly pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at the drive-in cinema, Belfast featuring the Giant, Jack, Jill, Dame Ms. Pinch, Daisy Cow and more.  This is a colourful, high energy contemporary performance featuring typical pantomime elements; dancing, singing and banter with the audience. As well as the pantomime streamed directly to the big screen, Cre8 have devised a programme of pre and mid show entertainment to truly engage audiences in the safety of their cars.

Enter into festive spirit from the comfort of your own sleigh at this socially distanced Panto. The original rags to riches story with modern Christmassy twist and a sprinkling of Cre8 Theatre magic!  Dates include: 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th December and includes, panto performance from Cre8 Theatre, REAL actors interacting live at the venue, popcorn, soft drinks, festive cheer!  Book at https://letsgohydro.com/drive-in-cinema/drive-in-panto/

 

VISUAL ARTS - please check each galleries website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

VOID: VOID gallery in Derry-Londonderry, is delighted to once again welcome back Clare Mc Laughlin who will bring her art project, Seen-Unseen, to the zoom platform. Seen-Unseen deals with the non–visual exploration of art and allows the blind or vision impaired person to experience artwork through their other senses. Taking place on the 30th of November, participants will visit Alan Phelan’s exhibition echoes are always more muted through an online tour. Clare will lead a thought provoking, memory stimulating, interactive and sensory session which will explore the exhibition through a tactile workshop.  Seen-Unseen at Void Gallery is funded by DCSDC and will take place during Disability Week NI 2020 which takes place between 30th November and 4th December.  Visit https://www.derryvoid.com/

Golden Thread Gallery: presents WHAT AL-NADEEM KNEW – Outburst Arts Festival at the GTG from Friday 27th November until Friday 18th December
All Day.  Golden Thread Gallery is delighted to welcome Outburst Arts Festival back to the gallery with a remarkable video and multimedia installation.  ‘What al-Nadeem Knew‘ is a multimedia storytelling project that uses collective memory and official and non-official records to unearth different meanings to the current political and economic predicament of Egypt.  Examining the symbolism of music and its performance, specifically that of iconic Egyptian singer and film actress, Um Kalthoum, as being an essential part of the regime propaganda, the installation tries to reconstruct alternative stories about the past, while opening different possibilities to reimagine the future.
Concept: Ismail Fayed
Music/Sound Conception/Dramaturgy: Adham Hafez
Video/Visual Score: Mohammad Shawky Hassan
In order to keep all visitors and staff safe, and follow government guidelines,  GTG is asking all visitors to book their visit in advance by emailing info@gtgallery.co.uk

Belfast Photo Festival:  Belfast Photo Festival – Ireland’s unique photographic biennial – returns this autumn. With its programme entitled XX-XY, Northern Ireland’s premier visual arts festival will host a series of online and offline events, as well as showcasing indoor and outdoor exhibitions in major public spaces.  From 4 – 30 November 2020 a thematically diverse line up of contemporary Irish photography celebrates the female gaze, reframing the world through the manifold perspectives, styles and subject matters captured by the women behind Ireland’s cameras.

This year’s festival serves to foster dialogue beyond the snapshot. The images and the artists behind them shed a truly contemporary light on the pivotal role that female photographers play in the portrayal of our world, encouraging creative appreciation and understanding that transcend the boundaries of the art community. Enduring motifs of the poignant installations featured include representation, self-portraiture, landscape and fashion, as well as truthful and contemplative depictions centring around equality and the body. As well as galleries, this year’s visual arts experience will illuminate major outdoor public spaces through lightboxes and unprecedented large-scale outdoor projection.  For more information on this year’s festival, visit www.belfastphotofestival.com and keep up to date on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Belfast Exposed: As part of the Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Exposed is delighted to launch ‘Street View’ - a digital gallery space of curated exhibitions to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is an initiative, which provides a multimedia exhibition experience, in response to the restrictions put in place due to covid-19 that prevent people from visiting galleries and viewing exhibitions. 

Street View is a large digital window display that will showcase artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers. Street View will launch with the work of Jill Quigley, followed by the work of Noel Bowler, Matthew Finn and Daragh McDonagh, among many others. Street View is a 55” high brightness professional screen that provides a platform to exhibit contemporary photography complimented with audio narratives to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Jill Quigley’s work will be supported by audio of actor Monique Kelly who will describe Jill’s artwork and practice. Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.  For details visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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.  The new exhibition is called, Pinned, and it is an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths in Northern Ireland.  Pinned presents the work of 23 local jewellers and silversmiths who have each responded to the exhibition’s theme to produce one-of-a-kind pieces beyond the scope of their usual commission or production work. 

Participating makers include Anne Earls Boylan, Stuart Cairns, Robyn Galway and Celine Traynor and the exhibition features over 50 variations on the idea of a brooch, with versions in both precious and non-precious materials. Traditionally set stones contrast with re-purposed vintage tins and toys, precision geometry meets abstract forms. Gold, silver and gemstones sit alongside found objects in unexpected interpretations that demonstrate technical accomplishment, innovation and creativity.  The exhibition opened on 4th November and continues until 2nd January 2021.  Craft NI is located at 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast.  Visit http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: In line with the restrictions announced by the NI Executive, the MAC is planning to reopen their galleries and cafe with new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  They also have a series of movies at Christmas showing in the venue and a range of online activities.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

R-Space: in Lisburn present a rescheduled exhibition, Obvious, which runs until 11 December 2020 at R-Space Gallery (32 Castle Street, Lisburn).  Six artists based in Northern Ireland (Aimée Nelson, Aoife O’Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers and Pauline Clancy) have been selected from an open call as part of R-Space’s 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.  This year R-Space has selected artists who have responded to the theme ‘Obvious’, and the works include interactive screen printing, mixed media installations, digital imaging, and folk art.  Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/ for full details on opening times.

Black Box: present an online exhibition by Nathalie Caleyron Donnelly until 30th November.  Nathalie Caleyron Donnelly is originally from France but has lived in North Belfast for most of her life.  She discovered printmaking through a workshop in Seacourt Print Workshop (Bangor) 5 years ago.  It was a ‘love at first sight’ experience and she has been involved in printmaking and in Seacourt since.  Her prints are mostly multiplate lino, often with an element of monoprinting, giving a uniqueness to each single hand pulled print within the same edition.  Check out the work via the Black Box website- https://www.blackboxbelfast.com/event/online-exhibition-nathalie-caleyron-donnelly/

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop: Belfast Print Workshop has created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work and an online shop.   They also have some spaces left in their courses in November and December, all conducted under strict COVID-19 safety standards.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Youth Action NI / Rainbow Factory: present the Virtual Winter Wonder Zoom on Thursday 10th December at 5pm.  Join the arts team for fun, games and Christmas spirit.  Suitable for young people aged 13 and under visit www.therainbowfactory.co.uk

Eden Place Arts Centre: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Eden Place Arts Centre, in Derry-Londonderry, remains closed so to keep everyone connected they are launching a series of online workshops. The workshops will be held over a period of 4 weeks. Each workshop will be 2 hours long and will take place via 'Zoom'.  This series will focus on a variety of painting techniques. There will also be a Christmas crafts course.  The workshops will start on week commencing Monday 23rd November and will run for 4 consecutive weeks.  Please register via their website: www.edenplaceartscentre.com The cost will be £10 and will include all 4 workshops.

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online activities to keep you entertained over the mid-term break.  Let NI's most creative minds guide you through step by step videos on how to perfect your mobile photography, improve your drawing & illustration, enter the world of abstract art, create music & beats, bring to life an animation or become a film-maker! Visit www.wheelworksarts.com/mdc

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 12pm 0 Comments Community Arts , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

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DANCE

Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre:  Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre launches the first ever Inside Outside Youth Festival, from November 27-29th 2020, showcasing fantastic creative work by young people 15-21 years of age from across Fermanagh. Building on the highly successful Inside Outside Festival established in May 2020, the Youth Festival will take place over the final weekend of November bring together an eclectic programme of performances, presentations and discussions from and with young people across Fermanagh. 

Platforming dance, drama, music, visual arts and a unique conversation event, the inaugural youth festival will provide a dedicated platform for talented local young artists. Invitations have been issued to schools across the county and any young person 15-21 interested in sharing their artistic work is welcome to contact the festival to explore opportunities for participation.  In order to support the ongoing development and delivery of local professional and participatory arts programmes the festival will be selling tickets in two methods, a  full price all access 3 day Festival Weekend Ticket is £10 and a Student All Access 3 day Festival Ticket is £5. The full festival programme will shortly be available to view online at  www.insideoutsidefestival.com

Catalyst Dance Festival:  Catalyst Dance Festival takes place on Thursday 19th November and will showcase the high-quality and exciting work produced by Individual Dance Artists who have received support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through their Support the Individual Artist Programme: including the Artist Career Enhancement Scheme (ACEs), General Award and Major Individual Award (MIA).  Theatre and Dance NI alongside Catalyst curator, Eileen McClory, have designed this platform that will provide the essential opportunity to showcase the dance talent that exists here in Northern Ireland, and for choreographers to showcase their work in a professional capacity.  The event is free and open to programmers and the general public alike, with registration in advance encouraged. The 30 minute film will take you through a showcase of three professional works including:

Gary Rowntree (ACES Artist 2019) – Togetherness
Ayesha Mailey (ACES Artist 2018) – See Me Disappear
Eileen McClory (ACES Artist 2018 & HATCH Artist 2014/15) – CUCK
 

To book visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/catalyst-dance-festival-tickets-127149568783

 

MUSIC

Panarts: Let it Grow, From Seed To Song is a brand new series of music videos recorded by local singer-songwriters with Panarts, the team behind the brilliant Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival.  Follow the Panarts Twitter account to access the songs as they’re released.  https://twitter.com/BelNash

AVA Festival:  AVA has teamed up with long-standing partner Red Bull and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to launch an unforgettable electronic audio visual stream with Max Cooper against the beautiful background of Carlisle Memorial Church, Belfast.  The homecoming performance for Max Cooper brings a new live A/V show to Belfast, combining the world class visuals with the distinctive high Victorian, neo gothic style of the building, creating a truly special audio-visual experience.  This live recording will also be the first electronic performance in the venue, and the last of 2020, marking a special occasion for the city.  This stream will be available to AVA’s online community for free on Wednesday  18th at 8pm available on Youtube, Facebook and www.avafestival.com
To get the most of the experience AVA encourages you to link up sound systems and big screens to create the best set up you can! 

Theatrical Belfast:  A brand-new production company, Theatrical Belfast, has launched in Northern Ireland with their first show, A West End Christmas, coming to St Anne’s Cathedral on 11th December.  The concert will star West End and Broadway leading man, Alistair Brammer (Wicked, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) and local West End star Raymond Walsh (Les Miserables, Finian’s Rainbow).

Running for two socially distanced performances on December 11 at 5.30pm and 8.30pm, the concert will feature a variety of songs from hit musicals such as Les Mis and Miss Saigon, along with some festive favourites.  Raymond and Alistair will be joined by a very special guest, Belfast ‘Songbird’ Jolene O’Hara, and students from the JH Academy of Theatre Arts, as well as a six-piece band led by musical director, Matthew Campbell.  The venue will be completely Covid compliant, with all safety regulations taken to mitigate risks. Capacity has been reduced to 200 for each performance, with temperature checks and sanitizer provided throughout the venue.  Tickets are now on sale at www.ticketsource.com/theatricalbelfast  and can be booked as groups of two to six people.

Fleadh Mhór Dhoire 2020: celebrates the traditional Irish Arts and will be delivered online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.  The festival is hosted by Greater Shantallow Community Arts in conjunction with CCÉ Baile na gCailleach and will broadcast from 19th - 23nd November 2020 on a variety of online platforms.  The programme of events includes a mini-series of Irish music workshops aimed at encouraging and promoting the traditional Irish Arts,  traditional Irish singing & storytelling concerts, Irish literary Talks, headline concerts from some of the best traditional Irish artists and bands locally, regionally, and nationally and, much, much more! The online events are free to access and open to people of all ages and abilities.  For additional information visit https://bit.ly/2UFVppt

Portico of Ards: Exciting news for artists and audiences as the Portico of Ards announces four live music gigs before Christmas. These ‘behind closed doors’ concerts will be broadcast live on YouTube for audiences to enjoy from the safety of their homes.

The concerts start on Sun 15 Nov with an organ recital by Matthew Owens, the Director of Music at Belfast Cathedral. His programme ranges from the 17th century (Bruhns, Pachelbel, Walter) to the 20th (Dupre, Owens, Skempton) and includes a Q&A.  If rock and roll is your thing then do not miss the fabulous Dea Matrona on Sat 28 Nov at 8pm. These three young energetic women will astonish you with their talent for playing both rock and roll classics and self-penned pieces.  NI Opera’s Associate Artists bring their Christmassy numbers on Sat 5 Dec at 7.30pm and on Sun 20 Dec local hero and international music sensation Ryan McMullan delivers a Christmas ‘Napolean Session’ with a special guest. 

The purchase of Portico’s streaming equipment is courtesy of the Arts Council’s Organisations Emergency Programme. Improved stage lighting system has been made possible by the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Programme. The classical music programme is subsidised by Lottery Project Funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Portico is supported by the Arts Service of Ards and North Down Borough Council.  For further information or to buy tickets visit www.porticoards.com

Belfast Trad: presents a very special weekend of online events from 27th-28th November with leading, award-winning harpist, Úna Monaghan, and flautist and tin whistle player, Emer Mayock.  There will be an evening in conversation with both musicians, a series of workshops and also a series of recitals.  For more details visit https://www.belfasttrad.com/shop

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Northern Ireland Opera: Join some of Northern Ireland’s best known opera singers as they take you to their home county or city and perform a selection of art songs composed by Northern Irish or Irish composers. ‘Northern Songs’ is a set of eight short films showcasing this beautiful country’s stunning locations, landscapes and historic monuments with songs performed by Giselle Allen, Doreen Curran, Carolyn Dobbin and Ben McAteer with pianist, Ruth McGinley.   To hear all songs, visit their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ

 

FESTIVALS

Outburst Queer Arts Festival: the 14th Outburst Queer Arts Festival will take place from 13-21 November presenting eight days of queer art in Belfast: outdoors, indoors, on your screen and on your doorstep.  Visit https://outburstarts.com/ for programme and booking information.

 

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

c21 Theatre Company: one of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre companies, is collaborating with care & nursing homes across the country on a unique project.   ‘Through The Glass’ The  Reminiscence Project creatively interacts with residents stimulating conversations and encouraging them to share stories from their past. A selection of these stories will be  developed into theatrical films and shared with residents, councils and online.  The Project, funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through its National Lottery Fund, the Public Health Agency and regional councils and sponsored by Doyle Shipping Group, features five short theatrical films based around the themes of home, community, school days, work and going out.  It provides employment to 11 professionals over 22 weeks as well as creating innovative social interaction with the participating nursing and care homes (operating within COVID-19 guidelines). The films will feature actors, music, visuals and poetry and will be broadcast  between November and December on c21 Theatre’s YouTube Channel and social media platforms.

c21 Theatre Company worked with the education departments within local museums to supply reminiscence loan boxes to the nursing and care homes who used them in workshops facilitated by the activity coordinators located in the homes. The loan boxes contained historical items ranging from powdered milk from WWII to 1970s shoes. The stories gathered provided the project’s writers Gary Wilson, Tom Rowntree-Finlay and poet Shelley Tracey with content for brand new work for the films. The films which are directed by Stephen Kelly and produced by Donna Hunter, feature local actors Colm McCready, Christina Nelson, Debra Hill, and Eoghan Lamb.  To watch, subscribe to their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9JG10BS_Qo

Jack and The Beanstalk at the drive-in cinema: Christmas is cancelled! Oh no it isn’t! Cre8 Theatre partnered with Let’s Go Hydro in presenting a family friendly pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at the drive-in cinema, Belfast featuring the Giant, Jack, Jill, Dame Ms. Pinch, Daisy Cow and more.  This is a colourful, high energy contemporary performance featuring typical pantomime elements; dancing, singing and banter with the audience. As well as the pantomime streamed directly to the big screen, Cre8 have devised a programme of pre and mid show entertainment to truly engage audiences in the safety of their cars.

Enter into festive spirit from the comfort of your own sleigh at this socially distanced Panto. The original rags to riches story with modern Christmassy twist and a sprinkling of Cre8 Theatre magic!  Dates include: 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th December and includes, panto performance from Cre8 Theatre, REAL actors interacting live at the venue, popcorn, soft drinks, festive cheer!  Book at  https://letsgohydro.com/drive-in-cinema/drive-in-panto/

Lyric Theatre:  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 www.lyrictheatre.co.uk on the following dates:
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

 

VISUAL ARTS - please check each galleries website for details on opening as they are subject to change due to the current Covid-19 regulations.

VOID: VOID gallery in Derry-Londonderry, is delighted to once again welcome back Clare Mc Laughlin who will bring her art project, Seen-Unseen, to the zoom platform. Seen-Unseen deals with the non–visual exploration of art and allows the blind or vision impaired person to experience artwork through their other senses. Taking place on the 30th of November, participants will visit Alan Phelan’s exhibition echoes are always more muted through an online tour. Clare will lead a thought provoking, memory stimulating, interactive and sensory session which will explore the exhibition through a tactile workshop.  Seen-Unseen at Void Gallery is funded by DCSDC and will take place during Disability Week NI 2020 which takes place between 30th November and 4th December.  Visit https://www.derryvoid.com/

Golden Thread Gallery: presents WHAT AL-NADEEM KNEW – Outburst Arts Festival at the GTG from Friday 27th November until Friday 18th December

All Day.  Golden Thread Gallery is delighted to welcome Outburst Arts Festival back to the gallery with a remarkable video and multimedia installation.  ‘What al-Nadeem Knew‘ is a multimedia storytelling project that uses collective memory and official and non-official records to unearth different meanings to the current political and economic predicament of Egypt.  Examining the symbolism of music and its performance, specifically that of iconic Egyptian singer and film actress, Um Kalthoum, as being an essential part of the regime propaganda, the installation tries to reconstruct alternative stories about the past, while opening different possibilities to reimagine the future.

Concept: Ismail Fayed
Music/Sound Conception/Dramaturgy: Adham Hafez
Video/Visual Score: Mohammad Shawky Hassan
 

In order to keep all visitors and staff safe, and follow government guidelines,  GTG is asking all visitors to book their visit in advance by emailing info@gtgallery.co.uk

Belfast Photo Festival:  Belfast Photo Festival – Ireland’s unique photographic biennial – returns this autumn. With its programme entitled XX-XY, Northern Ireland’s premier visual arts festival will host a series of online and offline events, as well as showcasing indoor and outdoor exhibitions in major public spaces.  From 4 – 30 November 2020 a thematically diverse line up of contemporary Irish photography celebrates the female gaze, reframing the world through the manifold perspectives, styles and subject matters captured by the women behind Ireland’s cameras.

This year’s festival serves to foster dialogue beyond the snapshot. The images and the artists behind them shed a truly contemporary light on the pivotal role that female photographers play in the portrayal of our world, encouraging creative appreciation and understanding that transcend the boundaries of the art community. Enduring motifs of the poignant installations featured include representation, self-portraiture, landscape and fashion, as well as truthful and contemplative depictions centring around equality and the body. As well as galleries, this year’s visual arts experience will illuminate major outdoor public spaces through lightboxes and unprecedented large-scale outdoor projection.  For more information on this year’s festival, visit www.belfastphotofestival.com and keep up to date on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Belfast Exposed: As part of the Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Exposed is delighted to launch ‘Street View’ - a digital gallery space of curated exhibitions to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is an initiative, which provides a multimedia exhibition experience, in response to the restrictions put in place due to covid-19 that prevent people from visiting galleries and viewing exhibitions. 

Street View is a large digital window display that will showcase artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers. Street View will launch with the work of Jill Quigley, followed by the work of Noel Bowler, Matthew Finn and Daragh McDonagh, among many others. Street View is a 55” high brightness professional screen that provides a platform to exhibit contemporary photography complimented with audio narratives to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Jill Quigley’s work will be supported by audio of actor Monique Kelly who will describe Jill’s artwork and practice. Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.  For details visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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.  The new exhibition is called, Pinned, and it is an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths in Northern Ireland.  Pinned presents the work of 23 local jewellers and silversmiths who have each responded to the exhibition’s theme to produce one-of-a-kind pieces beyond the scope of their usual commission or production work. 

Participating makers include Anne Earls Boylan, Stuart Cairns, Robyn Galway and Celine Traynor and the exhibition features over 50 variations on the idea of a brooch, with versions in both precious and non-precious materials. Traditionally set stones contrast with re-purposed vintage tins and toys, precision geometry meets abstract forms. Gold, silver and gemstones sit alongside found objects in unexpected interpretations that demonstrate technical accomplishment, innovation and creativity.  The exhibition opened on 4th November and continues until 2nd January 2021.  Craft NI is located at 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast.  Visit http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: In line with the restrictions announced by the NI Executive, the MAC is planning to reopen their galleries and cafe with new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates on opening times.

R-Space: in Lisburn present a rescheduled exhibition, Obvious, which runs until 11 December 2020 at R-Space Gallery (32 Castle Street, Lisburn).  Six artists based in Northern Ireland (Aimée Nelson, Aoife O’Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers and Pauline Clancy) have been selected from an open call as part of R-Space’s 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.  This year R-Space has selected artists who have responded to the theme ‘Obvious’, and the works include interactive screen printing, mixed media installations, digital imaging, and folk art.  Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/ for full details on opening times.

Black Box: present an online exhibition by Nathalie Caleyron Donnelly until 30th November.  Nathalie Caleyron Donnelly is originally from France but has lived in North Belfast for most of her life.  She discovered printmaking through a workshop in Seacourt Print Workshop (Bangor) 5 years ago.  It was a ‘love at first sight’ experience and she has been involved in printmaking and in Seacourt since.  Her prints are mostly multiplate lino, often with an element of monoprinting, giving a uniqueness to each single hand pulled print within the same edition.  Check out the work via the Black Box website- https://www.blackboxbelfast.com/event/online-exhibition-nathalie-caleyron-donnelly/

An Cultúrlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop: Belfast Print Workshop has re-opened with a new team, new curator and new gallery space.  For the first time in its 40+ year history the printmakers and artists using the studio have the opportunity to work directly with an experienced curator. Moran Been-noon is a Dublin based artist and curator and will work with BPW this year to help the BPW studio members develop their artistic practice and fully realise their potential as artists. The printmaking studio has also appointed nationally recognised and highly skilled printmaker, Dónall Billings as Technician.  The new team have already created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work and an online shop.   They also have some spaces left in their courses in November and December, all conducted under strict COVID-19 safety standards.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Eden Place Arts Centre: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Eden Place Arts Centre, in Derry-Londonderry, remains closed so to keep everyone connected they are launching a series of online workshops. The workshops will be held over a period of 4 weeks. Each workshop will be 2 hours long and will take place via 'Zoom'.  This series will focus on a variety of painting techniques. There will also be a Christmas crafts course.  The workshops will start on week commencing Monday 23rd November and will run for 4 consecutive weeks.  Please register via their website: www.edenplaceartscentre.com The cost will be £10 and will include all 4 workshops.

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online activities to keep you entertained over the mid-term break.  Let NI's most creative minds guide you through step by step videos on how to perfect your mobile photography, improve your drawing & illustration, enter the world of abstract art, create music & beats, bring to life an animation or become a film-maker! Visit www.wheelworksarts.com/mdc

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

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Webinar Q&A: Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations

Monday 16th November 2020 at 3pm 0 Comments

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You mentioned small capital costs however, for renewal and future stability if digital presence is becoming more important and web development/websites etc was on the application, would this be eligible (it may be considered as a large capital cost)?
If modest equipment is required and this can be purchased between the decision date at the end of January and 31st March 2021 this would be eligible.
  
When is the application to AFP going to be open and due? Are these two applications going to be running simultaneously?
AFP will be announced in the new year. The SRPO and AFP will not be running simultaneously.

Can I ask about “supporting and generating new apprenticeship opportunities” - England announces a Kickstart scheme in the summer, which I believe isn’t in place in N.Ireland.  Is there any guidance or structure needed for how an apprenticeship must be delivered?
We don’t have specific guidance on how an apprenticeship must be delivered .We would recommend contacting Creative and Cultural Skills NI who have delivered excellent apprenticeship programmes in the creative sector  NI.  

Does this fund offer programming costs? Noreen you said that we should look to the Community fund for programme costs but the guidance says that you will fund - "New projects which reach different audiences and users"
Yes you can apply for programming if it can be delivered between decision date end of January and 31st March 2021.
  
If venues are able to apply for funding for projects rather than costs incurred due to covid, is it feasible for independent organisations to apply to this funding for a single PROJECT to be executed during this window? The project helping with company renewal and sustainability while employing creatives...
Yes you can apply for programming if it can be delivered between decision date end of January and 31st March 2021.
  
There is a stipulation that a bank account with two signatories is required, is there any flexibility in this regard? As long as it will be addressed can it be sorted out after submission but prior to potential payment?
It can be addressed after submission but in the event of any award, successful applicants will be required to modify their bank account to ensure that it meets the requirements to have at least 2 unrelated bank signatories to make withdrawals from the bank account.  In the event that applicants are unable to do this we would be unable to make relevant payments and applicants would be ineligible to receive funding.

I know of at least one that would need to make changes to their account set up to meet this but as of last night didn’t know if they could ensure that this would be sorted by submission deadline.
As per answer above – it would need to be addressed in order to take up any award if successful.
  
If this funding is for renewal, could it be used to rent out a new premises?
You can apply for rental on premises up to 31st March 2021.  

Could you ask for money to update contingency plans and market research?
Yes if this is critical to your future sustainability and renewal.  

Will AFP be due in December, the outcome of this fund would obviously have an impact on those plans?
AFP will be announced in the new year. The SRPO and AFP will not be running simultaneously .The SRPO will have a critical impact on organisations who are regularly funded by the Arts Council in terms of deficit clearance and future stability.

Could we seek funding for hiring freelance creatives, designers, directors for productions and contract and pay them before March 31st
You can apply for staff and artists costs up to 31st March 2021.  

What level of reporting will be required to successful applications?
Reporting requirements will be made clear to successful applicants in their letter of offer but recipients must send us any information and records that we reasonably request to monitor their project and determine how the grant is being used. An income and expenditure report will be required to close out the award. If required, the Arts Council may request your organisation to take part in a survey upon completion of the grant. 

As this is public funding, we will undertake verification of relevant paperwork in the future at an appropriate level and reserve the right to do so with any award recipient in due course.
  
If we contract consultant for support with developing on our strategy for stability and renewal, and they’re contracted and paid by end of March, in the same way as commissioning artist fees - is this eligible, even work goes on beyond March?
No this would not be an eligible cost this would be a pre-payment unlike creative work which is a commissioning fee to an artist which is permitted.  

Will there be representation on the assessment panel for the supply chain companies to the live events industry, who have never needed funding before, but who are integral to the survival of the sector.
It has not been designated by DfC; however we will be seeking advice from other specialist bodies on a range of areas.  

Will there also be an annual AFP application process this for 2021/22 and if so what are the timelines?
AFP will be announced in the new year. The SRPO and AFP will not be running simultaneously .The timelines will be published then.  

Just to clarify - this fund is for new programmes which may take place in Feb & Mar. Can you also apply for specific deficits incurred from April 2020 for other programmes which ran at a loss?
Yes, the emphasis on this programme is for deficits as a result of Covid-19 in order to make organisations more sustainable for the future, so loss of income from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021 is eligible.  

Back to the 'small organisation' question - I think it's in relation to 'scale' referred to earlier in terms of the size of renewal plan required- would it relate to the number of employees?
We do not have a definition of a small organisation. If you are eligible to apply based on your constitution and working in the creative sector the number of employees is not a factor.  

Is the budget limit per org or per project? Unlikely to be an issue for us but worth asking for benefit of all here.
£500k is the organisation award limit NOT the project within an application limit.  
 
Are March 2020 losses incurred from covid19 closure eligible?
Yes as Covid hit mid-March losses from then can included.  

Are you expecting forecast accounts for the next 2-3 years in the Renewal Plan?
We don’t specify however the more informative the renewal plan the better.   

Would it be possible to re- clarify what is meant by the phrase "change orientated" in terms of the renewal plan- again thanks all for the help and guidance today
Please consider any learning and adaptions you have had to make to your business as a result of covid-19 which you may wish to carry forward, and how you will face the challenges of the future for example environmental impacts.

If hp costs are not covered how do we recoup depreciation of equipment which will need replacing as it becomes obsolete
Depreciation is a non cash movement and would be ineligible for funding under this programme.

I appreciate that we can't enter into any contracts ahead of an offer but can we secure quotes (eg the week ahead of 29 Jan) so that, if successful in being awarded funding, we are ready to move quickly given the tight spend window? eg for a new website
Yes if the total project can be delivered by 31st March 2021   

Will AFP still consider new applicants?
We are working through the strategic approach to AFP 2021/22 with the Board of the Arts Council and all details will be published in the new year.
   
To allow for the potential of duplicate funding, and given the fact that we won't know the results of one fund before submitting the requirements on another, is it permissible to over-reach on this fund application and  potentially then be able to reduce the grant once we know about the previous award?
Yes; if you are awaiting the outcome of a capital application you may include modest elements you may have applied for under SRPO and the award can be adjusted if necessary.    
    
As an organisation that has taken elements of our work online during lockdown, our experience is there is already "virtual fatigue" and in the absence of physical engagement people are disengaging with the arts completely. Why is Arts Council not being more vocal/visual in advocating for the sector to be permitted to reopen in the way the hospitality sector is, given that venues can open much more safely than pubs and restaurants?   
This hasn’t been our perception, as virtual engagement may well have expanded the reach of the arts to people hitherto unable to access. But we have been constantly engaging with Government to promote the cause of the arts and arts venues.

Many organisations took on small Bounce BACK LOANS since March 2020 in order to keep our doors open, Can these loans be included as part of our in year deficit
Yes in principle; we will assess any requests for repayment of bounce back loans on a case by case basis.

 

The Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations closes at 12noon on Friday 27th November 2020. 

Visit http://artscouncil-ni.org/funding/scheme/stability-and-renewal-programme-for-organisations for more information and to apply.

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 11th November 2020 at 11am 0 Comments Community Arts , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

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MUSIC

Ulster Youth Orchestra: Lockdown won’t stop the music for Ulster Youth Orchestra who has released an ambitious lockdown recording.   Due to the challenges of the pandemic, their annual ten-day course moved online and very soon, one residential course and two public concerts were replaced with over 50 online musical activities and 14 recordings! By the beginning of the project on 16th August 70 young musicians, aged between 14 & 23, had signed up for the first virtual course in 27 years of UYO history.
 

A highly experienced team of 12 professional tutors and 8 young professional assistant tutors delivered a mixture of interactive rehearsals, classes and talks on a wide range of topics.  The highlight of the course was the appearance of Daniele Rustioni, well known as the Ulster Orchestra’s Chief Conductor, who directed and encouraged the 70 young musicians in an ambitious recording of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet’s Fantasy Overture, recorded separately at home on phones and tablets and carefully stitched together by producer Tom Wall from TWPost. View here https://youtu.be/BtCX5QCCBR8

Ulster Orchestra and Ryan McMullan: Commissioned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to write a song marking the commitment and contribution of the NHS and its staff during the Covid19 pandemic, rising international star Ryan McMullan, joined forces with the Ulster Orchestra who provided a special arrangement, performed by its string section, to record a beautiful new piece titled, If This Is The End.

Ryan, who has toured internationally with Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol, took inspiration for the song from the incredible work of the NHS, paying a poignant tribute to those who have lost someone during 2020 and have been unable to mourn their loved ones in the usual way. Combined with the Orchestra’s soaring string arrangements by Paul Campbell, it brings to mind a spirit leaving this realm and entering the next.  The video of the song recording is available to watch on https://youtu.be/RRCHVs9jB2Q  and you can hear Ryan talking about the song here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2blTe-ku7BA  Ryan will be officially releasing If This Is The End on 4 December 2020.

Portico of Ards: Exciting news for artists and audiences as the Portico of Ards announces four live music gigs before Christmas. These ‘behind closed doors’ concerts will be broadcast live on YouTube for audiences to enjoy from the safety of their homes.

The concerts start on Sun 15 Nov with an organ recital by Matthew Owens, the Director of Music at Belfast Cathedral. His programme ranges from the 17th century (Bruhns, Pachelbel, Walter) to the 20th (Dupre, Owens, Skempton) and includes a Q&A.  If rock and roll is your thing then do not miss the fabulous Dea Matrona on Sat 28 Nov at 8pm. These three young energetic women will astonish you with their talent for playing both rock and roll classics and self-penned pieces.  NI Opera’s Associate Artists bring their Christmassy numbers on Sat 5 Dec at 7.30pm and on Sun 20 Dec local hero and international music sensation Ryan McMullan delivers a Christmas ‘Napolean Session’ with a special guest.

The purchase of Portico’s streaming equipment is courtesy of the Arts Council’s Organisations Emergency Programme. Improved stage lighting system has been made possible by the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Programme. The classical music programme is subsidised by Lottery Project Funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Portico is supported by the Arts Service of Ards and North Down Borough Council.  For further information or to buy tickets visit www.porticoards.com

Belfast Trad: presents a very special weekend of online events from 27th-28th November with leading, award-winning harpist, Úna Monaghan, and flautist and tin whistle player, Emer Mayock.  There will be an evening in conversation with both musicians, a series of workshops and also a series of recitals.  For more details visit https://www.belfasttrad.com/shop

Oh Yeah Music Centre presents Sound of Belfast 2020: Sound of Belfast took place from 6th -12th November featuring mix of online music from local artists, Ryan McMullan, Duke Special, Jealous of the Birds, Scott Flannigan Trio, Ruth McGinley, Brand New friend and many more.  Don’t worry if you missed it, you can watch all performances back at https://www.youtube.com/user/ohyeahcentre/videos 

NI Music prize: Streaming live on 12th November as a YouTube Premiere, the NI Music Prize will bring as much live experience as possible to audiences at home. There will be brand new performances from shortlisted acts including Arborist, Careerist, Joshua Burnside, Kitt Philippa, Phil Kieran and Sasha Samara.  Rigsy (DJ & Broadcaster) and Gemma Bradley (Presenter, BBC ATL Introducing) will present the show. There will be guest contributors, with live announcements and presentations as well as some previously unseen footage including the Snow Patrol performance from last year’s incredible event at the Ulster Hall.  For more info on shortlists, voting and process go to www.nimusicprize.com

I Teach Trad: Award-winning teacher, Donegal fiddler and academic, Dr Liz Doherty, has launched I Teach Trad, a revolutionary new professional development system to support traditional music teachers.  Dr Doherty will offer a range of online courses and face-to-face training workshops and mentoring for individuals.  Liz has developed her own framework for teachers to learn how to develop a clear structure and system for planning, organising and delivering their teaching.  Liz says the programme can be accessed not just by Irish traditional music teachers but by folk music teachers the world over. The course is available to buy on-line; it can be followed at your own pace and in your own time. Training for groups of teachers can also be booked on the website, as can one-to-one mentoring.  For more details visit https://iteachtrad.com/

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Northern Ireland Opera: Join some of Northern Ireland’s best known opera singers as they take you to their home county or city and perform a selection of art songs composed by Northern Irish or Irish composers. ‘Northern Songs’ is a set of eight short films showcasing this beautiful country’s stunning locations, landscapes and historic monuments with songs performed by Giselle Allen, Doreen Curran, Carolyn Dobbin and Ben McAteer with pianist, Ruth McGinley.   To hear all songs, visit their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ

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.  Remaining dates include:

Friday 13th November, 6-10pm, as part of Outburst Arts.  Visit www.niopera.com 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 outreach@niopera.com 

Moving On Music:  Moving on Music's online ‘All About…’ outreach series, may have come to an end but all 20 videos from the 7 professional musicians featured are available to the public online.  Each jazz or classical musician talked about their principal instrument and touched on specific techniques used and the instrument's popular pieces.  You can watch everything back on their YouTube channel from the links below.  These videos would be of interest to anyone who would enjoy learning all about any of the instruments mentioned below or any young people who are studying GCSE / A Level music.   Please see the below:

Gráinne Meyer (Classical and Traditional Harp)
An Introduction to the Harp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=INfMkqC2GxI
The Evolution of the Harp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjk_KirTKmM&t=2s
The Harp & the Orchestra: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpdtVi6mhmY&t=9s

Scott Flanigan (Jazz Piano)
Blues and Beginner Improv: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkKtqWGNSWU&t=41s
Jazz & Blues Chords: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHmEkCWqNVU&t=1s
Autumn Leaves: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OV114FbzR4

Joesph Leighton (Jazz Guitar)
Jazz guitars and influential players: youtu.be/XOrnljsjAww
Modal jazz chords: youtu.be/Pot86JLCTTM
How to approach learning a jazz standard: youtu.be/buzFjVyR62g

Aisling Agnew (Classical Flute)
Baroque & Classical Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Om4pA53AA
Late Romantic & 20th Century Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXPqx93jjfw
Contemporary UK & Irish Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M4VEtk50FE

Darragh Morgan (Classical Violin)
Contemporary Music for the Violin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GYqxhOVSJU
Baroque Music for the Violin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDugNPF8hmM

Aoife Doyle (Jazz Singing)
Singing Styles: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-mixzkhqgs
Influential Jazz Singers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6MfvWkSr7M&t=3s
Harmonies & Improv: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpJfjQiPMgs&t=10s

Steve Davis (Jazz Drums)
Basic Swing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQu1P2TcMtE&t=1s
Drum Chants: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqvRmCqaWx0&t=112s
Basic Swing Pt2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToFfDcsPKaU

 

FESTIVALS

Outburst Queer Arts Festival: the 14th Outburst Queer Arts Festival will take place from 13-21 November presenting eight days of queer art in Belfast: outdoors, indoors, on your screen and on your doorstep.  Visit https://outburstarts.com/ for programme and booking information.

Atlantic Sessions Music Festival:  Atlantic Sessions Music Festival showcases Northern Ireland’s finest artists online this year. Musicians have been filmed in stunning locations across Portstewart and Portrush, and they have three programmes for you with exclusive performances, conversations, plus messages and videos from festival family and friends. Book the dates in your diary - Fri 13th, Sat 14th & Sun 15th November for nighly performances at 7pm at atlanticsessions.com. The online festival features Joel Harkin, Anthony Toner, Conor Mason, ROE, The Darkling Air, Malojian, Tour Alaska, Sasha Samara, Peter O’Kane, New Pagans, Ports, and is presented by Joe Lindsay. Note that this event is funded by Causeway Coast & Glens Council in association with Snow Water.  Watch the trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1KDYM8N4Cs&feature=youtu.be

 

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

c21 Theatre Company: one of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre companies, is collaborating with care & nursing homes across the country on a unique project.   ‘Through The Glass’ The  Reminiscence Project creatively interacts with residents stimulating conversations and encouraging them to share stories from their past. A selection of these stories will be  developed into theatrical films and shared with residents, councils and online.  The Project, funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through its National Lottery Fund, the Public Health Agency and regional councils and sponsored by Doyle Shipping Group, features five short theatrical films based around the themes of home, community, school days, work and going out.  It provides employment to 11 professionals over 22 weeks as well as creating innovative social interaction with the participating nursing and care homes (operating within COVID-19 guidelines). The films will feature actors, music, visuals and poetry and will be broadcast  between November and December on c21 Theatre’s YouTube Channel and social media platforms.

c21 Theatre Company worked with the education departments within local museums to supply reminiscence loan boxes to the nursing and care homes who used them in workshops facilitated by the activity coordinators located in the homes. The loan boxes contained historical items ranging from powdered milk from WWII to 1970s shoes. The stories gathered provided the project’s writers Gary Wilson, Tom Rowntree-Finlay and poet Shelley Tracey with content for brand new work for the films. The films which are directed by Stephen Kelly and produced by Donna Hunter, feature local actors Colm McCready, Christina Nelson, Debra Hill, and Eoghan Lamb.  To watch, subscribe to their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9JG10BS_Qo

Jack and The Beanstalk at the drive-in cinema: Christmas is cancelled! Oh no it isn’t! Cre8 Theatre partnered with Let’s Go Hydro in presenting a family friendly pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at the drive-in cinema, Belfast featuring the Giant, Jack, Jill, Dame Ms. Pinch, Daisy Cow and more.  This is a colourful, high energy contemporary performance featuring typical pantomime elements; dancing, singing and banter with the audience. As well as the pantomime streamed directly to the big screen, Cre8 have devised a programme of pre and mid show entertainment to truly engage audiences in the safety of their cars.

Enter into festive spirit from the comfort of your own sleigh at this socially distanced Panto. The original rags to riches story with modern Christmassy twist and a sprinkling of Cre8 Theatre magic!  Dates include: 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th December and includes, panto performance from Cre8 Theatre, REAL actors interacting live at the venue, popcorn, soft drinks, festive cheer!  Book at  https://letsgohydro.com/drive-in-cinema/drive-in-panto/

John Hewitt Society:  On 4th November, The John Hewitt Society, in association with Poetry Ireland, presented a very special evening of poetry online to mark John Hewitt’s birthday.  The evening featuring critically-acclaimed, award-winning poets and winners of the prestigious T.S Elliot Prize, Roger Robinson and Sinéad Morrissey with the online event hosted by poet, Paul Maddern.  The event can be watched back at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Nct8xWpvVM

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:

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 www.lyrictheatre.co.uk  on the following dates:
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.

 

VISUAL ARTS

Belfast Photo Festival:  Belfast Photo Festival – Ireland’s unique photographic biennial – returns this autumn. With its programme entitled XX-XY, Northern Ireland’s premier visual arts festival will host a series of online and offline events, as well as showcasing indoor and outdoor exhibitions in major public spaces.  From 4 – 30 November 2020 a thematically diverse line up of contemporary Irish photography celebrates the female gaze, reframing the world through the manifold perspectives, styles and subject matters captured by the women behind Ireland’s cameras.

This year’s festival serves to foster dialogue beyond the snapshot. The images and the artists behind them shed a truly contemporary light on the pivotal role that female photographers play in the portrayal of our world, encouraging creative appreciation and understanding that transcend the boundaries of the art community. Enduring motifs of the poignant installations featured include representation, self-portraiture, landscape and fashion, as well as truthful and contemplative depictions centring around equality and the body. As well as galleries, this year’s visual arts experience will illuminate major outdoor public spaces through lightboxes and unprecedented large-scale outdoor projection.  For more information on this year’s festival, visit www.belfastphotofestival.com and keep up to date on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Belfast Exposed: As part of the Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Exposed is delighted to launch ‘Street View’ on Thursday 5th November - a digital gallery space of curated exhibitions to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is an initiative, which provides a multimedia exhibition experience, in response to the restrictions put in place due to covid-19 that prevent people from visiting galleries and viewing exhibitions. 

Street View is a large digital window display that will showcase artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers. Street View will launch with the work of Jill Quigley, followed by the work of Noel Bowler, Matthew Finn and Daragh McDonagh, among many others. Street View is a 55” high brightness professional screen that provides a platform to exhibit contemporary photography complimented with audio narratives to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Jill Quigley’s work will be supported by audio of actor Monique Kelly who will describe Jill’s artwork and practice. Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.  For details visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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.  The new exhibition is called, Pinned, and it is an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths in Northern Ireland.  Pinned presents the work of 23 local jewellers and silversmiths who have each responded to the exhibition’s theme to produce one-of-a-kind pieces beyond the scope of their usual commission or production work. 

Participating makers include Anne Earls Boylan, Stuart Cairns, Robyn Galway and Celine Traynor and the exhibition features over 50 variations on the idea of a brooch, with versions in both precious and non-precious materials. Traditionally set stones contrast with re-purposed vintage tins and toys, precision geometry meets abstract forms. Gold, silver and gemstones sit alongside found objects in unexpected interpretations that demonstrate technical accomplishment, innovation and creativity.  The exhibition opened on 4th November and continues until 2nd January 2021.  Craft NI is located at 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast.  Visit http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: In line with the restrictions announced by the NI Executive, the MAC is planning to reopen our galleries and cafe on Saturday 14 November 2020 10am - 4pm, with new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  The MAC will also open on Sunday 15 November, 10am - 4pm and following that they plan to return to Wednesday - Sunday, 10am - 4pm.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

In the meantime The MAC will are premiering a series of short films tomorrow as a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic on their Facebook page.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/theMACBelfast

R-Spacein Lisburn present a rescheduled exhibition, Obvious, which runs from 14 November - 11 December 2020 at R-Space Gallery (32 Castle Street, Lisburn).  There will be a virtual preview on Saturday 14 November 2020 2-4pm. 

Six artists based in Northern Ireland (Aimée Nelson, Aoife O’Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers and Pauline Clancy) have been selected from an open call as part of R-Space’s 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.  This year R-Space has selected artists who have responded to the theme ‘Obvious’, and the works include interactive screen printing, mixed media installations, digital imaging, and folk art.  Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/ for full details.

Black Box: present an online exhibition by Nathalie Caleyron Donnelly until 30th November.  Nathalie Caleyron Donnelly is originally from France but has lived in North Belfast for most of her life.  She discovered printmaking through a workshop in Seacourt Print Workshop (Bangor) 5 years ago.  It was a ‘love at first sight’ experience and she has been involved in printmaking and in Seacourt since.  Her prints are mostly multiplate lino, often with an element of monoprinting, giving a uniqueness to each single hand pulled print within the same edition.  Check out the work via the Black Box website- https://www.blackboxbelfast.com/event/online-exhibition-nathalie-caleyron-donnelly/

An Culturlann: as part of their 30th anniversary celebration programme of events for 2021, An Cultúrlann presents an exhibition of a selection of the artwork bought by An Chultúrlann or donated to them over the years.  Paintings, drawings and prints are on display in Dánlann Dillon, the gallery on the first floor that was added to the building in 2011. Although COVID-19 restrictions mean the public can’t access the gallery for now, you can still have a look at the amazing artwork in this beautiful video put together by Gráinne Holland and Frainc Mac Cionnaith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsbZ8cOPBA&t=14s

Belfast Print Workshop: Belfast Print Workshop has re-opened with a new team, new curator and new gallery space.  For the first time in its 40+ year history the printmakers and artists using the studio have the opportunity to work directly with an experienced curator. Moran Been-noon is a Dublin based artist and curator and will work with BPW this year to help the BPW studio members develop their artistic practice and fully realise their potential as artists. The printmaking studio has also appointed nationally recognised and highly skilled printmaker, Dónall Billings as Technician.  The new team have already created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work and an online shop.   They also have some spaces left in their courses in November and December, all conducted under strict COVID-19 safety standards.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Eden Place Arts Centre: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Eden Place Arts Centre, in Derry-Londonderry, remains closed so to keep everyone connected they are launching a series of online workshops. The workshops will be held over a period of 4 weeks. Each workshop will be 2 hours long and will take place via 'Zoom'.  This series will focus on a variety of painting techniques. There will also be a Christmas crafts course.  The workshops will start on week commencing Monday 23rd November and will run for 4 consecutive weeks.  Registration opens via their website: www.edenplaceartscentre.com on Friday 13th November via upcoming classes page.  The cost will be £10 and will include all 4 workshops.

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online activities to keep you entertained over the mid-term break.  Let NI's most creative minds guide you through step by step videos on how to perfect your mobile photography, improve your drawing & illustration, enter the world of abstract art, create music & beats, bring to life an animation or become a film-maker! Visit www.wheelworksarts.com/mdc

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 4th November 2020 at 1pm 0 Comments Arts & Health , Community Arts , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

Image: What's on in the Arts

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

Skip to section

 

MUSIC

Belfast Trad: presents a very special weekend of online events from 27th-28th November with leading, award-winning harpist, Úna Monaghan, and flautist and tin whistle player, Emer Mayock.  There will be an evening in conversation with both musicians, a series of workshops and also a series of recitals.  For more details visit https://www.belfasttrad.com/shop

Sound of Belfast 2020: The Oh Yeah Music Centre has announced details of its 2020 Sound of Belfast programme that will bring the sound of Belfast straight into your home online from 6th-12th November.  The programme is designed to give audiences a flavour of how musically great and diverse Belfast is.  It has been recorded live in many of our empty venues across the city and representing a range of genres and sounds.  The programme is a mix of online music from local artists, Ryan McMullan, Duke Special, Jealous of the Birds, Scott Flannigan Trio, Ruth McGinley, Brand New friend and many more, a spotlight on great projects plus industry workshops and talks.  For programme details visit https://soundofbelfast.com/

NI Music prize: The NI Music Prize has confirmed that this year’s awards will go ahead with an online broadcast on November 12th. The event, which will take place at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, will be a virtual show due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organised by Oh Yeah, produced by MEP (Mike Edgar Production) and streaming live as a YouTube Premiere, the awards plan to bring as much live experience as possible to audiences at home. There will be brand new performances from shortlisted acts including Arborist, Careerist, Joshua Burnside, Kitt Philippa, Phil Kieran and Sasha Samara.

Rigsy (DJ & Broadcaster) and Gemma Bradley (Presenter, BBC ATL Introducing) will present the show. There will be guest contributors, with live announcements and presentations as well as some previously unseen footage including the Snow Patrol performance from last year’s incredible event at the Ulster Hall.
The event is scheduled to take place during the Sound of Belfast 2020 virtual festival, which runs 6th – 12th November.  For more info on shortlists, voting and process go to www.nimusicprize.com

I Teach Trad: Award-winning teacher, Donegal fiddler and academic, Dr Liz Doherty, has launched I Teach Trad, a revolutionary new professional development system to support traditional music teachers.  Dr Doherty will offer a range of online courses and face-to-face training workshops and mentoring for individuals.  Liz has developed her own framework for teachers to learn how to develop a clear structure and system for planning, organising and delivering their teaching.  Liz says the programme can be accessed not just by Irish traditional music teachers but by folk music teachers the world over. The course is available to buy on-line; it can be followed at your own pace and in your own time. Training for groups of teachers can also be booked on the website, as can one-to-one mentoring.  For more details visit https://iteachtrad.com/

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Northern Ireland Opera: Join some of Northern Ireland’s best known opera singers as they take you to their home county or city and perform a selection of art songs composed by Northern Irish or Irish composers. ‘Northern Songs’ is a set of eight short films showcasing this beautiful country’s stunning locations, landscapes and historic monuments with songs performed by Giselle Allen, Doreen Curran, Carolyn Dobbin and Ben McAteer with pianist, Ruth McGinley.  The films will be released each Thursday at 8pm and announced weekly on www.niopera.com  and on their social media channels.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ

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.  Remaining dates include:

Friday 13th November, 6-10pm, as part of Outburst Arts.  Visit www.niopera.com 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 outreach@niopera.com 

Moving On Music:  Moving on Music's online ‘All About…’ outreach series, may have come to an end but all 20 videos from the 7 professional musicians featured are available to the public online.  Each jazz or classical musician talked about their principal instrument and touched on specific techniques used and the instrument's popular pieces.  You can watch everything back on their YouTube channel from the links below.  These videos would be of interest to anyone who would enjoy learning all about any of the instruments mentioned below or any young people who are studying GCSE / A Level music.   Please see the below:

Gráinne Meyer (Classical and Traditional Harp)
An Introduction to the Harp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=INfMkqC2GxI
The Evolution of the Harp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjk_KirTKmM&t=2s
The Harp & the Orchestra: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpdtVi6mhmY&t=9s

Scott Flanigan (Jazz Piano)
Blues and Beginner Improv: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkKtqWGNSWU&t=41s
Jazz & Blues Chords: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHmEkCWqNVU&t=1s
Autumn Leaves: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OV114FbzR4

Joesph Leighton (Jazz Guitar)
Jazz guitars and influential players: youtu.be/XOrnljsjAww
Modal jazz chords: youtu.be/Pot86JLCTTM
How to approach learning a jazz standard: youtu.be/buzFjVyR62g

Aisling Agnew (Classical Flute)
Baroque & Classical Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Om4pA53AA
Late Romantic & 20th Century Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXPqx93jjfw
Contemporary UK & Irish Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M4VEtk50FE

Darragh Morgan (Classical Violin)
Contemporary Music for the Violin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GYqxhOVSJU
Baroque Music for the Violin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDugNPF8hmM

Aoife Doyle (Jazz Singing)
Singing Styles: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-mixzkhqgs
Influential Jazz Singers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6MfvWkSr7M&t=3s
Harmonies & Improv: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpJfjQiPMgs&t=10s

Steve Davis (Jazz Drums)
Basic Swing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQu1P2TcMtE&t=1s
Drum Chants: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqvRmCqaWx0&t=112s
Basic Swing Pt2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToFfDcsPKaU

 

FESTIVALS

Outburst Queer Arts Festival: the 14th Outburst Queer Arts Festival will take place from 13-21 November.  Visit https://outburstarts.com/ for programme and booking information.

 

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

John Hewitt Society: The John Hewitt Society, in association with Poetry Ireland, present a very special evening of poetry online to mark John Hewitt’s birthday featuring two critically-acclaimed, award-winning poets, winners of the prestigious T.S Elliot Prize.  Join Roger Robinson and Sinéad Morrissey on Wednesday 4th November at 7:30pm, hosted by poet, Paul Maddern.  Tune in or listen back at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9sHTqDLauMU2gM2rzBySMg

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:

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 www.lyrictheatre.co.uk on the following dates:
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. 

 

VISUAL ARTS

Belfast Photo Festival:  Belfast Photo Festival – Ireland’s unique photographic biennial – returns this autumn. With its programme entitled XX-XY, Northern Ireland’s premier visual arts festival will host a series of online and offline events, as well as showcasing indoor and outdoor exhibitions in major public spaces.  From 4 – 30 November 2020 a thematically diverse line up of contemporary Irish photography celebrates the female gaze, reframing the world through the manifold perspectives, styles and subject matters captured by the women behind Ireland’s cameras.

This year’s festival serves to foster dialogue beyond the snapshot. The images and the artists behind them shed a truly contemporary light on the pivotal role that female photographers play in the portrayal of our world, encouraging creative appreciation and understanding that transcend the boundaries of the art community. Enduring motifs of the poignant installations featured include representation, self-portraiture, landscape and fashion, as well as truthful and contemplative depictions centring around equality and the body. As well as galleries, this year’s visual arts experience will illuminate major outdoor public spaces through lightboxes and unprecedented large-scale outdoor projection.  For more information on this year’s festival, visit www.belfastphotofestival.com and keep up to date on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Belfast Exposed: As part of the Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Exposed is delighted to launch ‘Street View’ on Thursday 5th November - a digital gallery space of curated exhibitions to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is an initiative, which provides a multimedia exhibition experience, in response to the restrictions put in place due to covid-19 that prevent people from visiting galleries and viewing exhibitions. 

Street View is a large digital window display that will showcase artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers. Street View will launch with the work of Jill Quigley, followed by the work of Noel Bowler, Matthew Finn and Daragh McDonagh, among many others. Street View is a 55” high brightness professional screen that provides a platform to exhibit contemporary photography complimented with audio narratives to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Jill Quigley’s work will be supported by audio of actor Monique Kelly who will describe Jill’s artwork and practice. Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.  For details visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

VOID:  Due to new Covid-19 restrictions VOID gallery in Derry-Londonderry has had to temporarily close.  However the team at VOID will continue to bring you online activities, from content relating to their current exhibition as well as family activities which you can do at home.  Visit www.derryvoid.com

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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.  The new exhibition is called, Pinned, and it is an exhibition of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths in Northern Ireland.  Pinned presents the work of 23 local jewellers and silversmiths who have each responded to the exhibition’s theme to produce one-of-a-kind pieces beyond the scope of their usual commission or production work. 

Participating makers include Anne Earls Boylan, Stuart Cairns, Robyn Galway and Celine Traynor and the exhibition features over 50 variations on the idea of a brooch, with versions in both precious and non-precious materials. Traditionally set stones contrast with re-purposed vintage tins and toys, precision geometry meets abstract forms. Gold, silver and gemstones sit alongside found objects in unexpected interpretations that demonstrate technical accomplishment, innovation and creativity.  The exhibition opened on 4th November and continues until 2nd January 2021.  Craft NI is located at 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast.  Visit http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: In line with the restrictions announced by the NI Executive, the MAC is planning to reopen our galleries and cafe on Saturday 14 November 2020 10am - 4pm, with new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  The MAC will also open on Sunday 15 November, 10am - 4pm and following that they plan to return to Wednesday - Sunday, 10am - 4pm.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

In the meantime The MAC will are premiering a series of short films tomorrow as a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic on their Facebook page.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/theMACBelfast

R-Space: in Lisburn present MMM#8 – Obvious, Aimée Nelson, Aoife O'Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers, Pauline Clancy, 7 November - 11 December 2020.   Six artists based in Northern Ireland have been selected from an open call as part of their 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.  Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/

Belfast Print Workshop: Belfast Print Workshop has re-opened with a new team, new curator and new gallery space.  For the first time in its 40+ year history the printmakers and artists using the studio have the opportunity to work directly with an experienced curator. Moran Been-noon is a Dublin based artist and curator and will work with BPW this year to help the BPW studio members develop their artistic practice and fully realise their potential as artists. The printmaking studio has also appointed nationally recognised and highly skilled printmaker, Dónall Billings as Technician.  The new team have already created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work and an online shop.   They also have some spaces left in their courses in November and December, all conducted under strict COVID-19 safety standards.  For full details visit https://www.bpw.org.uk

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. Following the latest round of restrictions we are now offering free zoom coaching to anyone who feels isolated or would just like to use the opportunity to learn something new under the guidance of some of Northern Ireland's most experienced circus street entertainers. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on streetwiseathome@gmail.com. Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online activities to keep you entertained over the mid-term break.  Let NI's most creative minds guide you through step by step videos on how to perfect your mobile photography, improve your drawing & illustration, enter the world of abstract art, create music & beats, bring to life an animation or become a film-maker! Visit www.wheelworksarts.com/mdc

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 28th October 2020 at 10am 0 Comments Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts , Community Arts

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

Skip to section

 

MUSIC

Sound of Belfast 2020: The Oh Yeah Music Centre has announced details of its 2020 Sound of Belfast programme that will bring the sound of Belfast straight into your home online from 6th-12th November.  The programme is designed to give audiences a flavour of how musically great and diverse Belfast is.  It has been recorded live in many of our empty venues across the city and representing a range of genres and sounds.  The programme is a mix of online music from local artists, Ryan McMullan, Duke Special, Jealous of the Birds, Scott Flannigan Trio, Ruth McGinley, Brand New friend and many more, a spotlight on great projects plus industry workshops and talks.  For programme details visit https://soundofbelfast.com/

NI Music prize: The NI Music Prize has confirmed that this year’s awards will go ahead with an online broadcast on November 12th. The event, which will take place at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, will be a virtual show due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organised by Oh Yeah, produced by MEP (Mike Edgar Production) and streaming live as a YouTube Premiere, the awards plan to bring as much live experience as possible to audiences at home. There will be brand new performances from shortlisted acts including Arborist, Careerist, Joshua Burnside, Kitt Philippa, Phil Kieran and Sasha Samara.

Rigsy (DJ & Broadcaster) and Gemma Bradley (Presenter, BBC ATL Introducing) will present the show. There will be guest contributors, with live announcements and presentations as well as some previously unseen footage including the Snow Patrol performance from last year’s incredible event at the Ulster Hall.

The event is scheduled to take place during the Sound of Belfast 2020 virtual festival, which runs 6th – 12th November.  For more info on shortlists, voting and process go to www.nimusicprize.com

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich:  Halloween is the Celtic festival which celebrates and welcomes the beginning of the celtic year.  Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich  will 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. Music In The Glen are an exciting trio performing the very best of Irish traditional music. Featuring the combined talents of Brendan Mulholland (flute) and founding Réalta members Conor Lamb (uilleann pipes, whistles) and Deirdre Galway (guitar). These musicians deliver the infectious rhythm and soul which are the hallmarks of Irish music. There will also be storytelling and mumming with Cleamairí Feirste as per the ancient Samhain tradition along with renowned author Myra Zepf demonstrating the history and mystery of Samhain. The concert will be broadcast on Cultúrlann Facebook and YouTube channels on Friday the 30th October at 8:30pm.

I Teach Trad: Award-winning teacher, Donegal fiddler and academic, Dr Liz Doherty, has launched I Teach Trad, a revolutionary new professional development system to support traditional music teachers.  Dr Doherty will offer a range of online courses and face-to-face training workshops and mentoring for individuals.  Liz has developed her own framework for teachers to learn how to develop a clear structure and system for planning, organising and delivering their teaching.  Liz says the programme can be accessed not just by Irish traditional music teachers but by folk music teachers the world over. The course is available to buy on-line; it can be followed at your own pace and in your own time. Training for groups of teachers can also be booked on the website, as can one-to-one mentoring.  For more details visit https://iteachtrad.com/

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Northern Ireland Opera: Join some of Northern Ireland’s best known opera singers as they take you to their home county or city and perform a selection of art songs composed by Northern Irish or Irish composers. ‘Northern Songs’ is a set of eight short films showcasing this beautiful country’s stunning locations, landscapes and historic monuments with songs performed by Giselle Allen, Doreen Curran, Carolyn Dobbin and Ben McAteer with pianist, Ruth McGinley.  The films will be released each Thursday at 8pm and announced weekly on www.niopera.com and on their social media channels.

First up is Northern Irish mezzo-soprano, Carolyn Dobbin, performing, The Blue Hills, by Hamilton Harty, at Dunluce Castle in her home county, Co, Antrim, accompanied by pianist, Ruth McGinley - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U21RQFFc0g&feature=emb_title

Northern Ireland Opera: has adapted their popular opera series for babies, Little Lullabies, online until 31st October.  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 https://www.niopera.com/events/little-lullabies-online/

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.  Remaining dates include:

Friday 13th November, 6-10pm, as part of Outburst Arts.  Visit www.niopera.com 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 outreach@niopera.com 

Moving On Music:  Moving on Music's online ‘All About…’ outreach series, may have come to an end but all 20 videos from the 7 professional musicians featured are available to the public online.  Each jazz or classical musician talked about their principal instrument and touched on specific techniques used and the instrument's popular pieces.  You can watch everything back on their YouTube channel from the links below.  These videos would be of interest to anyone who would enjoy learning all about any of the instruments mentioned below or any young people who are studying GCSE / A Level music.   Please see the below:

Gráinne Meyer (Classical and Traditional Harp)
An Introduction to the Harp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=INfMkqC2GxI
The Evolution of the Harp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjk_KirTKmM&t=2s
The Harp & the Orchestra: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpdtVi6mhmY&t=9s

Scott Flanigan (Jazz Piano)
Blues and Beginner Improv: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkKtqWGNSWU&t=41s
Jazz & Blues Chords: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHmEkCWqNVU&t=1s
Autumn Leaves: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OV114FbzR4

Joesph Leighton (Jazz Guitar)
Jazz guitars and influential players: youtu.be/XOrnljsjAww
Modal jazz chords: youtu.be/Pot86JLCTTM
How to approach learning a jazz standard: youtu.be/buzFjVyR62g

Aisling Agnew (Classical Flute)
Baroque & Classical Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Om4pA53AA
Late Romantic & 20th Century Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXPqx93jjfw
Contemporary UK & Irish Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M4VEtk50FE

Darragh Morgan (Classical Violin)
Contemporary Music for the Violin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GYqxhOVSJU
Baroque Music for the Violin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDugNPF8hmM

Aoife Doyle (Jazz Singing)
Singing Styles: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-mixzkhqgs
Influential Jazz Singers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6MfvWkSr7M&t=3s
Harmonies & Improv: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpJfjQiPMgs&t=10s

Steve Davis (Jazz Drums)
Basic Swing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQu1P2TcMtE&t=1s
Drum Chants: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqvRmCqaWx0&t=112s
Basic Swing Pt2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToFfDcsPKaU

 

FESTIVALS

Belfast International Arts Festival: The 58th Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF) is available online with an imaginative and inspirational programme which continues from until to 1st November.  The 2020 festival features a range of inspirational programme of dance, music, theatre, film, visual arts and talks which will be largely hosted online and largely free.  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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/ to view the full programme and access tickets.

 

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

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:

Ulster After Dark, 27 Oct to 2 Nov.  As the air turns chilly and the dark nights creep in, the Lyric Theatre invites you to draw the curtains, light the fire, and prepare to be thoroughly spooked by three eerie tales of strange goings-on around Ulster.  Commissioned especially for the Listen At The Lyric series of audio plays, the Lyric present three brand new monologues inspired by the folk tales of Ulster – and some unexplained real life experiences.  Directed by Emma Jordan and performed by three of Northern Ireland’s greatest acting talents, Sean Kearns, Frankie McCafferty and Stella McCusker.
Don’t have nightmares…

Bad Ground by Gary Crossan, performed by Sean Kearns
After a tough year, Frank Devine has returned to his dilapidated family home in Co.Derry to renovate the building and start a new chapter.  As he chips away at the mountain of work needing done, will he uncover things that refuse to go back where they came from?

Outside Her by Karis Halsall, performed by Stella McCusker
"Sit you down there and huddle in... "
Join elderly Iris as she recounts a terrifying tale from her youth. When teenage Iris' mother is killed on the Devil's elbow, her father moves them out to a strange shaped and remote farmhouse - which local legend says was built on a fairy road. Iris chalks this up to being "freety nonsense" - until the phone calls begin. When she's first contacted by some unseen thing, Iris assumes it's her mother attempting to reach her, but the reality is much, much more sinister... Based on true stories, recounted by Karis' family from Co. Down.

The Familial Binds of Cheiromancy by Kat Woods, performed by Frankie McCafferty
The O’Rourke’s of Benaughlin Mountain, Fermanagh, have been reading palms for generations until now. Mark has a strange encounter and decides to retire early from the profession much to the disillusionment of his elderly Mammy who wants him to continue the family tradition. All is not what it seems when she comes to call.

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 www.lyrictheatre.co.uk  on the following dates:
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. 

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 www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

 

VISUAL ARTS

Belfast Photo Festival:  Belfast Photo Festival – Ireland’s unique photographic biennial – returns this autumn. Northern Ireland’s premier visual arts festival will host a series of online and offline events, as well as showcasing indoor and outdoor exhibitions in major public spaces.  From 4 – 30 November 2020 a thematically diverse line up of contemporary Irish photography celebrates the female gaze, reframing the world through the manifold perspectives, styles and subject matters captured by the women behind Ireland’s cameras.

This year’s festival serves to foster dialogue beyond the snapshot. The images and the artists behind them shed a truly contemporary light on the pivotal role that female photographers play in the portrayal of our world, encouraging creative appreciation and understanding that transcend the boundaries of the art community. Enduring motifs of the poignant installations featured include representation, self-portraiture, landscape and fashion, as well as truthful and contemplative depictions centring around equality and the body. As well as galleries, this year’s visual arts experience will illuminate major outdoor public spaces through lightboxes and unprecedented large-scale outdoor projection.  For more information on this year’s festival, visit www.belfastphotofestival.com and keep up to date on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Belfast Exposed: As part of the Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Exposed is delighted to launch ‘Street View’ on Thursday 5th November - a digital gallery space of curated exhibitions to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is an initiative, which provides a multimedia exhibition experience, in response to the restrictions put in place due to covid-19 that prevent people from visiting galleries and viewing exhibitions. 

Street View is a large digital window display that will showcase artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers. Street View will launch with the work of Jill Quigley, followed by the work of Noel Bowler, Matthew Finn and Daragh McDonagh, among many others. Street View is a 55” high brightness professional screen that provides a platform to exhibit contemporary photography complimented with audio narratives to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Jill Quigley’s work will be supported by audio of actor Monique Kelly who will describe Jill’s artwork and practice. Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.  For details visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

VOID:  Due to new Covid-19 restrictions VOID gallery in Derry-Londonderry has had to temporarily close.  However the team at VOID will continue to bring you online activities, from content relating to their current exhibition as well as family activities which you can do at home.  Upcoming activities include:
 

Awakening the Windows art competition: Void Gallery, North West Carnival Initiative and Derry City and Strabane District Council are delighted to announce Awakening the Windows. While we might not be able to get out on the streets, we can animate the city using our front windows to create unique and imaginative displays that celebrate Halloween in Derry, creating an art parade for people to enjoy.

Bishop’s Gate Hotel has generously sponsored a prize for the winning window – an overnight stay in their hotel for two guests with dinner included! Nestled within the City Walls, Bishop’s Gate Hotel blends stunning Edwardian architecture, stylish appointments and luxurious facilities which have been sensitively restored to pay homage to the rich heritage of the building.  In order to be entered in the competition, all you need to do is upload an image of your window to the www.derryhalloween.com/awakening-the-windows  The winner will be announced on the 11th of November.

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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 http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: In line with the restrictions announced by the NI Executive, the MAC is planning to reopen our galleries and cafe on Saturday 14 November 2020 10am - 4pm, with new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  The MAC will also open on Sunday 15 November, 10am - 4pm and following that they plan to return to Wednesday - Sunday, 10am - 4pm.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 

In the meantime The MAC will are premiering a series of short films tomorrow as a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic on their Facebook page.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/theMACBelfast

ArtIsAnn:  ArtisAnn Gallery remains open and 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 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 until Saturday 31st October 2020.  Visit www.artisann.org

R-Space: in Lisburn present MMM#8 – Obvious, Aimée Nelson, Aoife O'Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers, Pauline Clancy, 7 November - 11 December 2020.   Six artists based in Northern Ireland have been selected from an open call as part of their 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.  Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/

Belfast Print Workshop: Belfast Print Workshop has re-opened with a new team, new curator and new gallery space.  For the first time in its 40+ year history the printmakers and artists using the studio have the opportunity to work directly with an experienced curator. Moran Been-noon is a Dublin based artist and curator and will work with BPW this year to help the BPW studio members develop their artistic practice and fully realise their potential as artists. The printmaking studio has also appointed nationally recognised and highly skilled printmaker, Dónall Billings as Technician.  The new team have already created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work and an online shop.   They also have some spaces left in their courses in November and December, all conducted under strict COVID-19 safety standards.  For full details visit  https://www.bpw.org.uk/

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online activities to keep you entertained over the mid-term break.  Let NI's most creative minds guide you through step by step videos on how to perfect your mobile photography, improve your drawing & illustration, enter the world of abstract art, create music & beats, bring to life an animation or become a film-maker! Visit www.wheelworksarts.com/mdc

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

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I Teach Trad – Professional Development for Irish Traditional Music Teachers

Tuesday 27th October 2020 at 12pm 0 Comments Northern Ireland Music

Liz Doherty Image: Liz Doherty

Award-winning teacher, Donegal fiddler and academic, Dr Liz Doherty, gives an insight into I Teach Trad, a revolutionary new professional development system to support traditional music teachers.

"How often do you hear of a new report being published by an organisation or institution? Days, hours, weeks, months being spent by an individual or a team conducting research, gathering data, considering options, making recommendations. All followed by a big shiny launch. And then … nothing. No action. It’s like the end game all along was the publication of the nice glossy document. It drives me cracked!

So, when Dermot McLaughlin was commissioned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to carry out an audit of the traditional arts in Northern Ireland 2015, I was not hugely optimistic that it would result in any action. Sure, there would be the usual media launch, the opportunity to take a moment to gather the traditional arts community together to celebrate, and lots of conversation about the findings over wine and cheese. But what then? When everyone went back to their busy lives, their music classes, their committee meetings, their competition prep – what then? How would the brilliant insights and challenges set out in this report actually ignite real, meaningful change?

Hats off to Maria McAlister, Arts Development Officer for Traditional Arts at ACNI - she actually showed that such reports can, in fact, be harnessed to effect change. Through leading by example, she encouraged others in our traditional arts community to do the same; to use the report to frame action, to make progress.

For me, it was the piece around teaching traditional music that I found myself drawn to. It was like a call to action:

“ … there is a need for better resources for Traditional Music teachers and for teachers who are coming anew to Traditional Music, there is a need to develop a method for teaching … there is a need to ensure that the sector has access to suitably experienced people.”

But who was I to do take action? Yes, I was lecturing in traditional music at Ulster University at the time, and was, in fact one of the longest-standing lecturers in Irish traditional music, having started out in that role at UCC in 1994. I had also taught fiddle at workshops and summer schools and festivals all over the world. I had curated teaching events and conferences about teaching. I had established music schools and academies in different locations. I had taught young children and adults, those who were mad for learning and those who were having days when they would rather be anywhere else. I had taught complete beginners and players who were already far more technically accomplished that I would ever be. I had taught in the room and online. But still, I was thinking, who am I to do this? And so I waited. Waited for somebody else to do it, to step up.

While I was waiting, I started unpacking my 30 years as a traditional music teacher. What did I learn along the way? What worked for me? What mistakes did I make (and believe me, there were many of them)? What could I do to save others from making the same mistakes? What could I create to help other teachers? What would have helped me when I was starting out? What could help me now?

Here’s what I learned. It’s tough being a traditional music teacher. You are trained as a musician. Your experience is as a musician. Yet, you find yourself (whether by choice or by circumstance) teaching. And, as we all find out sooner or later, playing and teaching are not the same. Just because you are a fantastic musician, it does not necessarily translate into you being a fantastic teacher. What can you do to get better? Who can you turn to for help? Where can you go to for support and training and materials and tools?

I’ve also been incredibly struck over the years by how many traditional music teachers have spoken to me about how isolated they feel, and how they are crippled by self-doubt. Are they doing it right? Are they good enough? It’s no wonder, really, that many of us feel that way. Of course it’s challenging to work in an environment where you are pretty much left to make everything up by yourself. It’s hard to keep going when you are not always clear about what it is you are working towards. What are our goals? What are we aiming for? How do we know when we are doing a good job?

As with any teacher, the work is often exhausting. You are told on an airplane that, in an emergency, you should put on your own oxygen mask first before you attend to anyone else. So, teachers, are you putting on your own oxygen mask? What are you doing to look after yourself? To keep yourself energised and motivated? You are busy looking after your students, but who is looking after you?

That’s why I set up I Teach Trad. To help and support all those amazing traditional music teachers out there – including those of the future. I left my permanent, pensioned job at the start of this year to do this. Here’s what some of the teachers I have worked with over the last few weeks have said:

“The I Teach Trad program is providing me with a unique and refreshing approach to traditional music teaching. It’s encouraging me to apply a deeper level of thinking in my teaching practice … it’s motivating me as a teacher to think outside the box, apply new skills. I’m loving how this newfound confidence is helping me to create a more meaningful musical journey for my students!” (Aishling O’Reilly, Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan)

“Liz is a master facilitator. The training she provided my team was measured, insightful, and really enjoyable. The feedback was really positive  … above all else, they felt that they had learned some really valuable things over the session, both in terms of general pedagogical practices, but also about themselves and their own journey…That was what my team and I valued the most; we knew we were learning from an expert and dealing with complex issues, but we always felt connected to Liz, and she made things seem so accessible and personal to each person’s individual experience.” (Dr. Aidan O’Donnell, Music Generation Tipperary)

So, what can I Teach Trad offer you? There’s the self-paced, online course, A Framework for Teaching Irish Traditional Music. This is for you if you are interested in refreshing or re-imagining your traditional music teaching practice. In it you will examine your own story as a teacher, and craft your personal teaching philosophy. You’ll use the TradLABB™ as a roadmap to help you understanding your students better, at every stage of their traditional music journey. You’ll plan out and organise your teaching – both your curriculum (what you teach and why) and your pedagogy (how you do it) - and how to make it work online. You’ll build on your existing toolkit of resources and skills with new ideas and approaches – and get loads of downloadable materials (e.g. templates, checklists, infographics) to help you out. You’ll take time to think about your ongoing professional development – what will help you to keep on growing as a teacher? And you’ll take a good look at how to turn your teaching into a business for yourself.

Other options include one-to-one mentoring sessions where you get to discuss opportunities and challenges within your teaching, and get practical supports to help you deal with these.  And, if you are involved in a group or organisation, some of the training workshops might be of interest e.g. ‘The TradLABB as a framework for organising your teaching practice’, ‘The reflective traditional musician’ and ‘Your teaching toolkit.’ If you want to find out more, sign up for my newsletter and receive a free e-book, ‘20 Top Tips for Teaching Traditional Music.’ And  keep an eye on the website, iteachtrad.com – there’s lots of new material being added regularly.

Now, I know that as traditional music teachers we are not used to giving ourselves the gift of time to focus on our own professional development. We are so busy doing the teaching that we haven’t time for anything else. I get that! I WAS that teacher! Neither are we used to investing in ourselves to upskill, to energise and motivate ourselves specifically around the teaching piece. And I get that too! But we should. In fact, we must! Now, in the midst of this pandemic, traditional music teachers are facing all sorts of challenges as we move our practices online. Touring artists are increasingly turning to teaching as a way to meaningfully engage with music, while generating an income. Let’s use this moment to really lean into our teaching, to embrace the opportunity to spend time on our own learning and development, and to share best practice. For, if not now, then when?

So, where do we go from here? Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, one of my mentors, instilled in me the importance of always closing the loop. ACNI commissioned a report that shone a light on traditional music teaching - the great things that are happening in this space as well as the growth and change and transformation that needs to happen. This report inspired action – and iteachtrad.com has been created in direct response to it. Now, let’s see if we can close the loop. My next step is working with ACNI towards securing funding for teachers and teaching organisations to enable them to avail of these courses, training workshops and mentoring; this includes allowing them to ‘buy time’ so that they can commit to the programme. ACNI can show real leadership, can close the loop, and be the organisation that supports turning a report into action and effects real change and long-term transformation for traditional music teaching."

Liz Doherty, PhD, BMus, NTF, SFHEA

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 21st October 2020 at 1pm 0 Comments Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

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MUSIC

NI Music prize: The NI Music Prize has confirmed that this year’s awards will go ahead with an online broadcast on November 12th. The event, which will take place at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, will be a virtual show due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organised by Oh Yeah, produced by MEP (Mike Edgar Production) and streaming live as a YouTube Premiere, the awards plan to bring as much live experience as possible to audiences at home. There will be brand new performances from shortlisted acts including Arborist, Careerist, Joshua Burnside, Kitt Philippa, Phil Kieran and Sasha Samara.

Rigsy (DJ & Broadcaster) and Gemma Bradley (Presenter, BBC ATL Introducing) will present the show. There will be guest contributors, with live announcements and presentations as well as some previously unseen footage including the Snow Patrol performance from last year’s incredible event at the Ulster Hall.

The event is scheduled to take place during the Sound of Belfast 2020 virtual festival, which runs 6th – 12th November. The full programme for this will be announced on the 27th October.

For more info on shortlists, voting and process go to www.nimusicprize.com

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich:  Halloween is the Celtic festival which celebrates and welcomes the beginning of the celtic year. Just as we do in the womb, the New Year begins in darkness. This darkness was most welcome, the winter and the long nights ahead.  It is a joy that we can celebrate this festival in the traditional way, through storytelling, mumming and music!

Samhain will come as our fourth virtual concert celebrating the indigenous Celtic festivals, the Samhain concert will showcase the best of traditional music courtesy of Music in the Glen. Music In The Glen are an exciting trio performing the very best of Irish traditional music. Featuring the combined talents of Brendan Mulholland (flute) and founding Réalta members Conor Lamb (uilleann pipes, whistles) and Deirdre Galway (guitar). These musicians deliver the infectious rhythm and soul which are the hallmarks of Irish music. There will also be storytelling and mumming with Cleamairí Feirste as per the ancient Samhain tradition along with renowned author Myra Zepf demonstrating the history and mystery of Samhain. The concert will be broadcast on Cultúrlann Facebook and YouTube channels on Friday the 30th October at 8:30pm.

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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/2020-festival/ (free, but donations welcome!). After that, the recordings will be available on the BMS website for one month.

The Belfast Ensemble: The Belfast Ensemble reinvent Beethoven with their new work, Septet (for four) at Belfast International Arts Festival on Wednesday 28th October.  Fresh after the success of their genre-busting Abomination – A DUP Opera, The Belfast Ensemble premiere a new work – SEPTET (FOR FOUR).  Created to mark the 250th birthday of Beethoven, the piece of video performance art takes as its source material his ground-breaking Septet – a work whose fame almost eclipsed the composers in his early years!  Performed by seven soloists, the music forms a backdrop to a quartet of actors, each living their own stories in space and time, each without words.  With their trademark cutting-edge visuals and high European design aesthetic, this Belfast original shines new light on the genius of Beethoven’s early music.  Visit https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/event/septet-for-four/

I Teach Trad: Award-winning teacher, Donegal fiddler and academic, Dr Liz Doherty, has launched I Teach Trad, a revolutionary new professional development system to support traditional music teachers.  Dr Doherty will offer a range of online courses and face-to-face training workshops and mentoring for individuals.  Liz has developed her own framework for teachers to learn how to develop a clear structure and system for planning, organising and delivering their teaching.  Liz says the programme can be accessed not just by Irish traditional music teachers but by folk music teachers the world over. The course is available to buy on-line; it can be followed at your own pace and in your own time. Training for groups of teachers can also be booked on the website, as can one-to-one mentoring.  For more details visit https://iteachtrad.com/

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  You can watch the latest shows back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Northern Ireland Opera: has adapted their popular opera series for babies, Little Lullabies, online until 31st October.  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 https://www.niopera.com/events/little-lullabies-online/

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.  Remaining dates include:

Wednesday 28th October, 2-4pm, Connswater Shopping Centre, 'Take Up Space', Price: Free and Friday 13th November, 6-10pm, as part of Outburst Arts.  Visit www.niopera.com 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 outreach@niopera.com 

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.  Further programme information and details of how to participate in the 2020 festival is available at www.derrychoirfest.com

Moving On Music:  Last week saw the end of Moving on Music's online ‘All About…’ outreach series, which featured 20 videos from 7 professional musicians. Each jazz or classical musician talked about their principal instrument and touched on specific techniques used and the instrument's popular pieces.  You can watch everything back on their YouTube channel from the links below.  These videos would be of interest to anyone who would enjoy learning all about any of the instruments mentioned below or any young people who are studying GCSE / A Level music.   For more information on what Moving on Music have been doing during the pandemic see: http://www.movingonmusic.com

Gráinne Meyer (Classical and Traditional Harp)
An Introduction to the Harp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=INfMkqC2GxI
The Evolution of the Harp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjk_KirTKmM&t=2s
The Harp & the Orchestra: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpdtVi6mhmY&t=9s

Scott Flanigan (Jazz Piano)
Blues and Beginner Improv: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkKtqWGNSWU&t=41s
Jazz & Blues Chords: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHmEkCWqNVU&t=1s
Autumn Leaves: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OV114FbzR4

Joesph Leighton (Jazz Guitar)
Jazz guitars and influential players: youtu.be/XOrnljsjAww
Modal jazz chords: youtu.be/Pot86JLCTTM
How to approach learning a jazz standard: youtu.be/buzFjVyR62g

Aisling Agnew (Classical Flute)
Baroque & Classical Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Om4pA53AA
Late Romantic & 20th Century Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXPqx93jjfw
Contemporary UK & Irish Composers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M4VEtk50FE

Darragh Morgan (Classical Violin)
Contemporary Music for the Violin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GYqxhOVSJU
Baroque Music for the Violin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDugNPF8hmM

Aoife Doyle (Jazz Singing)
Singing Styles: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-mixzkhqgs
Influential Jazz Singers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6MfvWkSr7M&t=3s
Harmonies & Improv: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpJfjQiPMgs&t=10s

Steve Davis (Jazz Drums)
Basic Swing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQu1P2TcMtE&t=1s
Drum Chants: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqvRmCqaWx0&t=112s
Basic Swing Pt2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToFfDcsPKaU

Moving on Music:  presents, All The Noels, a video walk-through experience at the Black Box, Belfast with performances from Blue Whale, Landless, Scott Flanigan Trio, Steve Davis, Laytha and Martha Guiney with Shane McCartan.  Airing on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, Friday 23rd October at 7pm, ‘All The Noels’ is a 30-odd-minute single shot, walk-through type experience, with different music happening in the various spaces of the venue.

The video which was recorded in one day by a team of Audio-Visual professionals captures the feeling of being in the famous Belfast venue to catch some music. It’s also a demonstration of the amazing musicians we have locally, who sadly aren’t able to perform to audiences at the moment

All The Noels will be available to watch on Friday 23rd October at 7pm and is free to watch, but there will be an option to donate if you like. Full info on Moving on Music and all of their activity can be found at www.movingonmusic.com

 

FESTIVALS

Belfast International Arts Festival: The 58th Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF) is available online with an imaginative and inspirational programme which continues from until to 1st November.  The 2020 festival features a range of inspirational programme of dance, music, theatre, film, visual arts and talks which will be largely hosted online and largely free.  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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/ to view the full programme and access tickets.

 

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

Book Week NI: Book Week NI, an initiative by Libraries NI and BBC NI, takes place on 19-25 October.  This year’s theme is Stories and Storytelling; focusing on stories that matter to each one of us and encouraging everyone to participate and share stories from books that matter to them.  The aim is to inspire people of all ages to discover or rediscover the joy of reading by pledging to take 15 minutes to read during and preferably throughout the week.  To encourage this there will be a different theme each day with suggestions of books, eBooks and eMagazines to read. Also, themed displays will take place in libraries across Northern Ireland and the BBC’s programming will link to Book Week NI across its air waves.  For details visit https://www.librariesni.org.uk

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:

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 www.lyrictheatre.co.uk  on the following dates:
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

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 www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

 

VISUAL ARTS

VOID:  Due to new Covid-19 restrictions VOID gallery in Derry-Londonderry has had to temporarily close.  However the team at VOID will continue to bring you online activities, from content relating to their current exhibition as well as family activities which you can do at home.  Upcoming activities include:

Awakening the Windows art competition: Void Gallery, North West Carnival Initiative and Derry City and Strabane District Council are delighted to announce Awakening the Windows. While we might not be able to get out on the streets, we can animate the city using our front windows to create unique and imaginative displays that celebrate Halloween in Derry, creating an art parade for people to enjoy.

Bishop’s Gate Hotel has generously sponsored a prize for the winning window – an overnight stay in their hotel for two guests with dinner included! Nestled within the City Walls, Bishop’s Gate Hotel blends stunning Edwardian architecture, stylish appointments and luxurious facilities which have been sensitively restored to pay homage to the rich heritage of the building.  In order to be entered in the competition, all you need to do is upload an image of your window to the www.derryhalloween.com/awakening-the-windows  The winner will be announced on the 11th of November.

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opened at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October but has had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.  The exhibition can still be viewed online, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  To view the exhibition online visit https://www.ruaarchive.org/139th-annual-exhibition-2020/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

Craft NI: remains open to the 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 http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: In line with the restrictions announced by the NI Executive, the MAC closed on Friday 16 October at 4pm for an initial period of four weeks. They’re planning to reopen our galleries and cafe on Saturday 14 November 2020 10am - 4pm, with new exhibitions across all three galleries - Peter Liversidge, In a Rainbow of Coalitions and Frederic Huska.  The MAC will also open on Sunday 15 November, 10am - 4pm and following that they plan to return to Wednesday - Sunday, 10am - 4pm.  Visit www.themaclive.com for updates. 
In the meantime The MAC will are premiering a series of short films tomorrow as a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic on their Facebook page.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/theMACBelfast

ArtIsAnn:  ArtisAnn Gallery remains open and 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 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 until Saturday 31st October 2020.  Visit www.artisann.org

R-Space: in Lisburn present MMM#8 – Obvious, Aimée Nelson, Aoife O'Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers, Pauline Clancy, 7 November - 11 December 2020.   Six artists based in Northern Ireland have been selected from an open call as part of their 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.  Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/

Belfast Print Workshop: following closure as a result of the pandemic, Belfast Print Workshop has re-opened with a new team, new curator and new gallery space.  For the first time in its 40+ year history the printmakers and artists using the studio have the opportunity to work directly with an experienced curator. Moran Been-noon is a Dublin based artist and curator and will work with BPW this year to help the BPW studio members develop their artistic practice and fully realise their potential as artists. The printmaking studio has also appointed nationally recognised and highly skilled printmaker, Dónall Billings as Technician. The studio has reopened and is again welcoming artists back to the Cathedral Quarter daily. The new team of three includes administrator Breige Brownlee bringing over 20 years of administration experience and arts and community group knowledge and skills. The new team have already created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work in solo and group shows.  Keep up to date at https://www.bpw.org.uk/

Belfast Exposed: is now closed to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions.  The next exhibition, 'Becoming Christine' by Amanda Dunsmore, is postponed until Thursday 19th November, and will include a live streamed Artist Talk on Friday 20th November.  Becoming Christine is an exhibition based on the lived experience Christine Beynon. This exhibition is part of Belfast Exposed’s three-year strategic plan to exhibit work about transgender topics.  It is a body of work involving re-presented "selfies", sound installation and video portraiture. The "selfies" follow Christine Beynon's journey and transition over a 12-year period.  These self-portraits range in tone from the painful, to the playful, from the mundane to the contemplative to the joyful. The immersive sound installation & narrated artwork was a result of a collaborative partnership between the artist and Christine Beynon.  Visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

Wheelworks: is back with a jam-packed programme of online activities to keep you entertained over the mid-term break.  Let NI's most creative minds guide you through step by step videos on how to perfect your mobile photography, improve your drawing & illustration, enter the world of abstract art, create music & beats, bring to life an animation or become a film-maker! Visit www.wheelworksarts.com/mdc

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 14th October 2020 at 11am 0 Comments Community Arts , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

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, all supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.

Skip to section

 

FESTIVALS

Belfast International Arts Festival: The 58th Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF) is available online with an imaginative and inspirational programme which continues from until to 1st November.  The 2020 festival features a range of inspirational programme of dance, music, theatre, film, visual arts and talks which will be largely hosted online and largely free.  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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/ 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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/2020-festival/ (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.

 

MUSIC

The Belfast Ensemble: The Belfast Ensemble reinvent Beethoven with their new work, Septet (for four) at Belfast International Arts Festival.  Fresh after the success of their genre-busting Abomination – A DUP Opera, The Belfast Ensemble premiere a new work – SEPTET (FOR FOUR).  Created to mark the 250th birthday of Beethoven, the piece of video performance art takes as its source material his ground-breaking Septet – a work whose fame almost eclipsed the composers in his early years!  Performed by seven soloists, the music forms a backdrop to a quartet of actors, each living their own stories in space and time, each without words.  With their trademark cutting-edge visuals and high European design aesthetic, this Belfast original shines new light on the genius of Beethoven’s early music.  Visit https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/event/septet-for-four/

I Teach Trad: Award-winning teacher, Donegal fiddler and academic, Dr Liz Doherty, has launched I Teach Trad, a revolutionary new professional development system to support traditional music teachers.  Dr Doherty will offer a range of online courses and face-to-face training workshops and mentoring for individuals.  Liz has developed her own framework for teachers to learn how to develop a clear structure and system for planning, organising and delivering their teaching.  Liz says the programme can be accessed not just by Irish traditional music teachers but by folk music teachers the world over. The course is available to buy on-line; it can be followed at your own pace and in your own time. Training for groups of teachers can also be booked on the website, as can one-to-one mentoring.  For more details visit https://iteachtrad.com/

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our Belfast through music, poetry, imagery, artistry and insightful interviews.  The fortnightly programme airs on alternate Saturday evenings at 8pm on YouTube and Facebook.  The first show aired on Saturday 10th October and featured Joshua Burnside Trio, Laura Quirke (Lemoncello), Colin Hassard Poetry and street artist, Tim McCarthy.  You can watch the latest show back and subscribe to Duncairn’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Northern Ireland Opera: has adapted their popular opera series for babies, Little Lullabies, online until 31st October.  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 https://www.niopera.com/events/little-lullabies-online/

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.  Remaining dates include:

Wednesday 28th October, 2-4pm, Connswater Shopping Centre, 'Take Up Space', Price: Free and Friday 13th November, 6-10pm, as part of Outburst Arts.  Visit www.niopera.com 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 outreach@niopera.com 

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.  Further programme information and details of how to participate in the 2020 festival is available at www.derrychoirfest.com

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 final video all about the harp, she will be looking at the role of the harp in the orchestra, focusing on pieces specific to the A-Level syllabus. Gráinne looks at the harp parts used in pieces from 20th Century composers Bartok, Ravel and Debussy and looks at all the special effects such as harmonic, glissandi and even some kitchen cutlery that are used!
Visit:
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDy7w4knc5dMj16T6USOrbw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/
Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

National Harp Day:  Harp Ireland, Cruit Éireann, invites harpers and people interested in the harp to join in celebrating Ireland’s 1,000-year-old tradition on National Harp Day this Saturday 17th October.  2020 is the fourth year that Cruit Éireann, Harp Ireland has co-ordinated this event at home and farther afield in honour of Ireland’s national instrument.  It will feature harps sounding loudly from dawn to dusk in iconic locations throughout Ireland and the rest of the world, from as far away as Sydney, across the USA, New Zealand and Japan. Closer to home, harpers in France, Italy, Switzerland and the UK join in to celebrate the vibrant harping tradition.

This year due to Covid 19 restrictions, the celebration features the best of Irish harping online and have a  Harpers’ Call; where they invite harpers all over the world to contribute to Lá na Cruite by sending them a short recording, which will be running throughout the day alongside pre-recorded concerts, sessions, workshops, talks and insights from harp makers. Each of these events will be happening virtually and for a full list of events visit  www.harpireland.ie

 

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

Book Week NI: Book Week NI, an initiative by Libraries NI and BBC NI, takes place on 19-25 October.  This year’s theme is Stories and Storytelling; focusing on stories that matter to each one of us and encouraging everyone to participate and share stories from books that matter to them.

The aim is to inspire people of all ages to discover or rediscover the joy of reading by pledging to take 15 minutes to read during and preferably throughout the week.  To encourage this there will be a different theme each day with suggestions of books, eBooks and eMagazines to read. Also, themed displays will take place in libraries across Northern Ireland and the BBC’s programming will link to Book Week NI across its air waves.  For details visit https://www.librariesni.org.uk

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:

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 www.lyrictheatre.co.uk on the following dates:

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

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 www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

Dialogos: present a documented journey of their piece, Dialogos, created during lockdown by Mayte Segura, dance and Victor Henriquez, music.  The work features footage from their premiere of the original version which was performed at Accidental Theatre in Belfast.  Developed with the support of Arts Council Northern Ireland, under the Artists Emergency Programme, Dialogos explores issues of identity, belonging, and reflects on the artists experience creating and living in Northern Ireland while being originally from Latino America.  This documentary was made in close collaboration with videographer Matthew Faris.  For details and to view visit   https://www.facebook.com/events/866342980566224/

 

VISUAL ARTS AND FILM

Arts For All: present, Elsewhere – An exhibition of paintings by Fiona Rainey.  This exhibition opens on 15th October at Arts for All, Cityside Retail Park, Belfast BT15 1WA and admission is free. 

Fiona Rainey is a Belfast artist who gained a degree in fine art in 1990 at Ulster University.  Since then she has exhibited her work at home and abroad whilst also basing herself at King Street and Fourth Floor Art Studios, Belfast.  Primarily an abstract painter, Fiona is inspired by the ever-changing and uncontrolled aspects of Donegal landscapes.  During the lockdown, she focused on the idea of occupying that other place…. Elsewhere.

Belfast Print Workshop: following closure as a result of the pandemic, Belfast Print Workshop has re-opened with a new team, new curator and new gallery space.  For the first time in its 40+ year history the printmakers and artists using the studio have the opportunity to work directly with an experienced curator. Moran Been-noon is a Dublin based artist and curator and will work with BPW this year to help the BPW studio members develop their artistic practice and fully realise their potential as artists. The printmaking studio has also appointed nationally recognised and highly skilled printmaker, Dónall Billings as Technician. The studio has reopened and is again welcoming artists back to the Cathedral Quarter daily. The new team of three includes administrator Breige Brownlee bringing over 20 years of administration experience and arts and community group knowledge and skills. The new team have already created an in-house gallery space for members to exhibit their work in solo and group shows.  Keep up to date at https://www.bpw.org.uk/

139th RUA (Royal Ulster Academy) Exhibition: opens at the Ulster Museum as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival on 16th October, continuing until 3rd January 2021 and is not to be missed!  The exhibition contains approximately 250 examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video etc. This year there were almost 1,300 entries of which 190 were ultimately selected for inclusion. Some of the works reflect the times we are living in and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times.  Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity.  The exhibition can also be experienced online using cutting edge technology that brings art to the people wherever they are.  Please note that booking is currently essential to gain access to the Ulster Museum.  To book visit https://www.nmni.com/whats-on/ulster-museum-tickets  

Golden Thread Gallery: presents, Perhaps Our Awakening Is Our Deeper Dream, a solo exhibition by Dublin based multi-disciplinary artist, Thomas Brezing, curated by Sharon Murphy.  This exhibition is an exploration of human mortality made in the wake of the death of the artist’s mother.  It consists of works on paper – incorporating drawing, painting, print, poetic texts and collage – as well as four large artist books and an installation which quietly address fundamental existential questions: the transience, impermanence and fragile nature of our lives (and selves). The range of media and of modes of presentation reflects the artist’s interest in investigating different kinds of image-making and different ways of representing self, other, and the ties that bind us and which are loosed by death.  The exhibition continues until Wednesday 23rd October and visitors must book in advance by emailing info@gtgallery.co.uk

The Strand Arts Centre: as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival Strand Arts centre presents:  I AM GRETA, starts Friday 16th October with a special screening on Sunday 18th October at 3pm followed by a recorded Q&A with Greta Thunberg.

In August of 2018, Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old schoolgirl starts a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish Parliament. Her question for adults is this: if you don’t care about her future on this planet, why should she care about her future in school? Within months, her strike evolves into a global movement, as schoolchildren from across the world join the #FridaysForFuture strikes and march to demand politicians start taking serious steps to tackle climate change. Greta, a shy schoolgirl with Asperger’s, is suddenly thrust onto the world stage as the voice of the next generation…  https://www.strandartscentre.com/movies/i-am-greta/

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 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 until Saturday 31st October 2020. Visit www.artisann.org

R-Space: in Lisburn present MMM#8 – Obvious, Aimée Nelson, Aoife O'Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers, Pauline Clancy, 7 November - 11 December 2020.   Six artists based in Northern Ireland have been selected from an open call as part of their 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. Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online and in the centre.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

VOID: Due to new Covid-19 restrictions VOID gallery in Derry-Londonderry has had to temporarily close.  However the team at VOID will continue to bring you online activities, from content relating to their current exhibition as well as family activities which you can do at home.  Upcoming activities include:

Filter Flowers, available from Tuesday 13th October at 2pm.  Artist, Sinead Crumlish, returns with a fun workshop to make your own flowers using coffee filters!  Find it on their website www.derryvoid.com I Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid I Vimeo www.vimeo.com/derryvoid/

DIY Painted Pumpkins, available from Thursday 29th October at 7a.   To celebrate Halloween this year, join Karen Cassidy to paint some pumpkins for Halloween! No sharp tools are needed so you can get the whole family involved!  Find it on our website www.derryvoid.com I Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid I Vimeo www.vimeo.com/derryvoid/

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 http://www.craftni.org/

The MAC: From 28th October until 24th January 2021, The MAC presents, The Black Monolith of the Flâneur, by Frederic Huska.  The exhibition is a filmic work and photographic series which portrays a melancholic and indecisive figure, unconsciously symptomatic of the neo-liberal era. Limiting themselves to a reduced perimeter in Dublin’s north inner city, the flâneur gets lost in the solitude of the real, in the contradictions and the movement of impossibility that uncontrollably assert themselves on an inner emotional experience.  In this work, the artist uses photography, traditionally considered as a pause in time, in a paradoxical way, to open up speculative and undetermined possibilities in response to a future that is indistinct and uncertain, yet a future with innovative potential still to be discovered.  The MAC is open from 10am-4pm Wed-Sun and you must book to attend the exhibition at www.themaclive.com

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: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/anthropology/
Human Condition (BA Exhibition) – 3rd September – 24th October, exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/human-condition/

Belfast Exposed is also delighted to present, Becoming Christine, an exhibition based on the lived experience Christine Beynon. This exhibition is part of Belfast Exposed’s three-year strategic plan to exhibit work about transgender topics.  The exhibition opens on Thursday 5th November, coinciding with Late Night Art, and continues until 19th December. It is a body of work involving re-presented "selfies", sound installation and video portraiture. The "selfies" follow Christine Beynon's journey and transition over a 12-year period.  These self-portraits range in tone from the painful, to the playful, from the mundane to the contemplative to the joyful. The immersive sound installation & narrated artwork was a result of a collaborative partnership between the artist and Christine Beynon.

The exhibition will include a live streamed artist talk, featuring both Christine Beynon and Amanda Dunsmore, on Friday 6th November, leading up to the Transgender Awareness Week which takes place between 13th and 19th November. During that week Belfast Exposed will also have a range of speakers and community engagement events.   Visit https://www.belfastexposed.org/

University of Atypical: continue to present Brian Kielt’s exhibition, Confessionals until 23rd October.  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.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/universityofatypical

 

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

 

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Strategic Success

Tuesday 13th October 2020 at 12pm 0 Comments Literature

Cover of A City Burning Image: Cover of A City Burning

Angela Graham gives an insight into her development as a writer and reflects on her strategy for achieving publication of a short story collection…

In June 2017 the Arts Council of Northern Ireland website hosted a blog I’d written for Literature Wales. The Welsh national literature development company had given me a bursary to support the writing of a collection of short stories set in Wales, Northern Ireland and Italy. A Bursary and a Strategy was the confident title of my blog. It ended: “So now ‘all’ I have to do is keep writing and revising and find an agent and a publisher… Let’s see how far I get.”

More than three years later my debut collection of 26 short stories, A City Burning is about to appear, on the 21st October, from Seren Books, the leading literary publisher in Wales. I have reached my goal. Is this because my strategy was the right one?

Strangford 2017

Some parts of it were. The blog described how working with a professional literary editor was proving to be very important. It continued to be so. Gwen Lloyd Davies, editor of the influential literary journal New Welsh Review helped me to see the themes in my work. Without her assistance I would not have seen so clearly that many of my protagonists not only encounter or undergo trauma but feel compelled to bear witness to it. In turn, this perception freed me to go deeper into that approach and to experiment beyond it in new stories.

I also learned things about approach. She described mine as one of ‘telescoping perspective’. I finally understood this in terms of my long practice as a film maker – zooming in on the tiny detail; pulling back to the bigger picture, and vice versa. It must have become second nature to me. And, regarding style, Gwen Davies pointed out that mine was often ‘cinematic’, evident in careful scene-setting and the provision of interpretive keys. She published one of the Northern Ireland-set stories, ‘The Road’ in New Welsh Review and it is now the opening story of the collection.

My ‘strategy’ also involved finding an eventual readership in Northern Ireland. The first thing I did on the very first day of the bursary period was to go to Northern Ireland from Wales where I had lived and worked since 1981. I am from Belfast. (I speak Welsh with a strong Northern Irish accent). I knew I wanted to write about Northern Ireland and to be read there. Although I had made films there over the years, I wasn’t known as a writer. So, as my blog reports, ‘I planned to spend some of my time there getting to know about possibilities. I asked Literature Wales to introduce me and my work to their counterpart in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. I found my meeting with poet, Dr Damian Smyth, ACNI Head of Literature and Drama, very valuable indeed.’

Damian Smyth and I had met briefly, years earlier, in connection with a Welsh-language Belfast-set feature film I had produced and co-written. As a would-be author in need of some guidance, I found him very informative. Subsequently, I have seen that he is consistently engaged with and supportive of writers. He pays attention to work and output. At this meeting I felt very encouraged and better prepared as I began to extend my knowledge of the writing scene in Northern Ireland. I joined the group for women writers, Women Aloud N Ireland, then in its early days and that has been a wonderful network of support. Two of my poems appeared in WANI’s lockdown publication North Star: Short Stories and Poems by Female Northern Irish Writers.

Strangford 2020

But as for my focus on finding an agent and a publisher – that wasn’t so straight-forward. Over the years, while working as a producer, I had had a mildly respectable roster of stories published in magazines. I researched agents carefully, narrowing down to a scant list who, in their profiles, expressed interest in the short story. I did the same for publishers – not many names on that list either. Both agents and publishers wanted a novel, not a collection of short stories. I worked out that, for agents, the percentage on earnings from a story collection is likely to be low. For publishers, a collection needs to be exceptional and a good fit for their market before they will put their resources into the genre. I was applying before having finished my collection and was usually restricted by the application process to sending three stories.

I am sure it is not like this for everyone. I decided to finish the collection to the best of my ability before trying again. This worked for me. Two publishers agreed to read the finished collection and one took it immediately. I still don’t have an agent but that’s because I haven’t tried again.

In the meantime, I received a SIAP Award from ACNI towards the writing of a novel set in Northern Ireland and have completed the first draft. It’s about the politics of language − Irish and Ulster Scots − and is set between Spring 2016 and Spring 2017. In the current year, a second SIAP Award has supported me in writing a prose/poetry book about my upbringing in east Belfast. Many of the poems from that have been published already. Since last September I have been mentored towards a first collection of poetry by Northern Irish poet, Glen Wilson. This collaboration was prompted by a similar initiative from the Welsh poet, Matthew C. Smith, editor of Black Bough Poetry. I have had a steady stream of poetry publication generally – including one in Ulster Scots. Achieving publication in Ulster Scots means a lot to me.  One of the stories in the collection is partly in Ulster Scots.

And we are in a good period for the short story. The Art of the Glimpse, 100 Irish Short Stories, edited by Sinéad Gleeson has just been published, in the wake of notable anthologies Being Various: New Irish Short Stories; The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers and The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland.

1003 words
A City Burning will be launched in an online event at 7pm, Tuesday 27th October:
Launch Details

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 7th October 2020 at 12pm 0 Comments Community Arts , Drama , Dance , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

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.

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COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

 

FESTIVALS

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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/ 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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/2020-festival/ (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.

 

MUSIC

The Belfast Ensemble: The Belfast Ensemble reinvent Beethoven with their new work, Septet (for four) at Belfast International Arts Festival.  Fresh after the success of their genre-busting Abomination – A DUP Opera, The Belfast Ensemble premiere a new work – SEPTET (FOR FOUR).  Created to mark the 250th birthday of Beethoven, the piece of video performance art takes as its source material his ground-breaking Septet – a work whose fame almost eclipsed the composers in his early years!  Performed by seven soloists, the music forms a backdrop to a quartet of actors, each living their own stories in space and time, each without words.  With their trademark cutting-edge visuals and high European design aesthetic, this Belfast original shines new light on the genius of Beethoven’s early music.  Visit https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/event/septet-for-four/

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: has announced a series of singing classes for young children between the ages of 6 and 10 years of age. The course will take place on zoom and give children the opportunity to immerse themselves in singing under the tutelage of Diane Ní Chanainn. Forged out of the centuries-old traditions of her native Donegal, Diane Cannon is a singer who brings the songs and the music played by the hearth fire of a long gone céilí house to the modern tastes of a 21st century audience. As a youngster Diane frequently won competitions and she competes successfully to this day, most recently winning first place in the prestigious Comórtas Cuimhneacháin Sheáin Óig Uí Thuama at Oireachtas na Gaeilge.

The course will cost £15 and last four weeks.  You can register or receive further information by contacting Brónagh on bronagh@culturlann.ie

I Teach Trad: Award-winning teacher, Donegal fiddler and academic, Dr Liz Doherty, has launched I Teach Trad, a revolutionary new professional development system to support traditional music teachers.  Dr Doherty will offer a range of online courses and face-to-face training workshops and mentoring for individuals.  Liz has developed her own framework for teachers to learn how to develop a clear structure and system for planning, organising and delivering their teaching.  Liz says the programme can be accessed not just by Irish traditional music teachers but by folk music teachers the world over. The course is available to buy on-line; it can be followed at your own pace and in your own time. Training for groups of teachers can also be booked on the website, as can one-to-one mentoring.  For more details visit https://iteachtrad.com/

Duncairn: has launched a brand new fortnightly arts magazine show called Take 2.  Take 2 explores the uniqueness of our 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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

Northern Ireland Opera: has adapted their popular opera series for babies, Little Lullabies, online until 31st October.  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 https://www.niopera.com/events/little-lullabies-online/

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 www.niopera.com 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 outreach@niopera.com

Ulster Touring Opera (UTO): Ulster Touring Opera is a new cross-border company, based in Belfast, which will tour opera to towns and cities throughout Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. The first fully staged production will take place in 2021.  Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Creative Industries Seed Fund, the company will be using Augmented Reality (AR) technology to bring opera to audiences at home.  UTO is currently making an AR film of the final scene of Mozart’s opera, Don Giovanni, with baritone, Ross Ramgobin, as Giovanni and bass,Alan Ewing as the Commendatore; working with UTO artistic director Dafydd Hall Williams, to create virtual holograms (volograms) which transform the viewer into a character in the scene, moving around the performers and witnessing Don Giovanni’s final moments.  For updates on upcoming events visit https://www.facebook.com/Ulster-Touring-Opera-107225224480562

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 www.derrychoirfest.com

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 this week’s ‘All About’ video, Gráinne talks about the history of the harp and how it arrived in its modern form. Gráinne breaks down all the different forms of the harp and how the instrument developed from having a limited tonality to being able to play any note. Next week’s video will look at the role of the harp in the orchestra today and its relevance in the A Level syllabus.
Visit:
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDy7w4knc5dMj16T6USOrbw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/
Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

 

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

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 www.lyrictheatre.co.uk  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 www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

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 www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

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 https://www.facebook.com/Spanner-in-the-works-theatre-company-110146377417166/?hc_ref=ARRKdsDycIZvqDQK5TVOjm74bJAwIZzM6dtu4nOOQ-xjGI3RxKSwxgjzKmHu6C7bOd4&fref=nf&__tn__=kC-R

Dialogos: present a documented journey of their piece, Dialogos, created during lockdown by Mayte Segura, dance and Victor Henriquez, music.  The work features footage from their premiere of the original version which was performed at Accidental Theatre in Belfast.  Developed with the support of Arts Council Northern Ireland, under the Artists Emergency Programme, Dialogos explores issues of identity, belonging, and reflects on the artists experience creating and living in Northern Ireland while being originally from Latino America.  This documentary was made in close collaboration with videographer Matthew Faris.  For details and to view visit   https://www.facebook.com/events/866342980566224/

 

VISUAL ARTS AND FILM

The Strand Arts Centre: presents two films as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival, they include:
SARAFINA! Thursday 15th October, 8.00pm
Screening plus discussion as part of Belfast International Arts Festival.
As a response to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Strand has established a regular platform to champion films from different cultures in a relaxed and informative way.
Based on the stage musical, Sarafina! (1992) [15] is an inspirational film about the youth uprising against apartheid in Soweto, South Africa in 1976.
https://www.strandartscentre.com/movies/global-film-screening-sarafina/

I AM GRETA, starts Friday 16th October
Special screening on Sunday 18th October, 3pm followed by a recorded Q&A with Greta Thunberg.
In August of 2018, Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old schoolgirl starts a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish Parliament. Her question for adults is this: if you don’t care about her future on this planet, why should she care about her future in school? Within months, her strike evolves into a global movement, as schoolchildren from across the world join the #FridaysForFuture strikes and march to demand politicians start taking serious steps to tackle climate change. Greta, a shy schoolgirl with Asperger’s, is suddenly thrust onto the world stage as the voice of the next generation…  https://www.strandartscentre.com/movies/i-am-greta/

Catalyst Arts: present, Propagate, a public programme of workshops and events initiated by Catalyst Arts which will take place until 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 www.catalystarts.co.uk

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 until Saturday 31st October 2020 Visit www.artisann.org

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.
Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online and in the centre.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

VOID: Due to new Covid-19 restrictions VOID gallery in Derry-Londonderry has had to temporarily close.  However the team at VOID will continue to bring you online activities, from content relating to their current exhibition as well as family activities which you can do at home.  Upcoming activities include:

Filter Flowers, available from Tuesday 13th October at 2pm.  Artist, Sinead Crumlish, returns with a fun workshop to make your own flowers using coffee filters! Find it on their website www.derryvoid.com I Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid I Vimeo www.vimeo.com/derryvoid/

DIY Painted Pumpkins, available from Thursday 29th October at 7pm.   To celebrate Halloween this year, join Karen Cassidy to paint some pumpkins for Halloween! No sharp tools are needed so you can get the whole family involved!  Find it on their website www.derryvoid.com I Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid I Vimeo www.vimeo.com/derryvoid/

Collect your RGB Prism packs.  Void still has art packs for their ‘Make your own RGB Prism’ available so get in touch and we can send them to you. Limited packs available. Email hello@derryvoid.com with your postal address and phone number today.  For full details visit  www.derryvoid.com

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 http://www.craftni.org/

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 www.themaclive.com

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
https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/anthropology/

Human Condition BA Exhibition
3rd September – 24th October
https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/human-condition/

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.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/universityofatypical

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Adventures of a Children’s Writing Fellow – One Year On…

Monday 5th October 2020 at 11am 0 Comments

Kelly McCaughrain, Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland Image: Kelly McCaughrain, Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland

Kelly McCaughrain, Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland, reflects on her first year in post and why it’s important to stay creative during these challenging times. The Fellowship was created as part of Queen’s University and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s joint ten-year Seamus Heaney Legacy Project supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the National Lottery….

I called my novel Flying Tips for Flightless Birds because the characters spend the whole book doing things no one ever thought they could. The title conjured the idea of leaving your comfort zone and doing the impossible. Well, I began my term as Children’s Writing Fellow for NI last year feeling like a distinctly flightless and terrified debut author, but halfway through I’m already amazed at just how much has happened. I’ve visited secondary schools, creative writing groups and book groups, promoted libraries for special needs classes, taken part in the Kids Lit Quiz, attended conferences and lectures, spoken at book festivals, judged story and essay competitions, written newspaper articles, made videos, and survived (live!) radio interviews. I’ve got to meet hundreds of young readers and writers, and I even attended the announcement of Cressida Cowell as Children’s Laureate at the Globe Theatre in London.

But what I’ve spent most of this year on was helping secondary schools set up creative writing clubs for their students. Working with young writers is my real passion so it was a tremendous gift to have the time, funding, assistance, and support of the Arts Council, Queen’s University Belfast and the Education Boards to make this happen.

When I began my first year as Children’s Writing Fellow for NI I really didn’t know what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect to be ending the year in lockdown. Perhaps I should have known something absolutely mad would happen to round off a year that was characterised by new experiences. My creative writing clubs project, The Blank Page, was conducted largely online, via a blog. The thinking behind this was that it would exist long after my time as CWF, so schools could continue to use it. But it turned out to be a huge stroke of luck, as when lockdown happened, I was able to keep posting.

So my part was relatively easy, but I feel for the teachers who have had to deal with much more daunting circumstances, and will continue to do so for who knows how long. And I feel for the young writers too. Writing clubs are important because they provide a young writer with time, space, and a community to support their writing. Lockdown may have robbed many of them of all of that.

One of the reasons I wanted to encourage schools to set up creative writing clubs is that, with a jam-packed, assessment-focused, and fairly rigid curriculum to follow, creative pursuits often get relegated to the bottom of secondary school priority lists, and depend on enthusiastic teachers crowbarring them into the school day. This coming year, schools will not only have all the usual pressures to contend with, but stressful safety concerns and the fallout of months of disrupted schooling piled on top. I really couldn’t blame them if optional, non-assessed creative activities get shelved altogether. But actually, those creative activities are more important now than ever, and we should remind ourselves why they’re so beneficial.

Personally, I quite like the idea of creative writing being included in a normal school week, but remaining outside the curriculum and assessments. Because in my experience, most kids don’t write because they want to be good at it, or to make a career of it, or get a qualification. They write to examine new ideas, explore their own inner landscape, experiment with language, relieve stress, vent their feelings, and hold on a little longer to the imagination of childhood. They write to find out who they are and how they feel and what they can be. And I think these are probably the most valuable things anyone can learn.

This year is going to be hard for everyone. My own plans for the second year of my fellowship have had to adapt and I have as little idea what this year will bring as I did when I began last year. For teenagers worrying about new school arrangements, vulnerable family members, and the exam results that their whole futures might depend on (besides all the usual worries of adolescence), a creative outlet might make all the difference between coping and not coping.

And it doesn’t have to be complicated. There doesn’t have to be a lesson plan or a learning outcome. Quite often all a young person needs is some time and space devoted to creativity, and the permission to try, to experiment, to fail and try again.

So I hope schools and parents will continue to encourage and celebrate creativity this year, and give anxious students the chance to while away time in daydreaming, doodling, scribbling, and scrawling. For me, this year is going to be another one where I discover I can do things I never imagined, and I have no doubt I’ll emerge exhausted but proud of myself. But it’s also going to be a strange year, and I know that what will get me through it will be the time I spend alone with my characters, my blank pages, and my wandering thoughts. I hope every young person in NI will be given a similar creative space in which to breathe.

For further resources, tips and ideas to help your teens explore their creativity check out theblankpage.kellymccaughrain.com

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 30th September 2020 at 1pm 0 Comments

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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.

MUSIC

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8vA0LnFDwumD_oGo2FwqQ?sub_confirmation=1

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 https://www.niopera.com/events/little-lullabies-online/

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 www.niopera.com 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 outreach@niopera.com

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 www.derrychoirfest.com

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. 

Visit:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDy7w4knc5dMj16T6USOrbw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/

Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

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 www.roevalleyarts.com

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

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 www.lyrictheatre.co.uk  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 www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

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 www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

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 https://www.facebook.com/Spanner-in-the-works-theatre-company-110146377417166/?hc_ref=ARRKdsDycIZvqDQK5TVOjm74bJAwIZzM6dtu4nOOQ-xjGI3RxKSwxgjzKmHu6C7bOd4&fref=nf&__tn__=kC-R

COMMUNITY ARTS / ARTS & HEALTH

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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw     

FESTIVALS

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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/ 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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/2020-festival/ (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.

VISUAL ARTS

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 www.catalystarts.co.uk

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
Visit www.artisann.org

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.
Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online and in the centre.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

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  www.derryvoid.com

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.  https://www.roevalleyarts.com/exhibitions/dungiven-regeneration-club-exhibition

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 http://www.craftni.org/

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 www.themaclive.com

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: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/anthropology/

Human Condition (BA Exhibition) – 3rd September – 24th October, exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/human-condition/

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 https://www.facebook.com/universityofatypical

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 23rd September 2020 at 11am 0 Comments Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts , Dance , Drama

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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.

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

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: Kate, Roisin and Oonagh decide enough is enough, life is too short - sure didn’t Kate’s husband 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 there are 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, Alice Malseed and Finn Kennedy.

‘Listen at the Lyric’ is available to listen at www.lyrictheatre.co.uk 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

The Playhouse: The Playhouse Theatre and Peacebuilding Academy, presents, Beyond the Barricades, written by Micheal Kerrigan and directed by Anne Crilly, live online on Wednesday 30th September at 8pm.  The Playhouse Theatre and Peacebuilding Academy is a cross-border project that creates art that enables reflection, active dialogue on the consequences of conflict, and techniques to engage with painful memories safely. The Academy works with representatives from interface and highly segregated areas, victims and survivors as-well as public sector organisations such as the PSNI.  Theatre is used as a tool to explore community relations issues in a safe and accessible environment, promoting healing and reconciliation in a liberating and transformative way.  The latest play from the Academy, Beyond the Barricades, centres around Machus and Cal as they embark on a youthful odyssey of self- discovery in Derry against the backdrop of a world in turmoil.   Watch at www.derryplayhouse.co.uk

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 www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

MUSIC

Northern Ireland Opera: The Garden, Ghost and a Butterfly, is a brand new music and animation project that premiered as part of Culture Night on 18th September.  Inspired by Sinead Crossan and the students of Ardnashee Special School in Derry/Londonderry, composer Conor Mitchell has composed a work that tells the story of the children’s experiences of lockdown. In a vivid, cinematic score featuring voice (Abigail McGibbon), soprano (Rebecca Murphy), clarinet (Sarah Smith), oboe (Chris Blake), trombone (Ross Lyness) and harp (Tanya Houghton), he tells the tale of a little girl sitting by a windowsill, watching a caterpillar transform into a butterfly, but wary and scared of the ghost wandering the garden.

In a beautifully illustrated short animation, drawings from Ardnashee’s pupils have been brought to life by concept artist Chris Thompson to depict the public’s entering of a new, post-lockdown phase, as the butterfly flies past the ghost, unharmed, and the little girl feels safe to go out into her garden, the ghost receding from view.  Watch the animation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNtyD2MenHE

Northern Ireland Opera: 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.

  • Saturday 26th September, 2-4pm, Connswater Shopping Centre for Take Up Space, Price: Free
  • 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 www.niopera.com 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 outreach@niopera.com 

Moving On Music: This week Moving on Music premiere the first ‘All About’ Outreach video from jazz pianist, Scott Flanigan.  final ‘All about Jazz Piano’ video looks at the jazz standard ‘Autumn Leaves’ and talks about why tunes such as this have been around for so long. Scott will break down the song and talk us through how to improvise around the keys that are used.

Tune in next week for the final artist in this season of the ‘All About’ series, the fabulous Irish harpist, Gráinne Meyer. In Gráinne’s series, she will talk about the history of the harp, how it is used in different ensembles and will break down popular orchestral pieces for harp.

Visit:
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDy7w4knc5dMj16T6USOrbw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/
Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

Northern Lights: Check out the 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 meet 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 www.roevalleyarts.com 

FESTIVALS

Drive-in performances: MayWe with the support of the Arts Council and Catalyst present the LOUGH DOWN LINE UP at Queen’s Road, Belfast on 26-27 September.  There are eight drive-in shows to choose from across two days, with a headline performance from And So I Watch You From Afar.  There’s also comedy from Lurgan’s Micky Bartlett and performances from Ronnie Greer and his eight-piece band, Joshua Burnside, Ciaran Lavery, Prime Cut Productions and Pan Narran’s, My Left Nut stage show, Catilin-Magnall Kearns's, 'The Monolgues', Belfast Operatic's 'Songs from Stage and Screen' as well as Mr Hullabaloo and 'Dino Day Out' children's theatre.  Tickets are priced from £15-20 per car per show and are available at www.loughdown.eventbrite.co.uk

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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/ to view the full programme and access tickets.

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.

VISUAL ARTS

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.
Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online and in the centre.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

VOID: Void has a new website! Here you can find all the latest updates about their events and exhibitions. You can also look back on their past exhibitions and events by searching the archive. There is also a shop where you can search through their artist publications or show your support for the arts by donating or becoming a Void Supporter. Void will continue to create both online and in-house content to bring to their audience so keep an eye on the website for further information.  Their public gallery is also now reopened and will be showing an exhibition by artist, Alan Phelan, echoes are always more muted, from 5th September until 31st October  www.derryvoid.com

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.  https://www.roevalleyarts.com/exhibitions/dungiven-regeneration-club-exhibition

Golden Thread Gallery: is now reopen to the public with the below exhibition on show:

Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence – showing until 30th September
Co-curated by Mary Cremin and Peter Richards, featuring artists: Bassam Al Sabah; Liliane Puthod; Michael Hanna; and Stuart Calvin
Visit https://www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk/events/dissolving-histories-an-unreliable-presence/?v=79cba1185463

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 http://www.craftni.org/

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 www.themaclive.com

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: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/anthropology/
Human Condition (BA Exhibition) – 3rd September – 24th October, exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/human-condition/

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 https://www.facebook.com/universityofatypical

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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 16th September 2020 at 1pm 0 Comments Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

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.

MUSIC

Belfast Trad: BelfastTrad offers 40 classes per week in traditional Irish music and dance in the historic Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, situated between Queen's University and Shaftesbury Square.  They also run a full program of masterclasses, lectures and other events and classes are open to everyone 12 and up. Younger students from age 6 can start at their BelfastTrad Kids classes.  Due to the ongoing closure of the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast Trad, are running a series of online classes with instruments also available to hire.  Courses start on 21st September and run for 10 weeks, costing from £40.  Find out more and enrol at https://www.belfasttrad.com/

Irish Traditional Music Archive: The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) and the Arts Office of Clare County Council are delighted to announce that the outcome of the first Duala: Creator-in-Residence Scheme will be launched in glór, Ennis on Culture Night, Friday September 18th, 2020.  Following an open competition that attracted a wide variety of eclectic and attractive proposals, the Duala commission was awarded in 2018 to joint applicants Jack Talty and Maurice Gunning. 

Jack and Maurice set out to compose an audio-visual installation that explores the relationship between music, people, and place, specifically drawing on ITMA multimedia collections of traditional music and musicians of County Clare as its primary inspiration.  The finished piece explores the ways in which memory and landscape influence our identity formation. ‘Duala’ examines this sense of place and identity through the lens of Irish traditional music and song. The 25-minute film weaves archival footage alongside original music and videography.  Duala will premiere online at 5:30pm (IST) Friday 18 September 2020 on: ITMA website / ITMA Facebook page / ITMA YouTube Channel / ITMA Instagram TV.  Visit https://www.itma.ie/

Northern Lights: Check out the 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.  Performers include musician, Antony Toner, Lore Live, Ten X 9 storytelling, Bernie Magill, Hannah McPhillimy and Jessica Bates.  Be sure to keep an eye on our social media and website for details of how to watch and listen coming up soon.  Visit www.roevalleyarts.com

Moving On Music: This week Moving on Music premiere the second ‘All About’ Outreach video from jazz pianist, Scott Flanigan.  Scott's second video explores how jazz chords can be used to push the boundaries of harmony. Scott will break down each inversion that can be used within a scale and how this can be affectively put into a tune.  Get your keys ready! Visit:
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDy7w4knc5dMj16T6USOrbw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/
Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

Ulster Orchestra: The Ulster Orchestra is back and performing live from the Waterfront Hall in a new series to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.  For the first concert, which took place on Friday 4th September, the Ulster Orchestra performed Bela Bartók's haunting, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, conducted by Jac Van Steen.  The concert is available  to listen back at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000m6rz   For upcoming concerts visit www.ulsterorchestra.com

Northern Ireland Opera: The Festival of Voice 2020 took place in First Church Belfast last month in front of a small socially distanced audience.  This is the first time live opera has been performed in the city since before the lockdown. Five finalists from across the island of Ireland competed for the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and to become the Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020.   A short film about the event with concert highlights was released on Northern Ireland Opera's YouTube channel on 13th September.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ

Folk Park Live: Snow Water and the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone, have launched, Folk Park Live, a new audio-visual exhibition which takes visitors through a 300 year musical journey of Ulster emigration through song.  The experience is available to view at www.folkparklive.com from the comfort of your home.  The Arts Council went along to hear all about it, watch the video at https://youtu.be/_Sf6z8OGY_E

The Duncairn: Carlingford Heritage Centre and The Duncairn in Belfast join forces to bring you, The Carlingford/Duncairn Summer Series, a series of three concerts by Irish musicians including Yue Tang & Brian Connor, Niall Hanna, Rachel McGarrity, Stephen Loughran, Zoë Conway & John Mc Intyre plus The 4 of Us, Emma Langford & Cathie Ryan.  You can watch all three concerts back at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKoo6cIKYJQ&list=PLUEHCHma-yNwEnKSGk-ocVnqvb_kiobd6

 

FESTIVALS

Island Arts Centre: in Lisburn is hosting The Great Artdoors Festival, an outdoor festival happening on 19-20 September.  The weekend features Northern Ireland Opera who present Opera Under the Stars at Moat Park - join two of Northern Ireland Opera’s Associate Artists as they perform some beautiful music in the park. Listen to the stunning voices of soprano Helene Murray and mezzo Dawn Burns as they sing some familiar classical opera arias and duets.

NI Opera will also perform at Castle Gardens.  For kids there is a musical theatre masterclass and a series of pop-up theatre called Maverick, the moon and me.  Events are free but booking is essential.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/168179236598506/posts/3303246136425118/?extid=HI0zuPCDXYiq6rzq&d=n

Culture Night Online 2020: Culture Night’s online 2020 core programme has been unveiled with a packed line-up of music, debates, visual arts and thought-provoking films on 18 September.  This year’s programme of commissioned pieces will see venues such as the Belfast Cathedral, Black Box, Oh Yeah Centre and The MAC as the backdrop to what is set to be an exciting evening of entertainment.  Among the performers taking part this year in the CNB Online Core Programme are Lyric Theatre, The MAC, Ulster Orchestra, Cherry On Top, Susie Blue, Sinead O'Donnell, tenx9, Charles Hurts, Becha, Stephen Beggs, Paul Currie, George Quinn, Rachael McCabe, Bounce Culture, The Swing Gals and many more.  For more information on this year’s programme go to culturenightbelfast.com or follow #CNB20 #CNBonline on social media.

Drive-in performances: MayWe with the support of the Arts Council and Catalyst present the LOUGH DOWN LINE UP at Queen’s Road, Belfast on 26-27 September.  There are eight drive-in shows to choose from across two days, with a headline performance from And So I Watch You From Afar.  There’s also comedy from Lurgan’s Micky Bartlett and performances from Ronnie Greer and his eight-piece band, Joshua Burnside, Ciaran Lavery, Prime Cut Productions and Pan Narran’s, My Left Nut stage show ,Catilin-Magnall Kearns's, 'The Monolgues', Belfast Operatic's 'Songs from Stage and Screen' as well as Mr Hullabaloo and 'Dino Day Out' children's theatre.  Tickets are priced from £15-20 per car per show and are available at www.loughdown.eventbrite.co.uk

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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/ to view the full programme and access tickets.

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: presents their Samhain Programme with a plethora of new events and programmes for all as we transition from Summer to Autumn signalling the arrival of the dark nights as we approach Samhain. There will be a new term of Irish classes catering to all levels along with a new tin whistle course. There is a beautiful new project for children, Play Me a Story, with author Myra Zepf and the Ulster Orchestra. Bàrd, File, Bardd encompasses a fantastic poetry presentation looking at mother tongues with poets, Ciara Ní É, national poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn and Scotland’s Pàdraig Mac Aoidh which will be broadcast on their YouTube and Facebook channels as part of Culture Night, Friday 18th September at 8:30pm.

They also 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 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.

 

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

Lyric Theatre and Traverse Theatre: present, Denouement, by John Morton, an audio recorded rehearsed reading from Mon 7th until Sun 20th Sep.  John Morton’s brutally comic Denouement was nominated for the inaugural Popcorn Award for playwriting.  A co-production between the Traverse Theatre and Lyric Theatre Belfast, it stars real-life couple Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls) as Liam and Marie Jones (In the Name of the Father) as Edel, is directed by the Traverse’s award-winning Co-Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls (Crocodile Fever, Ulster American) and features sound design and composition by Michael John McCarthy.  This production was due to premiere at the Traverse Festival in August before playing on the Main Stage at the Lyric in September.  Suitable for ages 16+.  Listen to the audio recording at https://lyrictheatre.co.uk/denouement/

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 www.belfastinternationalartsfestival.com

 

VISUAL ARTS

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.

Visit https://www.rspacelisburn.com/

Millennium Court Arts Centre: in  Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online as the centre remains closed to the public.  Visit http://millenniumcourt.org/new-page-1

VOID: Void has a new website! Here you can find all the latest updates about their events and exhibitions. You can also look back on their past exhibitions and events by searching the archive. There is also a shop where you can search through their artist publications or show your support for the arts by donating or becoming a Void Supporter. Void will continue to create both online and in-house content to bring to their audience so keep an eye on the website for further information.  Their public gallery is also now reopened and will be showing an exhibition by artist, Alan Phelan, echoes are always more muted, from 5th September until 31st October  www.derryvoid.com

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.  https://www.roevalleyarts.com/exhibitions/dungiven-regeneration-club-exhibition

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 http://www.craftni.org/

Beyond Skin: to mark Community Relations Week, Beyond Skin will present the following:
#ArtsDialogue – Music Is The Dialogue And We Start Together, is a fly on the wall filmed documentary capturing a day at Start Together Studios Belfast with members of#ArtsDialogue - an international team of musicians, artists, producers, writers & peace activists.  Filmed & Produced by 3FortyFive Films. Supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland & Community Relations Council.   Watch the film at Available at: https://youtu.be/E784-BxUsyg

Virtual Art Exhibition by Sienna Wilgaus
Sienna (13yrs) has recently joined the Beyond Skin team of youth4peace ambassadors. Sienna has also been chosen to receive additional support from Natali Márquez Foundation which aims to support young girls in Northern Ireland and Colombia to develop their creative skills to be used to make the world a brighter place.  Sienna's School Glengormley High is partnered with C&S Music School Japan through a friendship project developed by Min-On Music Research Institute (MOMRI) Japan and Beyond Skin. The project is a legacy outcome from Anne O'Donoghue award supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. To view the exhibition visit: www.beyondskin.net/sienna

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 www.themaclive.com

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: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/anthropology/
Human Condition (BA Exhibition) – 3rd September – 24th October, exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/human-condition/

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 https://www.facebook.com/universityofatypical

Golden Thread Gallery: is now reopen to the public with the below exhibitions on show:

More Bad News – showing now until 19th September
A solo exhibition by Dougal McKenzie https://www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk/events/?v=79cba1185463
 

Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence – showing until 30th September
Co-curated by Mary Cremin and Peter Richards, featuring artists: Bassam Al Sabah; Liliane Puthod; Michael Hanna; and Stuart Calvin https://www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk/events/dissolving-histories-an-unreliable-presence/?v=79cba1185463


 

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What’s on in the Arts

Thursday 10th September 2020 at 5pm 0 Comments Dance , Drama , Literature , 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 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 National Lottery funding.

FESTIVALS

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 https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/ to view the full programme and access tickets. 

Culture Night Online 2020:  Culture Night’s online 2020 core programme has been unveiled with a packed line-up of music, debates, visual arts and thought-provoking films on 18 September.  This year’s core programme of commissioned pieces will see venues such as the Belfast Cathedral, Black Box, Oh Yeah Centre and The MAC as the backdrop to what is set to be an exciting evening of entertainment.  Among the performers taking part this year in the CNB Online Core Programme are Cherry On Top, Susie Blue, Sinead O'Donnell, tenx9, Charles Hurts, Becha, Stephen Beggs, Paul Currie, George Quinn, Rachael McCabe, Bounce Culture, The Swing Gals and many more. 

For more information on this year’s programme go to culturenightbelfast.com or follow #CNB20 #CNBonline on social media.  If you're a creator and want to submit your event to Culture Night Belfast this year simply fill out the submissions form at culturenightbelfast.com/cnb-online

Drive-in performances: MayWe with the support of the Arts Council and Catalyst present the LOUGH DOWN LINE UP at Queen’s Road, Belfast on 26-27 September.  There are eight drive-in shows to choose from across two days, with a headline performance from And So I Watch You From Afar.  There’s also comedy from Lurgan’s Micky Bartlett and performances from Ronnie Greer and his eight-piece band, Joshua Burnside, Ciaran Lavery, Prime Cut Productions and Pan Narran’s, My Left Nut stage show ,Catilin-Magnall Kearns's, 'The Monolgues', Belfast Operatic's 'Songs from Stage and Screen' as well as Mr Hullabaloo and 'Dino Day Out' children's theatre.  Tickets are priced from £15-20 per car per show and are available at www.loughdown.eventbrite.co.uk

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: presents their Samhain Programme with a plethora of new events and programmes for all as we transition from Summer to Autumn signalling the arrival of the dark nights as we approach Samhain. There will be a new term of Irish classes catering to all levels along with a new tin whistle course. There is a beautiful new project for children, Play Me a Story, with author Myra Zepf and the Ulster Orchestra. Bàrd, File, Bardd encompasses a fantastic poetry presentation looking at mother tongues with poets, Ciara Ní É, national poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn and Scotland’s Pàdraig Mac Aoidh which will be broadcast on their YouTube and Facebook channels as part of Culture Night, Friday 18th September at 8:30pm.

They also 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 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.

 

LITERATURE, DRAMA & DANCE

Accidental Theatre: will livestream, DIALOGOS, a new performance of poetry, music and dance at 5pm on 12th September.  It is the result of a collaboration between dancer, Mayte Segura (Mexico) and musician, Victor Henriquez (Chile) and is supported by the Art’s Council Artist Emergency Programme.  Both artists have engaged in a creative dialogue, exploring their experiences as artists living in Northern Ireland.  During the past two months they sat, danced, read, played and created this beautiful piece inspired by the richness of Latin-American culture and by their personal journeys into Northern Ireland.  Tickets can be booked at https://accidentaltheatre.co.uk/box-office/dialogos

Lyric Theatre and Traverse Theatre: present, Denouement, by John Morton, an audio recorded rehearsed reading from Mon 7th until Sun 20th Sep.  John Morton’s brutally comic Denouement was nominated for the inaugural Popcorn Award for playwriting.  A co-production between the Traverse Theatre and Lyric Theatre Belfast, it stars real-life couple Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls) as Liam and Marie Jones (In the Name of the Father) as Edel, is directed by the Traverse’s award-winning Co-Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls (Crocodile Fever, Ulster American) and features sound design and composition by Michael John McCarthy.  This production was due to premiere at the Traverse Festival in August before playing on the Main Stage at the Lyric in September.  Suitable for ages 16+.  Listen to the audio recording at https://lyrictheatre.co.uk/denouement/

JLF London: Teamwork Arts, the producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival and the British Library, present a virtual edition of JLF London, in which the magnificent piazza of the British Library is replaced by the boundless possibilities of the internet.  Everything else remains the same - the magic of discourse, the caravan of ideas, the camaraderie of people and the seamless flow of knowledge.  This year the festival will open on the 11th of September, with a key note by the High Commissioner of India and will feature over 40 authors including Vidya Balan, Shashi Tharoor, Vikas Swarup, Bernardino Evaristo, Amish, Deepa Anappara, Christina Lamb, Avi Shlaim, John Lanchester programmed across 20 sessions.  Visit the below for further details:
www.facebook.com/JLFLitfest
www.youtube.com/user/JprLitFest
http://jlflitfest.org/london

 

MUSIC

Moving On Music: This week Moving on Music premiere the first ‘All About’ Outreach video from jazz pianist, Scott Flanigan.  In Scott’s first video, he talks about how jazz and blues can be used to express how you feel through music and allows you the freedom of being able to do your own thing. Scott breaks down the blues scale and explains how to improvise around this. Get your keys ready! Visit:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDy7w4knc5dMj16T6USOrbw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/
Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

The Strand Arts Centre: presents Malojian live on Saturday 26th September.   The event will also include live visuals from Colm Laverty and a performance from special guest Christopher Coll, who has recently signed to Style Records.  Over the last few years Malojian has released four critically acclaimed albums (the last three of which have been short-listed for the Northern Ireland Music Prize).  Malojian’s fifth album, Humm is released on Malojian’s brand new label STYLE RECORDS on 18th September 2020.  Tickets for the show at The Strand Arts Centre cost £20 and are available at https://www.strandartscentre.com/movies/malojian-with-support-and-live-visuals/

Ulster Orchestra: The Ulster Orchestra is back and performing live from the Waterfront Hall in a new series to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.  For the first concert, which took place on Friday 4th September, the Ulster Orchestra performed Bela Bartók's haunting, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, conducted by Jac Van Steen.  The concert is available  to listen back at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000m6rz

Northern Ireland Opera: The Festival of Voice 2020 took place in First Church Belfast last month in front of a small socially distanced audience.  This is the first time live opera has been performed in the city since before the lockdown. Five finalists from across the island of Ireland competed for the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and to become the Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020.   A short film about the event with concert highlights will be released on Northern Ireland Opera's YouTube channel at 8pm on 13th September.  Visit www.niopera.com

Folk Park Live: Snow Water and the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone, have launched, Folk Park Live, a new audio-visual exhibition which takes visitors through a 300 year musical journey of Ulster emigration through song.  The experience is available to view at www.folkparklive.com from the comfort of your home.  The Arts Council went along to hear all about it, watch the video at https://youtu.be/_Sf6z8OGY_E

The Duncairn: Carlingford Heritage Centre and The Duncairn in Belfast join forces to bring you, The Carlingford/Duncairn Summer Series, a series of three concerts by Irish musicians including Yue Tang & Brian Connor, Niall Hanna, Rachel McGarrity, Stephen Loughran, Zoë Conway & John Mc Intyre plus The 4 of Us, Emma Langford & Cathie Ryan.  You can watch all three concerts back at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKoo6cIKYJQ&list=PLUEHCHma-yNwEnKSGk-ocVnqvb_kiobd6

 

VISUAL ARTS

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 www.themaclive.com

VOID: Void has a new website! Here you can find all the latest updates about their events and exhibitions. You can also look back on their past exhibitions and events by searching the archive. There is also a shop where you can search through their artist publications or show your support for the arts by donating or becoming a Void Supporter. Void will continue to create both online and in-house content to bring to their audience so keep an eye on the website for further information.  Their public gallery is also now reopened and will be showing an exhibition by artist, Alan Phelan, echoes are always more muted, from 5th September until 31st October  www.derryvoid.com

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
The works presented are universally human and deeply personal navigations of current climates and a response to exactly this moment in time. The exhibition sits with the process of grief and walks along the borders of small towns and fallen cities. Artists reckon with the aftermath of abuse and make sense of fluctuating architecture and the human effort to heal our natural environment. Perception is questioned and subverted to understand home, gender, and community. Exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/anthropology/

Human Condition (BA Exhibition) – 3rd September – 24th October
The works presented are a broad exploration of human existence plunging into topics from water quality to fluid gender expression and roles. Further observations on mental health spanning youth to retirement, isolation, healing, and recreational space.  Exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/human-condition/

University of Atypical: will open to the public from 10th September 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 https://www.facebook.com/universityofatypical

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.  https://www.roevalleyarts.com/exhibitions/dungiven-regeneration-club-exhibition

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What’s on in the Arts online!

Wednesday 2nd September 2020 at 11am 0 Comments

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.

Ulster Orchestra: The Ulster Orchestra is back and performing live again!  As part of The BBC Orchestras, the Ulster Orchestra perform live from the Waterfront Hall this Friday 4th September for the first concert in a new series to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.  In this concert the Ulster Orchestra plays Bela Bartók's haunting Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, conducted by Jac Van Steen.  The concert is presented by BBC’S John Toal and is available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000m6rz

BBC Ten Pieces Tasters:  Ten Pieces at Home has become Ten Pieces Tasters.  The name might be different but the concept is the same.  No matter where you are – Ten Pieces is here to bring you quick, easy, creative activities inspired by classical music.  Aimed at primary school children, start your school year by writing letters from space inspired by Hans Zimmer's Earth, in collaboration with the National Space Centre. A flexible activity that can be adapted to cover formal or informal letter writing while also learning about space and music.

A new Ten Pieces Tasters activity will be released each month. The full archive of activities is available on the Ten Pieces website for you to dip into at any time. If weekly activities are more your style; Proms at Home have some fantastic activities ready to get stuck in to!  Looking ahead  – the Ten Pieces Tasters film for October will be a word art activity inspired by No Place Like by Kerry Andrew.  Visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ten-pieces/ten-pieces-at-home/zjy3382

Moving On Music: Joseph Leighton’s  final video for the ‘All About…the Jazz Guitar series’ will take us through tips on how to learn a jazz standard and the best way to approach this. Joe will take us through the jazz standard, ‘Easy to Love’ and the ‘do’s and don’ts’ on how to learn this for the first time.  Next week they will release the first ‘All About… jazz piano’ video, by the fabulous Scott Flannigan. Scott’s 3-part series will teach us all about the blues scale, improvisation and jazz chords.

Youtube: https://youtu.be/VQu1P2TcMtE
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/
Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

VOID: Void is delighted to announce the launch of their new website! Here you can find all the latest updates about their events and exhibitions. You can also look back on their past exhibitions and events by searching the archive. There is also a shop where you can search through their artist publications or show your support for the arts by donating or becoming a Void Supporter. Void will continue to create both online and in-house content to bring to their audience so keep an eye on the website for further information.  Their public gallery is also now reopened and will be showing an exhibition by artist, Alan Phelan, echoes are always more muted, from 5th September until 31 October  www.derryvoid.com

Folk Park Live: Snow Water and the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone, have launched, Folk Park Live, a new audio-visual exhibition which takes visitors through a 300 year musical journey of Ulster emigration through song.  This new experience features musical talents such as Neil Martin, Jack Warnock, Gemma Bradley, Niall Hanna, Maurice Leyden, Eilidh Patterson, Gareth Dunlop, No Oil Paintings, Cathal Hayden, Mary Dillon and ROE.  The exhibition is the final project in the Embrace the Place series, a partnership between Tourism NI and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, which animated key tourism sites across the region by using the arts to tell the stories of that particular area, offering visitors something new and inspiring to enjoy.  Visit www.nmni.com/whats-on/ulster-american-folk-park-tickets  for more information. The experience is also available to view at www.folkparklive.com from the comfort of your home.  The Arts Council went along to hear all about it, watch the video at https://youtu.be/_Sf6z8OGY_E

The Duncairn: Carlingford Heritage Centre and The Duncairn in Belfast join forces to bring you, The Carlingford/Duncairn Summer Series, a series of three concerts by Irish musicians.  The third and final episode will air on their Facebook page and the Duncairn’s YouTube page on Sunday 6th September.  Episode one aired on Sunday 23rd August and included music by Yue Tang & Brian Connor ; Niall Hanna, Rachel McGarrity and Stephen Loughran ; Zoë Conway & John Mc Intyre plus an interview with Duncairn Creative Director, Ray Giffen.

Episode two aired on Sunday 30th August and included music by The 4 of Us, Emma Langford & Cathie Ryan plus a visit to the workshop of Narrow Water Harps in Omeath.  You can watch both concerts back and catch the final one at https://youtu.be/LKoo6cIKYJQ

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
The works presented are universally human and deeply personal navigations of current climates and a response to exactly this moment in time. The exhibition sits with the process of grief and walks along the borders of small towns and fallen cities. Artists reckon with the aftermath of abuse and make sense of fluctuating architecture and the human effort to heal our natural environment. Perception is questioned and subverted to understand home, gender, and community. Exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/anthropology/

Human Condition (BA Exhibition) - 3rd September - 24th October
The works presented are a broad exploration of human existence plunging into topics from water quality to fluid gender expression and roles. Further observations on mental health spanning youth to retirement, isolation, healing, and recreational space.  Exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/human-condition/

Northern Ireland Opera: The Festival of Voice 2020 took place in First Church Belfast on Sunday 30th August in front of a small socially distanced audience.  This is the first time live opera has been performed in the city since before the lockdown. Five finalists from across the island of Ireland competed for the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and to become the Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020. 

David Corr, a baritone from Dublin who is a current member of the Northern Ireland Opera Studio won the overall prize and Andrew Irwin, a tenor from County Fermanagh, won the Audience Prize. The other three finalists were soprano Jade Phoenix, mezzo Sarah Luttrell and bass-baritone David Howes.  NI Opera's Patron, broadcaster Sean Rafferty, presented the awards. A short film about the event with concert highlights will be released on Northern Ireland Opera's YouTube channel at 8pm on 13th September.  Visit www.niopera.com

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What’s on in the Arts online

Wednesday 26th August 2020 at 3pm 0 Comments

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.

Folk Park Live: Snow Water and the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone, launches ‘Folk Park Live’ this week on 27th August, an new audio-visual exhibition which takes visitors through a 300 year musical journey of Ulster emigration through song.  This new experience features musical talents such as Neil Martin, Jack Warnock, Gemma Bradley, Niall Hanna, Maurice Leyden, Eilidh Patterson, Gareth Dunlop, No Oil Paintings, Cathal Hayden, Mary Dillon and ROE.  The exhibition is the final project in the Embrace the Place series, a partnership between Tourism NI and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, which animated key tourism sites across the region by using the arts to tell the stories of that particular area, offering visitors something new and inspiring to enjoy.  

Folk Park Live features recordings of a live performance from each musician, filmed at 12 locations across the Ulster American Folk Park to create a musical experience that can be enjoyed both online and on site.  To visit you can book tickets online in advance to guarantee your timeslot, with a range of ticket options available. The new visitor experience is included in the cost of the ticket. Visit www.nmni.com/whats-on/ulster-american-folk-park-tickets for more information. The experience is also available to view at www.folkparklive.com from the comfort of your home.

In Your Space: In Your Space Circus proudly presents: CARNIVAL OF COLOURS REIMAGINED
This weekend (29th & 30th August) & next weekend (5th & 6th September) #In Your Space will take to the streets of Derry-Londonderry with some amazing circus shows (in top secret locations) and some (pop-up) parades with our amazing walkabout acts!
AND as if that wasn't exciting enough...
for all you staying at home they are inviting you to take a peek inside the Big Top and get a true taste of the circus life... right from your own home!
Paint your face like a tiger... learn to juggle in 5 minutes or sit down, get cosy & watch a gorgeous puppet show!  That's right, they will be streaming live into your living room (or kitchen, we're not sure where you do your laptop lives?) with Laptop Big Top!  Visit https://www.inyourspaceni.org/the-news/carnival-of-colours-re-imagined-for-2020

The Duncairn: Carlingford Heritage Centre and The Duncairn in Belfast join forces to bring you a 3 episode series of concerts by Irish musicians: The Carlingford/Duncairn Summer Series. The first episode aired on Sunday 23rd August and included music by Yue Tang & Brian Connor ; Niall Hanna, Rachel McGarrity & Stephen Loughran ; Zoë Conway & John Mc Intyre plus an interview with Creative Director, Ray Giffen. Subscribe to The Duncairn’s YouTube to catch the next two concerts and you can also watch Sunday’s concert back at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKoo6cIKYJQ&list=PLUEHCHma-yNwEnKSGk-ocVnqvb_kiobd6

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
The works presented are universally human and deeply personal navigations of current climates and a response to exactly this moment in time. The exhibition sits with the process of grief and walks along the borders of small towns and fallen cities. Artists reckon with the aftermath of abuse and make sense of fluctuating architecture and the human effort to heal our natural environment. Perception is questioned and subverted to understand home, gender, and community. Exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/anthropology/

Human Condition (BA Exhibition) - 3rd September - 24th October
The works presented are a broad exploration of human existence plunging into topics from water quality to fluid gender expression and roles. Further observations on mental health spanning youth to retirement, isolation, healing, and recreational space.  Exhibition link: https://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibitions/human-condition/

Void Gallery: Join artist facilitator Sinead Crumlish at 12 noon this Wednesday online to make your own rainbow and heart mobile. This crafty activity can be done by kids of all ages. Hang it in your window on Saturday 29th August to celebrate Foyle Pride! Just log on to @derryvoid on Facebook or Instagram to find the video. #voidcommunities #voidonline

Moving On Music: MoM’s‘All About….’ Outreach series continues this week Derry based jazz guitarist, Joseph Leighton.  Visit the below links:

Youtube: https://youtu.be/VQu1P2TcMtE
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/
Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

Craft NI’s August Craft Month: continues for the final week and showcases the work of local craft makers in a series of virtual events to celebrate just some of the outstanding work that goes on throughout Northern Ireland.  Visit http://www.craftni.org/august-craft-month-on-demand

Mela at Home: Northern Ireland’s biggest celebration of cultural diversity, the Belfast Mela goes virtual for 2020 with a week-long series of more than 50 free events planned from Monday 24th August to Sunday 30th August.   An engaging and interactive Mela at Home festival map transports visitors to a virtual Botanic Gardens with a range of new exciting events on offer each day including spectacular performances on the World Stage, a variety of cookery demonstrations in the Palm House, relaxation workshops in the World of Wellbeing, plus interactive theatre, animation, storytelling and much more for children.   Visit www.belfastmela.org.uk

Northern Ireland Opera: Northern Ireland Opera is bringing The Festival of Voice their much-loved annual celebration of singing to Belfast this August, with a theme of Myths and Legends, in partnership with BBC Radio 3. All events will be performed live in the First Church Belfast on August 28-30th and recorded: BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the recitals in the early autumn while the competition finale will be filmed and released via the Northern Ireland Opera YouTube channel in September.  Visit https://www.niopera.com/events/the-festival-of-voice-2020/

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What’s on the Arts online!

Wednesday 19th August 2020 at 10am 0 Comments

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

Clandeboye Festival: continues throughout this week with a series of online concerts celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.  The festival will premier online from the 18 - 22 August via the Camerata Ireland website. Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through its National Lottery funds, stay-at-home audiences will be treated to five concerts showcasing the full cycle of Beethoven’s magnificent piano concertos, with Artistic Director Barry Douglas as soloist and conductor.  This innovative recording project from the only all-Ireland chamber orchestra will be released over five evenings, from the 18 - 22 August, when the live Clandeboye Festival would have been taking place. ‘Clandeboye At Home’ will then remain online until August 2021 for audiences across the globe to stream on demand. For further details visit the below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPobzrIvvfA&feature=youtu.be and www.camerata-ireland.com, or Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CamerataIreland

Moving On Music: MoM’s‘All About….’ Outreach series continues this week with premiereof the first video from Derry based jazz guitarist, Joseph Leighton. In Joseph’s first video, he will talk about all things jazz guitar, looking at the specific instruments and gear used to create the genre’s unique sound. Joesph will also talk to us about key musicians that have influenced his style of playing and who we need to listen to! Visit the below links to access:
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQu1P2TcMtE&list=PLHpd6GqfkYSid4wQKfak1fkyR-Z1OSClJ
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/
Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

Beyond Skin: presents LIVING GREEN PICTURES. The aim of LIVING GREEN PICTURES is to bring together art and agriculture as a language of life and sustainability. A series of six online workshops, in English & Spanish, will enable intergenerational cultural exchange, creative interdisciplinary activities and the sharing of different experiences. A wide range of participants can take part in this project and it’s suitable for anyone who likes planting, agriculture, gardening and art can participate.  Workshops begin on Friday 21st August at 3pm via zoom  To register to take part email beyondskinoffice@gmail.com and visit https://www.beyondskin.net/sowing-of-life  for more information.

Craft NI’s August Craft Month: continues throughout August and showcases the  work of local craft makers in a series of virtual events to celebrate just some of the outstanding work that goes on throughout 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 http://www.craftni.org/august-craft-month-on-demand

Mela at Home: Northern Ireland’s biggest celebration of cultural diversity, the Belfast Mela goes virtual for 2020 with a week-long series of more than 50 free events planned from Monday 24th August to Sunday 30th August.  Highlights of this year’s Mela at Home, sponsored by Sensata Technologies, include a wonderful line up of music, dance, food, art, theatre, discussion and wellbeing from around the world presented by local artists and performers living in Northern Ireland.   An engaging and interactive Mela at Home festival map transports visitors to a virtual Botanic Gardens with a range of new exciting events on offer each day including spectacular performances on the World Stage, a variety of cookery demonstrations in the Palm House, relaxation workshops in the World of Wellbeing, plus interactive theatre, animation, storytelling and much more for children.   Visit www.belfastmela.org.uk

Northern Ireland Opera: is bringing live opera back to Belfast.  Northern Ireland Opera is bringing The Festival of Voice their much-loved annual celebration of singing to Belfast this August, with a theme of Myths and Legends, in partnership with BBC Radio 3. All events will be performed live in the First Church Belfast on August 28-30th and recorded: BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the recitals in the early autumn while the competition finale will be filmed and released via the Northern Ireland Opera YouTube channel in September.  Usually this celebration of the best young opera voices from the island of Ireland takes place in the beautiful coastal village of Glenarm. While they cannot be there this year due to COVID 19, NI Opera is delighted to still be able to bring live performance to Belfast across three days of recitals.

This year’s finalists are David Corr (baritone), David Howes (bass baritone), Andrew Irwin (tenor), Sarah Luttrell (mezzo-soprano) and Jade Phoenix (soprano). The winner is awarded a monetary prize and the chance to attend Canto al Serchio in Tuscany, run by Belfast-born international baritone, Bruno Caproni, one of Northern Ireland’s most successful opera stars.

The Glenarm Festival of Voice also features three BBC Radio 3 Recitals. This year they will welcome soprano Ailish Tynan, mezzo-soprano Anna Huntley and baritone James Newby, with accompanist Simon Lepper.  They’ll be bringing a wonderful range of concerts exploring our theme of ‘Myths and Legends’.  These performances will also be recorded in the First Church, Belfast and broadcast in the autumn on BBC Radio 3.  Visit https://www.niopera.com/events/the-festival-of-voice-2020/

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What’s on in the Arts online!

Thursday 13th August 2020 at 9am 130 Comments

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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.

Clandeboye Festival: is going digital, with a series of online concerts celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.  The festival will premier online from the 18 - 22 August via the Camerata Ireland website. Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through its National Lottery funds, stay-at-home audiences will be treated to five concerts showcasing the full cycle of Beethoven’s magnificent piano concertos, with Artistic Director Barry Douglas as soloist and conductor.  This innovative recording project from the only all-Ireland chamber orchestra will be released over five evenings, from the 18 - 22 August, when the live Clandeboye Festival would have been taking place. ‘Clandeboye At Home’ will then remain online until August 2021 for audiences across the globe to stream on demand. For further details visit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPobzrIvvfA&feature=youtu.be and www.camerata-ireland.com, or Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CamerataIreland

Mela at Home: Northern Ireland’s biggest celebration of cultural diversity, the Belfast Mela goes virtual for 2020 with a week-long series of more than 50 free events planned from Monday 24th August to Sunday 30th August.  Highlights of this year’s Mela at Home, sponsored by Sensata Technologies, include a wonderful line up of music, dance, food, art, theatre, discussion and wellbeing from around the world presented by local artists and performers living in Northern Ireland.   An engaging and interactive Mela at Home festival map transports visitors to a virtual Botanic Gardens with a range of new exciting events on offer each day including spectacular performances on the World Stage, a variety of cookery demonstrations in the Palm House, relaxation workshops in the World of Wellbeing, plus interactive theatre, animation, storytelling and much more for children.   Visit www.belfastmela.org.uk

Northern Ireland Opera: is bringing live opera back to Belfast.  Northern Ireland Opera is bringing The Festival of Voice their much-loved annual celebration of singing to Belfast this August, with a theme of Myths and Legends, in partnership with BBC Radio 3. All events will be performed live in the First Church Belfast on August 28-30th and recorded: BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the recitals in the early autumn while the competition finale will be filmed and released via the Northern Ireland Opera YouTube channel in September.  Usually this celebration of the best young opera voices from the island of Ireland takes place in the beautiful coastal village of Glenarm. While they cannot be there this year due to COVID 19, NI Opera is delighted to still be able to bring live performance to Belfast across three days of recitals.

This year’s finalists are David Corr (baritone), David Howes (bass baritone), Andrew Irwin (tenor), Sarah Luttrell (mezzo-soprano) and Jade Phoenix (soprano). The winner is awarded a monetary prize and the chance to attend Canto al Serchio in Tuscany, run by Belfast-born international baritone, Bruno Caproni, one of Northern Ireland’s most successful opera stars.

The Glenarm Festival of Voice also features three BBC Radio 3 Recitals. This year they will welcome soprano Ailish Tynan, mezzo-soprano Anna Huntley and baritone James Newby, with accompanist Simon Lepper.  They’ll be bringing a wonderful range of concerts exploring our theme of ‘Myths and Legends’.  These performances will also be recorded here in the First Church, Belfast and broadcast in the autumn on BBC Radio 3.  Visit https://www.niopera.com/events/the-festival-of-voice-2020/

Moving On Music: This week in Moving on Music’s ‘All About…’ outreach series it’s the third and final video from Aisling Agnew on the classical flute and birdsong. Aisling will look at contemporary UK / Irish composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Richard Rodney Bennett and Philip Hammond and how poetry and nature has influenced many of their compositions and depictions of birdsong.  Next up in the ‘All About…’ series is the fantastic Derry-based guitarist, Joesph Leighton, who will be teaching us all about the jazz guitar!  Visit

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQu1P2TcMtE&list=PLHpd6GqfkYSid4wQKfak1fkyR-Z1OSClJ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/

Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

Craft NI’s August Craft Month: continues throughout August and showcases the  work of local craft makers in a series of virtual events to celebrate just some of the outstanding work that goes on throughout 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 http://www.craftni.org/august-craft-month-on-demand

Cara Dillon: Don’t miss 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.  Full details are available on Cara’s website www.caradillon.co.uk and facebook.com/caradillonsings

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.  A very special online live event will take place on the 13th August 2020 at  www.facebook.com/BeyondSkinMedia and www.youtube.com/beyondskinmedia

Spanner In The Works: 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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/247607848617712

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 sinead@culturlann.ie to register.

EastSide Arts Festival: continues all this week 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.   For the full festival programme and ticket information visit www.eastsidearts.net. Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #ESAFest20.

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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 https://youtu.be/8NWXyhyGU8A

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 http://www.craftni.org/august-craft-month-on-demand

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 www.caradillon.co.uk and facebook.com/caradillonsings

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  www.facebook.com/BeyondSkinMedia and www.youtube.com/beyondskinmedia

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 https://bit.ly/2Pk6JoC 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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/247607848617712

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 sinead@culturlann.ie 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 www.eastsidearts.net. 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 mail@artisann.org, or just message in on the night.  Watch for free at https://www.facebook.com/artisannbelfast/

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 https://www.eastsidearts.net/event/king-east-belfast-0

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What’s on in the Arts online

Wednesday 29th July 2020 at 9am 0 Comments

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.

VOID: Void needs your help! Plinth Commission recipient Alan Phelan will launch his project on the Derry Walls in September 2020. This is a crowd-sourced sculpture and we would like YOU to get involved. Participants will make their own flower sculpture at home using papier-mache and it will be assembled on site. Materials provided - available from Void now. Flowers to be submitted by 10th August. For more details of how to get involved please see https://mailchi.mp/derryvoid/void-and-artist-alan-phelan-are-looking-for-your-help or phone 028 7130 8080. 

Newry Chamber Music: will host the finale of their concert series, Live In Your Lounge, this Wednesday 29th July at 7:30pm on their YouTube channel.  The final in the popular online series features, Ciaran Hinds (narrator), Joanne Quigley McParland (piano), Rose Redgrave (viola), Joe Cutler (piano), Francesco, Paola Scola (clarinet) and David Quigley (piano).   The concert is free to view with donations accepted.  Visit www.newrychambermusic.org and to watch the entire concert series visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR3S1gcQSXsmIcKWxwJA6XQ

Moving On Music: continue with their All About…video series with flautist, Aisling Agnew from Wednesday 29th July, focusing on birdsong and the classical flute.  Aisling Agnew is a Belfast born flautist who regularly performs worldwide at many high-profile concerts and is currently the flautist with Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble. In Aisling’s 3-part video series, she will be exploring the use of birdsong throughout the different eras of music, looking specifically at composers such as Vivaldi, Bartok and Messiaen.  Visit the below links to discover more.

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQu1P2TcMtE&list=PLHpd6GqfkYSid4wQKfak1fkyR-Z1OSClJ
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/MovingOnMusic/258398595261048/
Website: http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: the third concert in Cultúrlann online series which will go live Friday the 31st July at 8:30pm and will celebrate the indigenous festival of Lúnasa. It will also be part of Ireland’s biggest community festival, Féile an Phobail.  The concert will be streamed on Cultúrlann’s YouTube channel with the best of musicians from home and abroad. Among the line-up will be Dónal O’Connor, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Gráinne Holland, Troda, Brian Finnegan, Micheál McGoldrick and more. The concert will be hosted by broadcaster Caoimhe Ní Chathail.

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: will also run 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 sinead@culturlann.ie to register.

Dún Uladh Cultural Heritage Centre: on Saturday 1st August Dún Uladh will host a live music session with Niall Hanna.  A grandson of the legendary traditional singer Geordie Hanna, the ‘Lough-shore’ style of singing is strongly represented in his music. Juxtaposing the old with the new, Niall’s own song ‘Sweet Lough Neagh’ demonstrates his skill in composition, praising the tranquillity of his native Derrytresk, and the surrounding area in County Tyrone. In recent years Niall has toured Europe and Australia and has collaborated with many of Ireland’s finest musicians and singers such as John McSherry, The Rapparees, Martin Meehan, Buille and Cathal Hayden. The performance begins at 8pm for more information on online sessions and further events e-mail music@dunuladh.ie.

EastSide Arts Festival: From the 6th - 16th August join EastSide Arts Festival as they present an 11-day 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 www.eastsidearts.net. Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #ESAFest20.

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 at 8pm from 7-9 August and 12-16 August, and 2.30pm matinees on 12 and 15 August 2020, as part of the EastSide Arts Festival.  There will be post-show discussions after performances on 8, 12 (matinee) and 15 (evening show).  Tickets for ‘The King of East Belfast’ are £10 and are available to book now - visit www.eastsidearts.net and search ‘The King of East Belfast’.

Walled City International Online Piano Competition: took place from 1-24 July online this year.  Overall the competition featured 41 participants from 17 different countries across the globe. Adjudicators from the USA and Asia, together with Festival Director Cathal Breslin, from Derry and world-renowned Northern Irish pianist, Barry Douglas, whittled down the exceptionally high standard performances to six extremely talented young pianists, aged between 15 and 31 years.

The finalists included: Katherine Benson (USA), Elzbieta Bilicka (Poland), Yung-Li Chen (Taiwan), Alexander Malikov (Canada), Takuma Onodera (Japan) and Clara Siegle (Ireland).  Elzbieta Bilicka, from Poland, took home the Gold Medal and as part of the prize will host a winner’s recital and full tuition scholarship at the Walled City Music Festival in Derry/Londonderry in 2021.  The final round performances, which feature newly recorded, 30 minute solo recitals from each player, are now available to view on YouTube.  For a list of all winners visit https://wcmpiano.com/ and to watch a series of spectacular performances from throughout the competition visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgkLDYA41eU7z6qQm3fVrQw

 

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What’s On in the Arts Online!

Wednesday 22nd July 2020 at 4pm 0 Comments

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.

Big Telly: Site-responsive and immersive theatre-makers Big Telly Theatre Company and Creation Theatre present an innovative and fresh take on Lewis Carrolls’ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Teaming up with Charisma.ai, ground-breakers in interactive and immersive storytelling technology, this digitally advanced production, blends live acting and the latest in AI and online video techniques. Audiences will be invited to dive down the rabbit hole to experience a magical theatrical experience, meeting their favourite characters from this much-loved classic along the way. While venues remain in lockdown, the show bridges the worlds of theatre, art and technology and reunites the successful creative team behind The Tempest Live. Alice will be performed live each time across four weeks from 1st – 30th August. Tickets cost £20 per device and the show lasts for approximately 90 minutes. To secure your ticket for Alice- A Virtual Theme Park go to www.creationtheatre.co.uk.

Replay Theatre Company has announced details of a Summer Sensory Resource for Children. Released online every fortnight, stories will take children deep inside the rainforest to share stories of animals and adventure, all within the comfort of their own home. Created especially for young autistic and/or neurodivergent audiences, young explorers will be encouraged to scavenge around their house to find different textures, fabrics and things to relax on to create their very own rainforest camp. For more information go to www.replaytheatreco.org.

Lyric Theatre: The Lyric Theatre has launched its Summer Scheme for 6-18 year olds. For the first time this year’s sessions will be held online with a series of workshops for different age groups. The sessions will include design, film and TV acting and audition technique. There will also be a series of body combat classes, led by Ian McCracken, whose work was recently supported by the Arts Council through the Artists Emergency Programme. All workshops are designed to be fun, interactive and to teach new theatre skills. Go to www.Lyrictheatre.co.uk for more information.

Crescent Arts Centre: Tutors are once again be taking over at the Crescent Arts Centre, with new workshops and classes running over the summer. Still to come is beginners digital photography and  a week long intensive intermediate ballet course. All classes will be conducted online from the comfort of your home, keeping you connected, creative and engaged over the summer. Look on the Crescent Arts Centre’s website for more information https://crescentarts.org/

Rainbow Factory: Youth Action has announced a fantastic programme of events as part of their first ever Rainbow Factory Fringe Festival from 1st-8th August. For those with a love for the performing arts, there is much to look forward to, including screenwriting workshops, audition technique, stage combat, drama and improvisation. There will also be a chance to get involved in helping to create the first ever Rainbow Factory radio show and to be a part of a virtual flashmob. For anyone interested in joining the Rainbow Factory School of Performing Arts, this is a brilliant chance to get involved, meet new friends and hone your talent. The Rainbow Factory is open 10-25 year olds with a passion for dance, drama and music. Email vrf@youthaction.org for more information.

Eastside Arts Festival: Eastside Arts Festival will run for 11 days from 6th-16th August. This year’s theme is Moments of Joy and the programmes includes music, theatre, literature, story-telling, visual art, talks and tours. 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.  Among the many things to look forward to will be EastSide Sessions at Portview, which will premiere new recordings by musicians Gareth Dunlop, Edelle McMahon, Dani Larkin and Arborist, in the stunning surroundings of Portview Trade Centre. Kabosh Theatre Company will present The King of East Belfast, a story of ‘Old Godfather Clark’ aka well-known and popular east Belfast bookie, Clark Groves. There’ll also be samba in the park with Beat N’ Drum, drag queen story time, Vault Artists Market and much much more. For the full festival programme and ticket information visit www.eastsidearts.net.

Virtual Feile: The annual summer Féile an Phobail Festival is also moving online this year. The arts strand of the festival contains a mix of pop-up theatre, children’s events, concerts and more. Things to look out for include, the Broads’, three new short plays by local playwright and actor Maria Connolly about the lives of Judy Garland, Bette Midler and Marilyn Monroe, and the International Music Night featuring bands from Italy, Corsica and Spain. Virtual Feile will take place from Thursday 30th July – Saturday 9th August. Go to www.feilebelfast.com to find out more.

Mockingbird Theatre’s Anne Gallagher and Ronan Carr have produced a wonderful new short film. The Final Cut tells the story of two barbers who reunite for one last haircut during lockdown – a bitter sweet story that proves we are never really apart from the ones we truly love. View it on YouTube now: https://youtu.be/tR9VsckoIJg

Don’t forget that the below artists and arts organisations are still rolling out terrific online arts content for people of all ages:

VISUAL ARTS

CCA: CCA in Derry-Londonderry: has just released their Postbox Puppet Party by Kit Rees!
This summer CCA’s family workshop comes directly to you. Postbox Puppet Party, designed by Kit Rees, brings a collection of characters through your letterbox. Each pack contains materials, equipment and three pages of designs to colour and cut out. Using paper fasteners you can bring your puppets to life. Kit’s Granny Margaret arrives with her dog Ringo. They are accompanied by Monkey who asks that you draw something for him to hold. You can also  invent your own character using the extra objects, robo and dino arms, tails and tentacles. Watch Kit’s animation here to introduce you to the activity.  They are offering 70 free packs on their Online Shop. These will be posted out to you to take part in CCA Derry~Londonderry Summer family workshop.  Please share your creations with us by tagging @CCADLD on Instagram and Twitter or emailing images of your work to info@cca-derry-londonderry.org  Visit http://cca-derry-londonderry.org/public-programme/7310/ for more details.  Check out Kit’s video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGPFkpCO_Lg&feature=youtu.be

CCA’s artist takeovers are continuing with upcoming contributors Priya Mistry, Luis Jacob and Jan McCullough whose work will feature in CCA when we reopen later in the year. http://cca-derry-londonderry.org/news/social-media-takeovers/

Golden Thread Gallery (GTG) is offering reading groups, free family art activity sheets, Q &As with curators and online exhibitions plus more.  For further visit www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk

The Belfast Photo Festival has been running a series of week-long Instagram Residencies with inspiring photographers at www.instagram.com/belfastphotofestival  

Void Gallery’s weekly exhibition tours and arts activities can be found at www.derryvoid.com Also tune in every Wednesday at 9pm on Void’s Facebook to hear recommendations from Void Director, Mary Cremin, fro podcasts and other cultural things to do online related to visual arts.   Visit https://www.facebook.com/derryvoid

Belfast Exposed Photographic Gallery has a range of daily activities can be found at https://www.facebook.com/BXGallery 

ArtisAnn: art gallery has regular online exhibitions which you can enjoy at home and also purchase through the Arts Council’s Take it Away Scheme.  Visit www.artisann.org to view.

The MAC: The MAC’s Instagram account over the next seven weeks will act as a platform for two online artist commissions in response to the experiences of lockdown and social distancing.  Visit https://www.instagram.com/themacbelfast/

The MAC is also calling on everyone to save those rainbows!!  The MAC is asking all those children to keep their amazing rainbow drawings and paintings for a very special exhibition when the MAC re-opens.   Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details on how to send them to The MAC, but until then keep your drawings safe and don't stop making art!  Visit https://www.facebook.com/theMACBelfast

MUSIC

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: Cla has a range of online digital activities this month aimed at young people under the theme of The Solar System.  Join them online for music, art and science activities to learn about the Solar System! Mark 20-24 July in your diary to learn all about the moon and stars.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/AnChulturlann

They are also featuring a Song of the Day of their Facebook and Twitter providing an opportunity to promote music and heritage and to support musicians who have lost out in gigs and concerts during the pandemic. If you’re a musician and would like to contribute to the series, contact bronagh@culturlann.ie

Belfast Music Society (BMS): will present their popular concert series, Chamber Babies, for ‘little listeners’ and their mums and dads online.  This week with the second of three short online concerts features local musicians Aisling Agnew (flute), Tanya Houghton (harp), Ruth McGinley (piano), William Curran (clarinet) and Cecily Smith Nesbitt (cello). Concert 2 and 3 will go live on Wednesday 22 July and Wednesday 5 August* (tbc), and all three programmes are available on demand for a month following release. Watch on BMS’s website, www.belfastmusicsociety.org, or on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/belfastmusicsociety/

Music from Northern Ireland on Spotify: featuring some of the best music from the region in a Spotify playlist featuring some Arts Council supported artists.  Have a listen at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4TdCKE2vt7mtJaEP2445WE

ITMA: The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) are running a series of music initiatives and online learning opportunities on their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/ITMADublin

The Ulster Orchestra’s new digital platform #UOletsplayathome features one of their players or a performance every day on the orchestra’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ulsterorchestra Visit their Instagram page for a series of pop-up performances https://www.instagram.com/ulsterorchestra/

NI Opera and Richard Yarr’s musical presentation, At Home for Heroes: A Classical Thank You to the NHS and Frontline Workers’, is a one-hour long online concert first broadcast on 25th May to 2,600 viewers across the world.  The classical concert is available to watch back at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0-txefFWyA8&t=15s

At Home with Northern Ireland Opera: is offering a range activities for children online.  Activities are available on their You Tube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ and includes:

  • Kitchen Percussion with Cathryn Lynch
  • A Singing Session with Sarah Richmond
  • Dance with choreographer Jennifer Rooney: Bizet’s Carmen
  • Stage Make-Up with Connie McGrath
  • Learn To Conduct with Sinead Hayes
  • Science of the Voice with Dr Trevor Agus
  • Making Props with Noleen and George Stevenson
  • Superhero Costume with Carla Barrow

 

Pitched for primary school children, these are fun, interactive videos which adults might want to join in on too!  There’s also a singing lesson for older children with Sarah Richmond. Future projects in the pipeline include set design and more singing projects too so watch this space!

The Duncairn’s Virtual Cabaret, features a live stream series of performances from some of Ireland, Scotland & the UKs finest musicians, poets and artists on Facebook and YouTube.  Watch back at  https://www.facebook.com/TheDuncairn 

Musician, Matt McGinn and Cormac Neeson host a global and virtual 'In the Round' music session using Facebook Live with special guests from around the world.  Visit www.facebook.com/groups/cocoons

Bluegrass, gypsy swing and folk family trio, Cup O’Joe, have been hosting regular gigs live from their living room in Armagh.  Visit  https://www.facebook.com/cupojoemusic

Join singer-songwriter, Amanda St John, live from her home on Facebook every Sunday evening from 8-9pm. https://www.facebook.com/amanda.stjohn.79

Live Music Now has adapted their current Art’s Council Arts & Older People programme project by creating a series of short videos to take isolated audiences on a musical journey with local musicians, Conor Lamb and Deirdre Galway.  Enjoy online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp_AoOpiob4&feature=youtu.be

BBC Ten Pieces is offering free online Connecting The Dots workshops with BBC musicians.  These FREE, interactive sessions connect UK primary schools with BBC musicians and are available until the end of term.  In the workshop, children get to meet a musician from one of the BBC’S orchestras and choirs, hearing them perform and can ask questions.  Find out more at https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ten-pieces/connecting-the-dots/zntsf4j

Glasgowbury in Draperstown, has been continuing to deliver classes online and for the month of April alone delivered of 56 weekly music lessons,  58 dance classes and creative mentoring sessions.  A number of young music makers, Ruairí O'Kane, Nathan Murray, Cora Rafferty and Gemma Bradley recorded a beautiful rendition of, Somewhere over the Rainbow, in support of frontline NHS staff and as a lockdown challenge for the kids.  Watch the video on their Facebook page here https://m.facebook.com/stella.glasgow.3/posts/2507045582730141?comment_id=2507052522729447&src=email_notif

Oh Yeah Music Centre Belfast’s dedicated music hub, Oh Yeah Music Centre, has partnered with Belfast Live to create the Lockdown Sessions, an online series which promotes and supports Northern Ireland’s music community.  From interviews with local musicians to live performances, it’s unmissable! Visit https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/all-about/lockdown-sessions

Dún Uladh are hosting a series of Saturday Night Sessions on the first Saturday of each month with local folk and traditional musicians.  Keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming sessions https://www.facebook.com/dunuladh 

Newry Chamber Music (NCM): Introducing NCM’s new online concert series ‘Live In Your Lounge’.  The six-week series started on Wednesday 24th June at 7:30pm on their You Tube channel.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/newrychambermusic for details on all upcoming concerts.

Moving On Music: will also be releasing a series of short concerts every Friday.  They’ve put together great little series that reflects their live concert programme, with a mix of jazz, classical, folk and all the stuff that doesn’t fit neatly elsewhere. Concerts are short and sweet (15 – 25 mins), informal and beautifully performed.  Videos will be posted on Facebook and YouTube and available to watch whenever suits.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFSt_rHc0Bc&t=10s

Moving On Music: continue with their new ‘All About…’ outreach video series featuring tutorials and demonstrations from world-class classical and jazz musicians.  Each video will offer insight, advice and techniques for budding musicians, and an opportunity to practice alongside the tutor.  Tune in this week for tutorials on jazz voice from Aoife Doyle.  Visit http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/ 

Distant Sky Festival: As the festival can’t happen this year, Snow Water and Smarts produced a film with the islanders featuring musicians, Neil Martin, Reevah, Ciara O'Neill, writer, Glenn Patterson and Tour Alaska, presented by Joe Lindsay. The film is an opportunity to engage in a virtual festival to bring our finest artists to all corners of the world and is supported by Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland.  Watch the film back at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDNOicC9wHQ&feature=youtu.be

DANCE

Maiden Voyage, a multi award-winning dance company in NI, wants to get everyone dancing at home!  The company has released their work and creative resources to download for use at home.  Visit https://maidenvoyagedance.com

Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre in Enniskillen, has a free programme of movement activities especially designed for older people as part of their Arts & Older People funding from the Arts Council. The movement sessions are available for everyone at https://www.dylanquinndance.com/contemporary-exercises

DU Dance: Will you accept the DU Dance Challenge?  DU Dance is putting together a series of weekly challenges to get everyone dancing at home! Follow their social media for weekly updates and share your dancing with the hashtag #DUDancechallenge Visit http://www.dudanceni.com/challenge/

THEATRE

The MAC: has launched a new online video project, HOME, a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic and they want you to get involved.  They are working with a team of video and photographic artists, actors, and musicians to realise the videos and are asking the public to submit photos that capture their experiences of lockdown.  Plus, if you have a favourite poem, song lyrics, lines from a play or passage from a novel about NI or by an NI’s artist, please send those too. These extracts will accompany the videos and will be read by people from all walks of life.  The MAC want to celebrate all the moments that have given discomfort, joy, and reassurance these past few months, fusing them together to create a unique communal perspective of all of our experiences.  To get involved visit https://bit.ly/2C0zpzM

The Bruiser Virtual Arts Academy is coming to a laptop near you!  Committed to nurturing home-grown talent, Bruiser Theatre Company are excited to launch the Bruiser Virtual Arts Academy, running from August 2020. The Bruiser Virtual Arts Academy is an intensive eight-week online programme that provides extraordinary performing arts training for passionate young artists. This new virtual arts academy is the closest Bruiser can get to the rehearsal room experience; fostering collaboration, team work, performance skills enhancement and providing a unique insight into Bruiser’s process.  The Level 1 Virtual Summer School is for students aged 12-16 and the Level 2 Virtual Summer School is for students aged 17-21.  For an information pack and application form, email summer@bruisertheatrecompany.com or call Lisa May on 07813 162961.

Waterside Theatre: Waterside Theatre, in Derry-Londonderry, has an online programme of classes for families, children, young people and Care Homes to help us shake off those lockdown blues.  We have lots of your favourite artists delivering workshops in dance, drama, storytelling, movement, music and visual art.  For more information on our timetable and how to join in and get creative contact aj@watertsidetheatre.com

Strand Arts Centre: Comedy sketch trio, Those Who Can’t, is delivering a series of ‘Strand-ed at Home?’ online sessions as the Strand Arts Centre’s lockdown artists not in residence. From Zoom meetings and overzealous home parenting to creating new recipes with cupboard leftovers (how many uses are there for butter beans?), these short, sharp, satirical commentaries provide a mockumentary style response to our new ways of working and living.  Videos are available at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz9MWF16sj0nwvtbBgnMeKA

Kabosh: with investment from the Arts & Business NI Creative Seed Fund Kabosh has commissioned actor, Gerard Jordan, to create 3 video tutorials with his 10-year-old daughter, Eve.  The Apptastic Tutorials offer you and your family an entertaining step-by-step guide to get the most out of 3 free creative apps: Snapseed (photo editor), Gacha Life (comic strip storyboard) and Funimate (dance video).  The perfect way to keep you all creatively inspired and entertained in lock-down.  Get in touch if you’d like to purchase the tutorials or find out more information at info@kabosh.net; Purchasing the app tutorials is one of the ways you can help support local artists and Kabosh during this difficult period.   Watch the Apptastic Tutorials trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k84kIPu8DE

Young at Art: have shared Spark Arts For Children resources following recent national and international events and protests, to give parents, carers and those who work with young people some tools and language to respond to questions from children about racism.  They said, 'These conversations are opportunities to seek understanding, to explore themes relevant to our lives and for children to learn about themselves and the world they live in, the first steps in raising an anti- racist child.......We can all make a difference to the lives of our children and we hope these resources are helpful to you. #BlackLivesMatter

Resources:
Embrace Race - Diverse Books for Children https://bit.ly/3h8bWMN
Parent Toolkit - How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism https://bit.ly/2MFU0eq
Books and resources to help children understand racism https://bit.ly/2MGwn5B
BookTrust - Anti-racism is for everyone https://bit.ly/3dMZhgm
Google Books - Antiracist Baby https://bit.ly/3h9rU9x

The Local Artists Podcast: is a brand new podcast that features conversations with local artists and people who work in the arts sector in Northern Ireland.  The most recent conversation features  playwright and Arts Council of Northern Ireland Dance and Drama Officer, Caoileann Curry-Thompson.  Visit  https://www.buzzsprout.com/1060303/4152152-caoileann-curry-thompson

Crescent Arts Centre: will soon be launching the summer term of their Creative Learning Programme with online tutors from the comfort of your home.  Keep up to date at https://crescentarts.org/courses

Spanner In The Works Theatre Company: produces theatrical works that shine a light on challenging and important social issues.  Recently the company has been making extracts of their plays available to the public on their Facebook page, followed by signposting to professional organisations that can offer help in dealing with issues raised.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/247607848617712

Watch it back! Splendid Isolation - Lockdown Drama:  As part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine, which aims to continue to bring culture into the homes of audiences during lockdown, BBC Arts, the Lyric Theatre, BBC Northern Ireland, with support from National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, have created six brand new film dramas from some of Northern Ireland’s biggest names in writing and acting.  The dramas explore the positive and negative aspects of social isolation and lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Watch all six at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08hplv9

BOOKS, POETRY & LITERATURE

John Hewitt SocietyThe John Hewitt Society is delighted to announce its first ever virtual Summer School, named for this year only as The John Hewitt Digital Festival of Literature and Ideas, taking place from Monday 27 July – Saturday 1 August.  The Society was set to present its annual International Summer School at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh this month but was forced to cancel in March due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Festival will be in two parts. Free-to-view talks, readings and panel discussions will take place on Thursday 30 July, Friday 31 July and Saturday 1 August. They will be complemented by the popular creative writing workshops which will be held on Monday 27, Wednesday 29 and Friday 31 July. The fee for a course of three workshops over three days is £60. All workshops and events can be booked through the website: www.johnhewittsociety.org

The group has also launched a new poetry initiative, Poetry Clips: An Archive of John Hewitt Society Contributors. This unique collection will feature a range of short videos showcasing readings from world-renowned poets including Billy Collins and Sinéad Morrissey along with emerging poets such as Stephen Sexton, Susan Dickie and others. New videos recorded by the poets will be released for viewing on The John Hewitt Society website and social media platforms on a weekly basis.  https://www.johnhewittsociety.org/poetry_clips/

Jan Carson: Belfast-based writer Jan Carson has created a series of short films during lockdown aimed at writers wishing to develop their talent. The interactive workshops are available to view now on YouTube and can be watched individually or as a complete writing course.  Based on the ideas of French writer Xavier de Maistre in his book, Journey Around My Bedroom, each session will encourage participants to explore the creative potential in the small spaces in which they currently find themselves, using familiar objects and the view from their window to create new stories.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7rMBcno1PovZO3UQ-2vUHw/videos

Fighting Words Global Writing Lockdown: are calling on all frontline workers and their children to hear your stories!  Fighting Words NI – in partnership with Fighting Words - is running a project to draw together a collection of writing to capture the experiences, thoughts and ideas of frontline and key workers and their families during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Frontline workers includes, but is not limited to, medical workers, delivery drivers, shop assistants, emergency workers, post office staff, bus drivers – and their children.  Submissions can be fiction or non-fiction and we welcome all forms of creative writing including prose, poetry, comics, illustration, and song lyrics.  Visit their website for details on this and all other writing initiatives that you can get involved in https://www.fightingwordsbelfast.co.uk/

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: created a lockdown series, Keeping Going, featuring special readings and musical performances from some of the region’s finest artists including Neil Martin, Rosemary Jenkinson, Maureen Boyle, Glenn Patterson, Stephen Sexton, Anthony Toner and the Ulster Orchestra.  A ll episodes are available to watch back at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiz1SIhXX5SyH3HwkhRXs2w?view_as=subscriber

BookTrust: has launched BookTrust NI HomeTime which features a new video every week from NI authors and illustrators.  From free online books, author readings, activity sheets, competitions, videos to live drawalongs, BookTrust HomeTime has been designed to keep families busy and enjoying reading.  Malachy Doyle, Andrew Whitson and Jan Carson have created content for the BookTrust NI HomeTime page, reading stories, teaching us how to draw characters and sharing ideas for keeping in touch through Postcard Stories.  Visit https://bit.ly/2SgsgjO

Hear award-winning children’s author, Oliver Jeffers, read https://www.instagram.com/oliverjeffers/ and https://www.oliverjeffers.com/

Learn to draw and access free online books with BookTrust https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/?q=&sortOption=AtoZ&pageNo=1

Verbal Arts Centre: in Derry-Londonderry has launched WellRead, a free website aimed at supporting parents of children aged 8- 11 years to nurture a child’s emotional health and wellbeing through storytelling.  The WellRead website features a collection of carefully curated, new and classic, short stories by authors from all over the world.  Accompanied by a series of questions using state-of-the-art chatbot technology parents, are guided through the story to help them spark a conversation with their child.  WellRead is designed to help parents talk to their child about emotional wellbeing and for   a child to learn more about their own feelings as well as the feelings of those around them. It also allows them to explore new ways of solving problems and coping with stress.  To get started with WellRead visit www.mywellread.com

Children’s Books Ireland has launched the #ImagineNation campaign bringing together leading Irish children’s authors and illustrators to create a free 24-page #ImagineNation playbook available for free download to children from all over Ireland to enjoy.   The playbook has activities, puzzles, poems and short stories from some of Ireland’s best children’s writers and illustrators to delight, entertain and spark creativity.  Download your copy at https://childrensbooksireland.ie/resources/imaginenation

Creative Writing with Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre: Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady is connecting the local community through creativity with virtual arts activities for all ages.  All activities are free with something for everyone, including writing and illustrating short stories, making poems and reading their favourite books.  For more information to go www.roevalleyarts.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bluebell Arts in Derry-Londonderry, will be hosting a series if spoken word events and opportunities for a wide range of poets, writers, performers and spoken word artists. The poetry slams will be held on Saturday 30 May 2020, Saturday 27 June and Saturday 25th July 2020 at 6 p.m.  To enter email Frank Rafferty on bluebellartsproject@hotmail.com and an entry form and a copy of Slam rules will be sent to you.  The slams will be broadcast live via the Bluebell Arts Derry Facebook group page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1718398341644549

COMMUNITY/YOUTH ARTS

#GetCreativeAtHome : #GetCreativeAtHome has online creative activities available for everyone to find a way to get creative while staying home.  There are over 280 creative activities to offer creative inspiration to people of all ages.  These free (or low-cost) activities cover almost every art form you can think of and most can be done without specialist equipment.  For info on all activities visit www.getcreativeuk.com

Rainbow Factory is bringing colour and life into the lives of young people with an ingenious interactive website!  During the current crisis the team at Rainbow are acutely aware of the need to stay connected with young people, support them in their isolation and their anxieties.  With this in mind the Arts Team has been working extremely hard to design and develop a Virtual Rainbow Factory, so that hundreds of young people can continue their beloved performing arts training and ignite old and new friendships. Safeguarding is of the utmost importance, therefore much of the site is password protected.  You can access via: www.therainbowfactory.co.uk and CLICK the link to Virtual Rainbow Factory. For more information simply email: VRF@youthaction.org and to receive your special password.

Beyond Skin has launched #ArtsDialogue Online Workshops, an international collective of musicians, artists, producers, writers & peace activists with workshops including graffiti/street art - joropo dance - sound & healing - creative mindfulness - refugee awareness - hiphop/grime/trap production - Indian arts - South Indian & Tanzanian cookery, mandolin, ukulele, bouzouki tuition - songwriting for social change - decompress stress - unlocking voice & rhythm  and Youth4Peace Training.  Most private group workshops will be hosted through Zoom and Northern Ireland groups have access to part or fully funded workshops. Contact info.beyondskin@gmail.com for more information.  Visit www.beyondskin.net/online-workshops

Studio 2 Greater Shantallow Arts in Derry has re-released a 30min film they produced with Dan Gordon and featuring Bronagh Gallagher in honour of our wonderful NHS staff.  The film can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/26079607 Also visit  https://www.facebook.com/Studio2Derry to see what other wonderful things they are doing.  
Wheelworks has launched the Make, Do, Create Festival consisting of a series of free artist-led creative workshops, ideas and inspiration that will take place online every day.  From animation, visual arts, music, photography, dance and abstract film making, there is something to suit all tastes.  Visit https://www.wheelworksarts.com/festival

Arts Care’s new channel allows everyone at home take part in their range of visual arts workshops, ‘stay active’ movement sessions, music and singing, storytelling, poetry reading and t enjoy the wonderful clown doctors.  The channel also offers a range of participatory arts workshops especially for older people in residential care or who are self-isolating at home.   Visit https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCQ85xLA2BlQQdrnWBhKw1hw

Say A Great Big Hello Campaign is Arts Care’s latest campaign which asks children and young people at home, throughout our communities, to create an art work, take a photo or write a poem to send a Big Hello message to children and young people in hospitals, cancer care services, looked after children, children with complex needs and those children and young People in mental health units at this time.  Email info@artscare.co.uk to be part of the online exhibition!

Arts Ekta storytelling series: Join ArtsEkta every Thursday for their fabulous online storytelling series, 'World of Words'. Each week a line-up of amazing storytellers, writers and poets from around the world will be taking over their Facebook page with tales, myths and legends. There will also be an opportunity for people to get involved in an exciting creative writing competition with winners having their stories professionally animated. Keep updated with all online offerings at www.facebook.com/artsekta1

Streetwise Community Circus continue with the brilliant, Streetwise at Home, a digital hub where people, young and old, can learn circus skills from professional circus performers. https://www.facebook.com/streetwisecircus

New Lodge Arts: New Lodge Arts hosts a weekly dance session every Monday at 6.30pm live from New Lodge Arts Facebook page.  What a great way to start the week ahead with loads of energy!  Get the whole family involved! Visit https://www.facebook.com/New-Lodge-Arts-1332279066830930/

New Lodge Arts: has created the Boredom Buster Activity Book. The book is filled with games, creative challenges, colouring in, stories and much more and is guaranteed to keep kids entertained!   The booklet was designed by local artists and the New Lodge Arts staff team.  Download your copy here https://www.ashtoncentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/New-Lodge-Arts-Activity-Pack-2020.pdf

Community Circus Lisburn: has been sharing weekly workshops online for young people to enjoy and learn new skills.  So far they’ve covered, a variety of circus skills, the history of circus, making a cake in a mug and other fun activities to keep children entertained at home.  Visit  https://www.facebook.com/communitycircuslisburn/

Strand Arts Centre: is sharing the magic of movies during life in lockdown with older people in the community.  The East Belfast venue has been on the road delivering Silver Screenings rescue packs, including DVDs of classic films and popcorn, fun facts, trivia and CDs of local artists reciting poetry and singing, to those older people who may feel isolated and in need of some movie magic.  To find out more and get involved visit www.strandartscentre.com

Bluebell Arts has a variety of online Creative Arts Video Workshops for a wide range of arts and crafts activities for all ages on the Bluebell Arts Derry YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK0H0YgD4y8UWRYgCcKY6Pg/videos

Stickyfingers: in Newry has created a series of popular short and fun tutorials with their artists to on their Facebook page to encourage people to get creative at home! Visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/stickyfingersartsnewry/about/

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What’s On in the Arts online!

Wednesday 15th July 2020 at 1pm 0 Comments Circus & Carnival Arts , Community Arts , Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts , Youth 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.

John Hewitt Summer School: The John Hewitt Society is delighted to announce its first ever virtual Summer School, named for this year only as The John Hewitt Digital Festival of Literature and Ideas, taking place from Monday 27 July – Saturday 1 August.  The Society was set to present its annual International Summer School at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh this month but was forced to cancel in March due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Festival will be in two parts. Free-to-view talks, readings and panel discussions will take place on Thursday 30 July, Friday 31 July and Saturday 1 August. They will be complemented by the popular creative writing workshops which will be held on Monday 27, Wednesday 29 and Friday 31 July. The fee for a course of three workshops over three days is £60. All workshops and events can be booked through the website: www.johnhewittsociety.org

The Armagh Rhymers: will take park in a Summer of Live Online event on Saturday 18th July organised by the Musicians Union and British Underground. The magazine format broadcast will also include reports from a January 2020 British Underground event in New Orleans featuring Sam Lee, Lauren Housley, The Bookshop Band, Findlay Napier and Armagh Rhymers.  The event is being organised to raise money for the MU’s Coronavirus Hardship Fund, which distributes money directly to musicians in immediate financial difficulties.  This is the second in the series of online music events - all being hosted by guest presenters and featuring artists from across the industry - and will take place online on the 18th from 5pm at: facebook.com/musicians.union and youtube.com/themusiciansunion

CCA: CCA in Derry-Londonderry: has just released their Postbox Puppet Party by Kit Rees!
This summer CCA’s family workshop comes directly to you. Postbox Puppet Party, designed by Kit Rees, brings a collection of characters through your letterbox. Each pack contains materials, equipment and three pages of designs to colour and cut out. Using paper fasteners you can bring your puppets to life. Kit’s Granny Margaret arrives with her dog Ringo. They are accompanied by Monkey who asks that you draw something for him to hold. You can also  invent your own character using the extra objects, robo and dino arms, tails and tentacles. Watch Kit’s animation here to introduce you to the activity.  They are offering 70 free packs on their Online Shop. These will be posted out to you to take part in CCA Derry~Londonderry Summer family workshop.  Please share your creations with us by tagging @CCADLD on Instagram and Twitter or emailing images of your work to info@cca-derry-londonderry.org  Visit http://cca-derry-londonderry.org/public-programme/7310/ for more details.  Check out Kit’s video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGPFkpCO_Lg&feature=youtu.be

CCA’s artist takeovers are continuing with upcoming contributors Priya Mistry, Luis Jacob and Jan McCullough whose work will feature in CCA when we reopen later in the year. http://cca-derry-londonderry.org/news/social-media-takeovers/

The MAC: has launched a new online video project, HOME, a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic and they want you to get involved.  They are working with a team of video and photographic artists, actors, and musicians to realise the videos and are asking the public to submit photos that capture their experiences of lockdown.  Plus, if you have a favourite poem, song lyrics, lines from a play or passage from a novel about Northern Ireland or by an NI’s artist, please send those too. These extracts will accompany the videos and will be read by people from all walks of life.  The MAC want to celebrate all the moments that have given discomfort, joy, and reassurance these past few months, fusing them together to create a unique communal perspective of all of our experiences.  To get involved visit https://bit.ly/2C0zpzM

Newry Chamber Music (NCM): Every Wednesday NCM present their new online concert series, Live In Your Lounge, at 7:30pm on their YouTube channel.  Each concert last 30 minutes and this week features, Catherine Donnelly, soprano, Ben McAteer, Baritone, Sean Morgan Rooney, Piano and David Quigley, piano.
Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR3S1gcQSXsmIcKWxwJA6XQ

Belfast Music Society (BMS): will present their popular concert series, Chamber Babies, for ‘little listeners’ and their mums and dads online.  This week with the second of three short online concerts features local musicians Aisling Agnew (flute), Tanya Houghton (harp), Ruth McGinley (piano), William Curran (clarinet) and Cecily Smith Nesbitt (cello). Concert 2 and 3 will go live on Wednesday 22 July and Wednesday 5 August* (tbc), and all three programmes are available on demand for a month following release. Watch on BMS’s website, www.belfastmusicsociety.org, or on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/belfastmusicsociety/

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: has a range of online digital activities this month aimed at young people under the theme of The Solar System.  Join them online for music, art and science activities to learn about the Solar System! Mark 20-24 July in your diary to learn all about the moon and stars.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/AnChulturlann

They are also featuring a Song of the Day of their Facebook and Twitter providing an opportunity to promote music and heritage and to support musicians who have lost out in gigs and concerts during the pandemic. If you’re a musician and would like to contribute to the series, contact bronagh@culturlann.ie

Don’t forget that the below artists and arts organisations are still rolling out terrific online arts content for people of all ages:

VISUAL ARTS

Golden Thread Gallery (GTG) is offering reading groups, free family art activity sheets, Q &As with curators and online exhibitions plus more.  For further visit www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk

The Belfast Photo Festival has been running a series of week-long Instagram Residencies with inspiring photographers at www.instagram.com/belfastphotofestival  

Void Gallery’s weekly exhibition tours and arts activities can be found at www.derryvoid.com Also tune in every Wednesday at 9pm on Void’s Facebook to hear recommendations from Void Director, Mary Cremin, fro podcasts and other cultural things to do online related to visual arts.   Visit https://www.facebook.com/derryvoid

Belfast Exposed Photographic Gallery has a range of daily activities can be found at https://www.facebook.com/BXGallery 

ArtisAnn: art gallery has regular online exhibitions which you can enjoy at home and also purchase through the Arts Council’s Take it Away Scheme.  Visit www.artisann.org to view.

The MAC: The MAC’s Instagram account over the next seven weeks will act as a platform for two online artist commissions in response to the experiences of lockdown and social distancing.  Visit https://www.instagram.com/themacbelfast/

The MAC is also calling on everyone to save those rainbows!!  The MAC is asking all those children to keep their amazing rainbow drawings and paintings for a very special exhibition when the MAC re-opens.   Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details on how to send them to The MAC, but until then keep your drawings safe and don't stop making art!  Visit https://www.facebook.com/theMACBelfast

MUSIC

Music from Northern Ireland on Spotify: featuring some of the best music from the region in a Spotify playlist featuring some Arts Council supported artists.  Have a listen at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4TdCKE2vt7mtJaEP2445WE

ITMA: The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) are running a series of music initiatives and online learning opportunities on their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/ITMADublin

The Ulster Orchestra’s new digital platform #UOletsplayathome features one of their players or a performance every day on the orchestra’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ulsterorchestra Visit their Instagram page for a series of pop-up performances https://www.instagram.com/ulsterorchestra/

NI Opera and Richard Yarr’s musical presentation, At Home for Heroes: A Classical Thank You to the NHS and Frontline Workers’, is a one-hour long online concert first broadcast on 25th May to 2,600 viewers across the world.  The classical concert is available to watch back at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0-txefFWyA8&t=15s

At Home with Northern Ireland Opera: is offering a range activities for children online.  Activities are available on their You Tube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKddGiZ5vY-msXyUq0ni4zQ and includes:

  • Kitchen Percussion with Cathryn Lynch
  • A Singing Session with Sarah Richmond
  • Dance with choreographer Jennifer Rooney: Bizet’s Carmen
  • Stage Make-Up with Connie McGrath
  • Learn To Conduct with Sinead Hayes
  • Science of the Voice with Dr Trevor Agus
  • Making Props with Noleen and George Stevenson
  • Superhero Costume with Carla Barrow

 

Pitched for primary school children, these are fun, interactive videos which adults might want to join in on too!  There’s also a singing lesson for older children with Sarah Richmond. Future projects in the pipeline include set design and more singing projects too so watch this space!

The Duncairn’s Virtual Cabaret, features a live stream series of performances from some of Ireland, Scotland & the UKs finest musicians, poets and artists on Facebook and YouTube.  Watch back at  https://www.facebook.com/TheDuncairn 

Musician, Matt McGinn and Cormac Neeson host a global and virtual 'In the Round' music session using Facebook Live with special guests from around the world.  Visit www.facebook.com/groups/cocoons

Bluegrass, gypsy swing and folk family trio, Cup O’Joe, have been hosting regular gigs live from their living room in Armagh.  Visit  https://www.facebook.com/cupojoemusic

Join singer-songwriter, Amanda St John, live from her home on Facebook every Sunday evening from 8-9pm. https://www.facebook.com/amanda.stjohn.79

Live Music Now has adapted their current Art’s Council Arts & Older People programme project by creating a series of short videos to take isolated audiences on a musical journey with local musicians, Conor Lamb and Deirdre Galway.  Enjoy online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp_AoOpiob4&feature=youtu.be

BBC Ten Pieces is offering free online Connecting The Dots workshops with BBC musicians.  These FREE, interactive sessions connect UK primary schools with BBC musicians and are available until the end of term.  In the workshop, children get to meet a musician from one of the BBC’S orchestras and choirs, hearing them perform and can ask questions.  Find out more at https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ten-pieces/connecting-the-dots/zntsf4j

Glasgowbury in Draperstown, has been continuing to deliver classes online and for the month of April alone delivered of 56 weekly music lessons,  58 dance classes and creative mentoring sessions.  A number of young music makers, Ruairí O'Kane, Nathan Murray, Cora Rafferty and Gemma Bradley recorded a beautiful rendition of, Somewhere over the Rainbow, in support of frontline NHS staff and as a lockdown challenge for the kids.  Watch the video on their Facebook page here https://m.facebook.com/stella.glasgow.3/posts/2507045582730141?comment_id=2507052522729447&src=email_notif

Oh Yeah Music Centre Belfast’s dedicated music hub, Oh Yeah Music Centre, has partnered with Belfast Live to create the Lockdown Sessions, an online series which promotes and supports Northern Ireland’s music community.  From interviews with local musicians to live performances, it’s unmissable! Visit https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/all-about/lockdown-sessions

Dún Uladh are hosting a series of Saturday Night Sessions on the first Saturday of each month with local folk and traditional musicians.  Keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming sessions https://www.facebook.com/dunuladh 

Newry Chamber Music (NCM): Introducing NCM’s new online concert series ‘Live In Your Lounge’.  The six-week series started on Wednesday 24th June at 7:30pm on their You Tube channel.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/newrychambermusic for details on all upcoming concerts.

Moving On Music: will also be releasing a series of short concerts every Friday.  They’ve put together great little series that reflects their live concert programme, with a mix of jazz, classical, folk and all the stuff that doesn’t fit neatly elsewhere. Concerts are short and sweet (15 – 25 mins), informal and beautifully performed.  Videos will be posted on Facebook and YouTube and available to watch whenever suits.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFSt_rHc0Bc&t=10s

Moving On Music: continue with their new ‘All About…’ outreach video series featuring tutorials and demonstrations from world-class classical and jazz musicians.  Each video will offer insight, advice and techniques for budding musicians, and an opportunity to practice alongside the tutor.  Tune in this week for tutorials on jazz voice from Aoife Doyle.  Visit http://www.movingonmusic.com/portfolio/all-about-outreach-series/ 

Distant Sky Festival: As the festival can’t happen this year, Snow Water and Smarts produced a film with the islanders featuring musicians, Neil Martin, Reevah, Ciara O'Neill, writer, Glenn Patterson and Tour Alaska, presented by Joe Lindsay. The film is an opportunity to engage in a virtual festival to bring our finest artists to all corners of the world and is supported by Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland.  Watch the film back at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDNOicC9wHQ&feature=youtu.be

DANCE

Maiden Voyage, a multi award-winning dance company in NI, wants to get everyone dancing at home!  The company has released their work and creative resources to download for use at home.  Visit https://maidenvoyagedance.com

Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre in Enniskillen, has a free programme of movement activities especially designed for older people as part of their Arts & Older People funding from the Arts Council. The movement sessions are available for everyone at https://www.dylanquinndance.com/contemporary-exercises

DU Dance: Will you accept the DU Dance Challenge?  DU Dance is putting together a series of weekly challenges to get everyone dancing at home! Follow their social media for weekly updates and share your dancing with the hashtag #DUDancechallenge Visit http://www.dudanceni.com/challenge/

THEATRE

The Bruiser Virtual Arts Academy is coming to a laptop near you!  Committed to nurturing home-grown talent, Bruiser Theatre Company are excited to launch the Bruiser Virtual Arts Academy, running from August 2020. The Bruiser Virtual Arts Academy is an intensive eight-week online programme that provides extraordinary performing arts training for passionate young artists. This new virtual arts academy is the closest Bruiser can get to the rehearsal room experience; fostering collaboration, team work, performance skills enhancement and providing a unique insight into Bruiser’s process.  The Level 1 Virtual Summer School is for students aged 12-16 and the Level 2 Virtual Summer School is for students aged 17-21.  For an information pack and application form, email summer@bruisertheatrecompany.com or call Lisa May on 07813 162961.

Waterside Theatre: Waterside Theatre, in Derry-Londonderry, has an online programme of classes for families, children, young people and Care Homes to help us shake off those lockdown blues.  We have lots of your favourite artists delivering workshops in dance, drama, storytelling, movement, music and visual art.  For more information on our timetable and how to join in and get creative contact aj@watertsidetheatre.com

Strand Arts Centre: Comedy sketch trio, Those Who Can’t, is delivering a series of ‘Strand-ed at Home?’ online sessions as the Strand Arts Centre’s lockdown artists not in residence. From Zoom meetings and overzealous home parenting to creating new recipes with cupboard leftovers (how many uses are there for butter beans?), these short, sharp, satirical commentaries provide a mockumentary style response to our new ways of working and living.  Videos are available at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz9MWF16sj0nwvtbBgnMeKA

Kabosh: with investment from the Arts & Business NI Creative Seed Fund Kabosh has commissioned actor, Gerard Jordan, to create 3 video tutorials with his 10-year-old daughter, Eve.  The Apptastic Tutorials offer you and your family an entertaining step-by-step guide to get the most out of 3 free creative apps: Snapseed (photo editor), Gacha Life (comic strip storyboard) and Funimate (dance video).  The perfect way to keep you all creatively inspired and entertained in lock-down.  Get in touch if you’d like to purchase the tutorials or find out more information at info@kabosh.net; Purchasing the app tutorials is one of the ways you can help support local artists and Kabosh during this difficult period.   Watch the Apptastic Tutorials trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k84kIPu8DE

Young at Art: have shared Spark Arts For Children resources following recent national and international events and protests, to give parents, carers and those who work with young people some tools and language to respond to questions from children about racism.  They said, 'These conversations are opportunities to seek understanding, to explore themes relevant to our lives and for children to learn about themselves and the world they live in, the first steps in raising an anti- racist child.......We can all make a difference to the lives of our children and we hope these resources are helpful to you. #BlackLivesMatter

Resources:
Embrace Race - Diverse Books for Children https://bit.ly/3h8bWMN
Parent Toolkit - How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism https://bit.ly/2MFU0eq
Books and resources to help children understand racism https://bit.ly/2MGwn5B
BookTrust - Anti-racism is for everyone https://bit.ly/3dMZhgm
Google Books - Antiracist Baby https://bit.ly/3h9rU9x

The Local Artists Podcast: is a brand new podcast that features conversations with local artists and people who work in the arts sector in Northern Ireland.  The most recent conversation features  playwright and Arts Council of Northern Ireland Dance and Drama Officer, Caoileann Curry-Thompson.  Visit  https://www.buzzsprout.com/1060303/4152152-caoileann-curry-thompson

Crescent Arts Centre: will soon be launching the summer term of their Creative Learning Programme with online tutors from the comfort of your home.  Keep up to date at https://crescentarts.org/courses

Spanner In The Works Theatre Company: produces theatrical works that shine a light on challenging and important social issues.  Recently the company has been making extracts of their plays available to the public on their Facebook page, followed by signposting to professional organisations that can offer help in dealing with issues raised.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/247607848617712

Watch it back! Splendid Isolation - Lockdown Drama:  As part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine, which aims to continue to bring culture into the homes of audiences during lockdown, BBC Arts, the Lyric Theatre, BBC Northern Ireland, with support from National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, have created six brand new film dramas from some of Northern Ireland’s biggest names in writing and acting.  The dramas explore the positive and negative aspects of social isolation and lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Watch all six at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08hplv9

BOOKS, POETRY & LITERATURE

John Hewitt Society: has launched a new poetry initiative, Poetry Clips: An Archive of John Hewitt Society Contributors. This unique collection will feature a range of short videos showcasing readings from world-renowned poets including Billy Collins and Sinéad Morrissey along with emerging poets such as Stephen Sexton, Susan Dickie and others. New videos recorded by the poets will be released for viewing on The John Hewitt Society website and social media platforms on a weekly basis.  https://www.johnhewittsociety.org/poetry_clips/

Jan Carson: Belfast-based writer Jan Carson has created a series of short films during lockdown aimed at writers wishing to develop their talent. The interactive workshops are available to view now on YouTube and can be watched individually or as a complete writing course.  Based on the ideas of French writer Xavier de Maistre in his book, Journey Around My Bedroom, each session will encourage participants to explore the creative potential in the small spaces in which they currently find themselves, using familiar objects and the view from their window to create new stories.  Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7rMBcno1PovZO3UQ-2vUHw/videos

Fighting Words Global Writing Lockdown: are calling on all frontline workers and their children to hear your stories!  Fighting Words NI – in partnership with Fighting Words - is running a project to draw together a collection of writing to capture the experiences, thoughts and ideas of frontline and key workers and their families during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Frontline workers includes, but is not limited to, medical workers, delivery drivers, shop assistants, emergency workers, post office staff, bus drivers – and their children.  Submissions can be fiction or non-fiction and we welcome all forms of creative writing including prose, poetry, comics, illustration, and song lyrics.  Visit their website for details on this and all other writing initiatives that you can get involved in https://www.fightingwordsbelfast.co.uk/

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: created a lockdown series, Keeping Going, featuring special readings and musical performances from some of the region’s finest artists including Neil Martin, Rosemary Jenkinson, Maureen Boyle, Glenn Patterson, Stephen Sexton, Anthony Toner and the Ulster Orchestra.  A ll episodes are available to watch back at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiz1SIhXX5SyH3HwkhRXs2w?view_as=subscriber

BookTrust: has launched BookTrust NI HomeTime which features a new video every week from NI authors and illustrators.  From free online books, author readings, activity sheets, competitions, videos to live drawalongs, BookTrust HomeTime has been designed to keep families busy and enjoying reading.  Malachy Doyle, Andrew Whitson and Jan Carson have created content for the BookTrust NI HomeTime page, reading stories, teaching us how to draw characters and sharing ideas for keeping in touch through Postcard Stories.  Visit https: