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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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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

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

22 March
The role of culture in urban regeneration and community development with Dr Gus Casely-Hayford OBE, Director, V&A East and panellists

23 March
Beyond The Now: Art’s role in a post-pandemic world with Open University

24 March
Jo Hunter, 64 Million Artists – Everyday Creativity: Creating cultures of creativity across communities

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

28 March
Cultural Democracy, Community Development and the Old/New Normal with Stephen Pritchard

To view the full programme visit

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

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

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

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



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: Ages 6+

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

Oíche Airneáil:

Live Concert:

Tune in this Saturday 6th March for a live concert featuring Enda Reilly @8pm, followed by Clann Mhic Corraidh @9pm.  Watch at

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

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

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


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 (, 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

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

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

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 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



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 ( 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

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 (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

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 and 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

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 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

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


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

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

ArtisAnn: Visit

Catalyst Arts: 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 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 on Facebook & Instagram IGTV @derryvoid and Vimeo

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 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 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 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

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

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



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

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

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

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 

To book a free ‘Turnabout’ primary school or group workshop with Maiden Voyage Dance, email

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: for further information. (Please note this event is not funded through the Arts Council).


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