Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Latest Blog

What’s on in the Arts online

Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 10am 0 Comments Circus & Carnival Arts , Community Arts , Craft , Dance , Drama , Film & TV , 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



AVA Festival May 2021: supported by the Arts Council’s Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations, AVA has announce a day of online performances and conversations to mark their flagship weekend featuring Annie Macmanus, Max Cooper, R.Kitt, Holly Lester + more.  The event takes place on Friday 28th May 2021 were you can watch live at

AVA Festival and Conference has been a highlight moment in the calendar for any electronic music fan or aspiring industry professional since its inception in 2014. With the main event moving to September for 2021 and with the support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, AVA will host a packed day of online performances and conversations on Friday 28th May to mark the usual AVA Festival and Conference flagship weekend. Staying true to the quality standard of creativity, AVA will present a selection of talent from Belfast and beyond including Annie Macmanus and Max Cooper heading up talks and conversations, plus Holly Lester, Robbie Kitt, Visual Spectrum and Kev Freeney who’ll be collaborating on DJ sets and mesmerising visual performances representing the true AVA experience. All of the day’s events can be streamed for free at, a taster ahead of the full AVA experience which will follow in September.

Northern Ireland Opera: is to release eight new ‘Northern Songs’ films, celebrating songs by composers from across the island of Ireland, performed in some of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful and historic locations.

Launching on 13th May 2021, this new series features six opera singers: sopranos Catherine Donnelly and Susie Gibbons, mezzo-soprano Margaret Bridge, tenors John Porter and Andrew Irwin and bass baritone David Howes, all winners or finalists of our annual Glenarm Festival of Voice. They have worked with Northern Ireland Opera to create eight spectacular short films directed by Marty Stalker and produced by Causeway Pictures.

Series 2 will feature Enniskillen Castle, Marble Arch Caves, Ballintoy Harbour, the OM Dark Sky Park, Beaghmore Stone Circles, the Ulster American Folk Park, Armagh Robinson Library, the Armagh Cider Company and Belfast’s Maritime Mile.  As well as art songs, this series also features contemporary songs by Neil Hannon of ‘The Divine Comedy’ and by Duke Special as well as a traditional duet in Irish arranged by composer Neil Martin.  All performances are accompanied by pianist Ruth McGinley and sound recorded by Andrew Simon McAllister.

You can watch series 2 of ‘Northern Songs’ each Thursday at 8pm from May 13th on their YouTube channel, The first film features soprano Catherine Donnelly and mezzo Margaret Bridge singing ‘A River Runs Beneath Us’ by Duke Special and Andrew Doyle, on the Maritime Mile and Titanic Slipways in Belfast.

Red Box Creative: a new online music series, 'Both Sides Now', featuring female artists telling the stories behind their songs. 

Produced and presented by Oonagh Derby, this series aims to celebrate and explore the work of our talented female artists.  Oonagh was supported by the Arts Council’s Individual Emergency Resilience Programme (IERP) to research and develop the programme.

The first 3 episodes feature, Janet Henry , Ursula Burns and Cathryn Craig.

Janet Henry: Belfast singer, Janet Henry, began performing as a teenager in the 1980s, when she sang with SOS, which recorded a single. In the early '90s she recorded an EP as part of the acoustic duo Bare Bones, and in the late '90s she sang with Bird-Dog, which mixed bluegrass, traditional Irish music, and swing jazz, putting out the album Traditional Roots. Her first solo album, 2004's The Road to the West, took a singer/songwriter rock approach, often but not always leaning toward folk-rock arrangements. However, it was almost wholly devoted to covers of other songwriters, including Bert Jansch, Lyle Lovett, Terry Woods, Paul Carrack, Isaac Guillory, and her occasional guitarist Colin Harper.

Ursula Burns: songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and comedienne, Ursula Burns, has been smashing the stereo-typical image of the harp for 25 years by performing and touring the world through the mediums of music, theatre, circus and comedy.  Burns has invented her own wild style of playing and strong captivating live performance in her solo shows. Ursula accidentally fell into comedy when she won the Irish Musical Comedy Awards 2012 and since has been touring her solo shows. As a veteran of Edinburgh festival she was nominated for the Malcolm Hardee Award for comic originality.  Burns has six solo albums and a wealth of music composed for children’s theatre. She’s a diverse and compelling artist who is not afraid to take risks and push the harp to places it has never dared to venture.

Cathryn Craig: is from Virginia and has built a strong reputation as both performer and songwriter. She has sung with Chet Atkins, The Righteous Brothers, Shel Silverstein and Jorma Kaukonen.  Her great-grandfather, Jacob Sowder, was recorded by Cecil Sharp and is featured in Sharp’s book "English Folk Songs From The Southern Appalachians".  Cathryn now lives  and tours between Warrenpoint Northern Ireland  and Nashville. 

To view visit Facebook and Youtube

Redbox Creative: Dom Martin from Belfast has just won best acoustic blues performer in the UK Blues awards 2021. 

Redbox recently invited Dom to the studio to talk about his passion for Rory Gallagher in particular and to play a new guitar made by Belfast luthier John O'Neill.

To watch his interview visit and listen to a blistering performance in the studio which shows just the skills that Dom won the award for at

David Lyttle and friends: Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Northern Lights programme is returning to deliver a night of superb contemporary jazz with a virtual concert by David Lyttle and Friends.  The performance will be streamed via the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre and Flowerfield Arts Centre Facebook pages on Thursday 13th May at 8pm.

Hailed by music critics as one of Ireland’s leading jazz musicians, David has been nominated for the 2015 MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act and an Urban Music Award, making Irish history for both.  He is also an Arts Council of Northern Ireland Major Individual Artist (MIA) award recipient.

Created during lockdown, this most recent performance concept is 'Tapes & Drums', which features his improvised drumming alongside tape recordings of Northern Irish schoolchildren on life during Covid times.  David will be joined by guests Jack Charles Kelly and The Murray Brothers.

You’ll also be able to watch the concert again after the live feed via YouTube.
Visit or for more information.

Oh Yeah Music Centre: Oh Yeah Music Centre marks 14 years with a virtual tour of NI featuring a specially recorded series of music performances. Oh Yeah opened its doors to the public on 5th May 2007.  The Virtual Tour of NI will celebrate some of our venues and artists via YouTube as we hope for a safe return to live music in the coming months. The tour began on May 10th at The Oh Yeah Centre and will complete at The Rostrevor Inn on May 14th.

Thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, this virtual tour has been specially recorded in five venues around NI.  The series will be broadcast on the Oh Yeah YouTube channel and will kick off on May 10th at the Oh Yeah Music Centre. The tour will then virtually weave its way to the Nerve Centre, Derry (11th), the Cornstore, Draperstown (home to Glasgowbury, (12th), Blakes of The Hollow in Enniskillen (13th) and finish up at The Rostervor Inn (14th). 

Fourteen artists from a variety of genres and musicals backgrounds will provide stunning performances. They include Dana Masters, Gemma Bradley, Susie Blue, The Wood Burning Savages, Catherine McGrath, Invaderband, Our Krypton Son, Casual Riots, Enola Gay, Justine Gormley, The Organauts, Bernadette Morris, Laytha and Matt McGinn.

The Virtual Tour NI, which was recorded and produced by Mike Edgar production, kicks off on May 10th on Oh Yeah YouTube Channel. Subscribe for updates and reminders.  Subscribe to Oh Yeah YouTube here and check out the promo video here

ITMA: The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA), has announced a series of individual live interviews and Q&A sessions with 'Drawing from the Well' featuring artists, Steve Cooney (2 June) and Aoife Ní Bhriain (30 June). Members of the public are invited to meet and chat with the artists about their work through these free events taking place on Zoom and streamed live on the ITMA and DCL Facebook Pages.  'Drawing from the Well' is an online monthly ITMA series which connects artists with archival materials to inspire new art. To date, nine videos, podcasts and blogs have been created by leading traditional musicians, singers, and dancers, including Louise Mulcahy, Martin Hayes, Edwina Guckian and Cormac Begley. All episodes are free to view online at

Nerve Centre: Beginning with the signing of the Ulster Covenant in 1912 and ending with civil war and the partition of the island in 1922, Ireland was engulfed in a period of tumultuous change and great social upheaval. 100 years later, a Decade Of Centenaries is unfolding which allows us to look back, to remember and to commemorate.  The Creative Centenaries project, led by the Nerve Centre, brings together information and resources about the Decade of Centenaries and the work of Northern Ireland's creative sector in commemorating these events. From digital storytelling to educational resources to a sharing of knowledge and expertise, Creative Centenaries brings a fresh approach to the study and memory of this defining period.  For more information please visit

Dumbworld: present Fatal System Error, an interactive web-based opera experience created as part of The Royal Opera’s newly-commissioned experimental experiences, 8-bit.  In Fatal System Error, participate in a digital deletion following the last moments of an operatic Artificial Intelligence, its life flashing before its eyes. Featuring a new composition by Brian Irvine performed by Jette Parker Young Artist Alexandra Lowe and members of the Orchestra of the ROH.  Watch the trailer at

8bit – eight short ‘bits’ of digital opera – brings together some of the most innovative contemporary artists in five short films, two audio performances and a web browser experiment, all of which can be enjoyed from your own home. Expect well-loved repertory in ways you have never experienced before, as well as world premieres of new short works.  The 8bit experience is available to watch from now on the Royal Opera House's social media channels: YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and

Phil Taggart: ChillDaBeats is the brand new show from NI DJ, Phil Taggart.  Every week he brings you a soft focus selection of the best alternative chill sounds along with the biggest guests picking some brain soothers in the Soul Food Selection.  ChillDaBeats goes live every Sunday.  Listen on Spotify at  This podcast series is supported by emergency funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Department for Communities.

Tommy Sands and Artsawonder:  In this new online film series, legendary musician, Tommy Sands, films, sings, listens and learns from a singing five times world champion drum major Alan McBride, two young women, Jenna Stevenson and Wendy Graham Hanna, who initiate and drive an Arts hub shop, a rhythmic drum weaver  rhythmic drum weaver Damien McKeown and a young woman Bronagh Kelly who lovingly echoes the poetry of her mother.  To watch visit

Panarts: present PANARTS BELFAST SONGWRITERS™ SERIES,8pm & 9pm virtual concerts every Saturday night.  With music venues closed because of Covid, local charity Panarts plan to keep music alive every Saturday night on their website, Facebook and YouTube channel. Starting 8pm Saturday 24th April, a new series of online thirty-minute concerts will feature some of Northern Ireland’s finest songwriters. Almost forty writers have agreed to perform their original songs In Concert, as part of the PANARTS BELFAST SONGWRITERS™ SERIES and the free shows will feature a wide range of musical styles filmed live. You can follow the free series through the website or on Facebook and YouTube at Panarts Belfast Songwriters.

Portico of Ards: presents a series of live concerts this May.  Livestream concerts coming up in the next few weeks feature, a concert from the alternative traditional music performers TRÚ on Sat 8 May and an afternoon piano recital from pianist Ruth McGinley on Sun 16 May. Live streams are available to ticket holders for one week following the live broadcast. For more information visit

Belfast Tradfest: presents Traditional Music Postcards from Belfast.  Follow Belfast TradFest social channels to catch some local legends describe their traditional music journey in Belfast and perform a tune or two that is significant to their journey.  Featuring Harry Bradley, Úna Monaghan, Francis McIlduff, Caoimhe Ní Cathail, Martin & Christine Dowling, Willie Hill, Conor Caldwell and Méabh Meir. Follow This project was made possible with funding from Arts Council NI Organisations Emergency Programme.

Ulster Orchestra: music and concerts to enjoy include:
Mozart’s Jupiter:
  This is a concert packed full of compositional fireworks and innovative creativity, featuring Principal Clarinet Francesco Paolo Scola as soloist.  The programme of music includes:

Respighi Gli Uccelli (The Birds)
Marcello Bonanno in quella parte del libro della mia memoria (‘In that part of the book of my memory’)
Mozart Symphony No.41 Jupiter

Conductor Michael Collins
Clarinet Francesco Paolo Scola
The performance premiered online on Friday 27th April at 7:30pm and is available for streaming for 30 days after the live event.  Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased at

Siegfried and Schubert: Irish conductor Robert Houlihan leads the Ulster Orchestra in a programme that starts in one of orchestral music’s most personal moments, but which wakes up to finish in bustling Schubertian style! The programme of music includes

Wagner Siegfried Idyll
Dobrinka Tabakova Fantasy Homage to Schubert
Schubert Symphony No.3

Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased at

Fanfare for Spring! Celebrate Spring with this lovely concert, featuring Orchestra Leader Tamás Kocsis as soloist.  The programme of music include:

Stravinsky Dumbarton Oaks
Mozart Concerto No.5 for Violin Turkish
Haydn Symphony No. 85 La Reine

Esteemed Irish Conductor Sinead Hayes makes a welcome return to the Ulster Orchestra for this beautiful programme.  This concert is now available to enjoy online.  Tickets cost £10 and are available at

Scott’s Jazz Club: ‘Scott's jazz club bites online' if offering a spring themed weekly series.   Scott will be performing spring themed jazz piano pieces to help us throw away the winter blues and lift our spirits with the spring weather.  Tune in at

Outside The Box: is a new arts and music magazine show which showcases talent from Northern Ireland to the world. It premieres on YouTube at 7pm every Thursday where it remains for watch afterwards and is presented by Ibe Sesay.  All shows can be viewed at OutsideTheBox - YouTube

Armagh Pipers: the Armagh Pipers marked its 55th anniversary with a concert which remains on their website to view for a few weeks to view and enjoy.  Performers include their pupils, teachers and parents who have videoed solo and group performances of music, song and dance.   This will be a very much cross-generational concert with performers of all ages from the youngest at six years of age up to the oldest at 81 years of age! Visit

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: presents Music Corner, the best of traditional music with great traditional musicians which is streamed live on their Facebook page every Saturday.  Visit

Open House: presents The Court House Sessions featuring music and words by local artists.  The recorded sessions can be viewed now on their website. Some of the upcoming artists include Moyra Donaldson, Colin Bateman, AEON, The Darkling Air, King Cedar and Ken Haddock. To view the recorded sessions visit



Northern Ireland Mental Health Festival: NI Mental Health Arts Festival sparks inspiring and challenging conversations about mental health issues, fighting stigma and promoting wellbeing via active creativity.  This year’s festival will run from 10th-16th May 2021 (to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week) with a  programme of varied, vivid arts events that aim to create a platform for high-quality artwork that deals compassionately and intelligently with mental health.  As a response to the call for a Loneliness Strategy in Northern Ireland, this year’s festival will include a specially commissioned publication on the theme of 'Loneliness' which will link to artworks, soundscapes and dance pieces on the NIMHAF website.  Visit for further details

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: is welcome the coming of the season of Bealtaine with plenty of virtual events and entertainment. They will celebrate the indigenous festival and welcome the season’s growth and fertility with a varied and creative programme including, ‘Submerged in Echoes’ by Emma Berkery, their artist in residence’s new exhibition, music sessions, reading circles, Bealtaine concert with a host of fantastic musicians, thematic activity resources for young people along with youth art tutorials and more.  Visit

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival:  Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival unveils the first acts for their September festival.  This year’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival has moved from its traditional slot in May to 2nd-12th  September and has unveiled a hosts of new artists set to perform across a range of venues.

A Marquee in Writer’s Square will host the remarkable chanteuse Camille O’Sullivan singing the songs of Nick Cave and festival hell-raisers King Kong Company.  Bell X! will perform a special show in St Anne’s Cathedral with Dowry String and the Black Box will host folk legend Luka Bloom and Americana from The Handsome Family.

A full programme of Music, Theatre, Comedy, Theatre, Literature and Film will be announced in the coming weeks and stringent safety measures will be in place for what organisers hope will be one of the first major celebrations of the arts after sustained periods of lockdown.  Visit

EastSide Arts Festival: EastSide Arts Festival 2021 will take place 5th–15th August.
The theme this year is ‘connection’ and the festival is very much looking forward to connecting with their audiences at a number of in-person and online events in August (in line with government guidance).  Keep up to date at

Féile an Phobail: Ireland’s biggest community arts festival returns for its 33rd year from 5th-15th August 2021.  Programme details are still in planning but visit for details as they are released and watch the video promo at



The MAC: has launched their new Watch and Listen webpage, where you’re always guaranteed the 'best seat in the house' to enjoy MAC shows, audio plays, talks, films and more, whether you’re at home or on-the-go! The first project to be showcased is their new series of audio plays called On The Street Where We Live.

By evolving to face down the challenge of lockdown, The MAC turned their Downstairs Theatre space into a state of the art Audio Lab where they recorded all sorts of good stuff, the first being a series of eight audio plays, written by eight local playwrights, starring nineteen local actors and produced by a team of talented local creatives.
On The Street Where We Live explores love, tragedy and redemption; hope, compassion and forgiveness. It’s funny and upbeat; tragic and heart-wrenching. It’s about real people leading unreal lives in Belfast during the Covid-19 lockdown. It’s about the times we’re living through. It’s about the streets we’re living on.  All eight of the 10 minute long episodes are now available to enjoy for free at

The Strand Arts Centre: This week Strand Arts Centre and Beyond Skin are showcasing an original piece of work co-created online across multiple countries, cultures and locations. 'You must like me (to dust return)' is a song written and performed by Kieron Black featuring musicians in Belfast, Choma in Zambia and Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.

Funded by the Arts Council, this music project has been led and developed by Kieron Black and Ziyi Zheng – a musician from Boading City, China studying an MA in Arts Management at Queen's University and also on placement with Beyond Skin. The music collaboration idea developed out of a Year of the Ox Chinese Culture PeaceIV project where Kieron and Ziyi met. The other musicians involved are connected through Beyond Skin's intercultural and international programmes.  Find out more at

Seamus Heaney HomePlace: On Friday 21st May, Seamus Heaney HomePlace, in conjunction with University College Cork, is delighted to host a screening of The Great Book of Ireland.  This extraordinary 278-page single volume vellum manuscript contains the original work of 121 artists, 144 poets, and 9 composers. It includes poems by Seamus Heaney, and by one Michael D. Higgins, current President of Ireland, who was a poet in his late forties.  Commissioned by University College Cork (UCC) and directed by Alan Gilsenan, The Great Book of Ireland documentary tells the story of the book and its original conception in 1989 to help fund the capital plans for two support organisations for artists and writers.  Following the screening of the documentary, Crónán Ó Doibhlin, Head of Research Collections at UCC will host a pre-recorded panel discussion featuring the documentary director Alan Gilsenan, poet Theo Dorgan and the artist Rita Duffy to discuss this fascinating project.  To purchase tickets visit Ticketsolve - Seamus Heaney Home

Lyric Theatre: present SIGNED VERSIONS of Splendid Isolation Lockdown Dramas.  Last Summer the Lyric partnered with BBC NI, & BBC Arts, supported by ACNI on a new exciting collaboration – Splendid Isolation: Lockdown Drama – a collection of five minute theatrical pieces exploring life in lockdown.  They recently received funding from the Department for Communities to provide signed versions of the show which are available now.

Filmed on location in accordance with social distancing guidelines over several weeks, the pieces explored the positive and negative aspects of social isolation and lockdown. The project was part of a wider national collaboration between BBC Arts, theatres and Arts Councils in each nation during a challenging time for the creative sector.  Each short film was broadcast on BBC Two Northern Ireland and afterwards on the BBC iPlayer where they are still available to watch until June.

Splendid Isolation went on to be nominated for an award by the Royal Television Society, of which we are all extremely proud.  Watch the signed versions at

Lyric Theatre and Irish Arts Center New York: present, In the Pause Between Now and Next, a filmed monologue written by Jan Carson and presented in partnership with the Irish Arts Center, New York as part of their Grásta initiative. Directed by Rhiann Jeffrey, performed by Nicky Harley, and filmed and edited by Ross McClean.  Visit for details of how to watch

SADIE at the Lyric:  The Lyric Theatre is partnering with the BBC for another exciting initiative – SADIE.  Available to watch now on BBC iPlayer at

Sadie is presented as part of BBC Lights Up; a major festival of UK theatre adapted for TV and radio at a time when theatres throughout the UK are closed. Continuing its Culture in Quarantine initiative – bringing arts and culture into the nation’s homes – BBC Arts has partnered with theatres across the country to produce this unprecedented season of 18 plays for audiences at home.

The international premiere of an unflinching new play from David Ireland centres on a Belfast woman reflecting on her turbulent life amidst the troubled past. Sharp-tongued cleaner, Sadie, develops an intense, dysfunctional yet passionate relationship with a much younger man triggering a psychological showdown with the remnant demons of her past. She confronts these ghosts, calling out their contribution to the path life took her down. Expect challenging scenes through painful and harrowing subjects and shocking consequences.

Directed for stage and screen by Conleth Hill, Sadie is the first production on the main stage of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, for a full year due to Covid-19 lockdown. The cast rehearsed in isolation, following Government guidelines, and features award-winning actress Abigail McGibbon, David Pearse, Patrick Jenkins, Santino Smith and Andrea Irvine. It was filmed for television without an audience, giving viewers at home an exclusive first look at David Ireland’s new work.

Sadie is a Lyric Theatre Production in association with Field Day Theatre Company and is broadcast for BBC Arts’ Lights Up festival as part of Culture in Quarantine.

Please note, this production contains strong language throughout and scenes that some viewers may find disturbing.  Visit

Belfast Book Festival: Crescent Arts Centre is excited to reveal the dates for the Belfast Book Festival 2021! The 11th Festival will be a digital celebration of books and will run from the 10th - 13th June.  For updates on programming visit

Accidental Theatre: presents the following events,

Stray Friday 14th May 7.30pm.  Join us this May for Stray, a delightfully surreal comedy by Cathal J Ferris about identity and escapism!

Guy is a timid and over cautious character who has just moved to the big city, finding shelter in the local public house from a thunderstorm and takes each of the characters he meets on a new adventure.  We are plunged into a land full of Guy’s greatest stories, some truth most fantasy, as he confronts his fears and finds the courage he didn’t know he possessed.  Full of quirky surrealism, escapism and reflections on identity and mental health, this show is both hilarious and moving in equal measure!  Join in on the 14th of May for a brilliant piece of physical storytelling:

The Bob Dylan Birthday Bash, Monday 24th May on demand.  The Bob Dylan Birthday Bash is coming to Accidental!

May 24th sees the coming together of three of Northern Ireland's finest songwriters, and arguably biggest Bob Dylan fans, to celebrate the 80th Birthday of this legendary artist.  Join Anthony Toner, Ben Glover & Matt McGinn for a one-off live recorded event where they will be reimagining their own personal favourites from the Bob Dylan songbook, sharing stories about the man himself and enjoying whatever spontaneous banter that may materialise between the three long-time friends  Get your tickets now for this on-demand event:



EastSide Arts: check out EastSide Arts’ YouTube channel which includes lots of videos of their past work, event launches and festivals.  They have also been uploading lots of our recent online event recordings to the channel and these range from the series of EastSide Greenways webinars to events that took place during C.S. Lewis Festival.  Visit

Friendship Packs- I Got You Dolly, Love Cher.  EastSide Arts has created the ‘Friendship Pack’. The Friendship Pack is free and is all about bringing you together with a loved one through the power of music and laughter.  It’s free, dementia-friendly and features the following goodies:

  • The DVD of ‘I Got You Dolly, Love Cher’**
  • An uplifting quote card
  • Tea and biscuits for two people


EastSide Arts has 500 packs to give away so there’s plenty to go around!  If you, or someone you know, would like a creative ‘pick-me-up’ then get in touch to reserve your Friendship Pack by emailing calling Aimee on 07526003325 or emailing

** ‘I Got You Dolly, Love Cher’ is an entertaining musical comedy featuring some of Dolly and Cher’s greatest hits. This show will warm your heart, make you smile and have you dancing and singing along from your sofa.

EastSide Learning's Covid Year: EastSide Learning team has been sharing a number of highlights from the past year and how they adapted their work during the pandemic on the EastSide Learning Facebook page, these include:

  • Early years and family support packs
  • STEM summer school
  • Bedrock reading programme
  • Online training-social and emotional wellbeing
  • Supporting teachers and classroom assistants

You can view all the updates on their Facebook page. 

Eastside also present their Moments of Joy Exhibition which is now on display at Holywood Arches (442-446 Newtownards Road). For this exhibition, local people donated objects that represented a moment of joy they have experienced since March 2020. They hope that by sharing these, you will be inspired to find the things that help when circumstances are challenging.

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: a heritage project celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, the pioneering arts and cultural Irish language centre situated in the heart of the Gaeltacht Quarter on Falls Road in Belfast, will be officially launched online on 6th May 2021 at 8pm. Thanks to support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, a special programme of events has been created, including an oral history project, a heritage website, a photographic exhibition, a lecture series, educational and art activities for children, an interactive exhibition and a concert.  A photographic exhibition,’30 Years A-Growing, will be live on their new heritage website from 6th May 2021, with pictures from our own archive, that of Belfast Media Group and private collections.

Duncairn: the Duncairn arts centre in north Belfast has launched their latest programme of workshops and classes, including some that are free for families.  If you've ever wanted to learn how to play the traditional Celtic harp or make beautiful pictures using felt, now's your chance as the Duncairn releases details of their latest programme of participatory workshops and classes.  Rolling out over May and June, the Duncairn participatory programme offers a wide range of creative activities, catering for all levels, from beginner to advanced. As they await a date for re-opening, all classes will be delivered via Zoom so you can enjoy them from the comfort of your own home.  Visit

The Duncairn is offering a FREE FAMILY ZOOM of The University of Wonder and Imagination, a fun, interactive theatre experience, suitable for all the family to enjoy via Zoom! In this unique experience, Cahoots NI broadcast from an extensive purpose-built set where magic and illusion have no boundaries, bringing a fun filled theatre experience directly to you.

Saturday 22nd & 23rd May - Various showtimes available
Age Recommendation: Children age 7+ and their families.  Please register at

Make sure to watch back the Ring of Gullion Sessions on their Facebook page.  The Ring of Gullion Sessions was a recent showcase of the many wonderful artists, poets, musicians and historians that live in the area surrounding Slieve Gullion in South Armagh.  It was filmed in the beautiful Bluebell Lane Glamping Site. All episodes are available to watch at

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).

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



Source Issue 104 ‘Legacy’ (Spring 2021): will launch their next edition on Thursday 13th May 7pm GMT via Zoom, and it is free for all to attend.  Featuring live interviews & Q&A with photographer Ori Gersht and writer Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald who has been looking at the trend for colourising old photographs and what is omitted in the process. Hosted by Editor Richard West. There will be opportunities for Q&A at the end. In partnership with Gallery of Photography Ireland.   Anyone can find out more & register to attend at this link:

R-Space: presents, Re: New Wallace Collection #4, tthrough a window at R-Space Gallery from 17 April - 14 May 2021 and online via R-Space social media channels and their website.

Following the success of the Re: New Wallace Collection exhibitions since 2018, R-Space will deliver the fourth in a series of collaborative cultural projects involving a Northern Irish artist/maker and the Wallace Collection in London, thus celebrating his historical/cultural connection with Co. Antrim and Lisburn in particular. Re: New Wallace #4 will link the Wallace Collection with the historical past of the Hertford family and their strong links with Lisburn where Sir Richard Wallace was the local MP, benefactor and land-owner.

R-Space’s selected artist this year is Matthew Wilson, an artist living and working in Northern Ireland. A recent graduate of Belfast School of Art, he has previously been included in exhibitions such as the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2018, London and the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts Annual Exhibition 2019, Belfast. In 2019, he was granted a scholarship to attend the New York Academy of Art Summer Residency. He has worked on a number of commissioned projects, both with institutions such as Ulster University and Queens University and within the local community.  For more details visit

aemi online: is an ongoing virtual exhibition space for new and existing moving image work by Irish and Ireland-based artists.   Each work showcases on the platform will screen for a fixed duration and will be accompanied by a commissioned introductory text that will remain accessible after the film has drawn to a close.  Previous exhibitions and upcoming works will be listed at

CCA: presents, URGENCIES (2021), opens offsite across Derry~Londonderry and online.

It is the second iteration of CCA Derry~Londonderry’s biennial group exhibition. The artwork selected for the exhibition comes from an open call that seeks to take the temperature of what emerging artists working today with a connection to our region consider to be urgent.

Two key themes of identity and environment thread throughout the off-site exhibition as well as many other topics encompassing both deeply personal experiences and global political events. The artists explore questions of care and labour (Siobhán Kelly), mental health (Brian Farrell, Lucie McLaughlin), borders, technology and nature (Bryony Dunne, Christopher Steenson), home and self-expression (Kathryn Graham, Michael Hanna, Patrick Hickey), pollution and the effects of global crises (Martin Boyle, Edy Fung) and the role of the artist and communication (Frank Wasser).

URGENCIES (2021) was selected by artist Locky Morris and CCA Director Catherine Hemelryk and features new and recent work ranging in media from print, film, photography, sound, painting, manifestations online and in daily life.

URGENCIES (2021) would usually be held within CCA’s galleries at 10–12 Artillery Street, however due to the ongoing pandemic, the project is taking place offsite and online. Artworks are visible across our city through the windows of landmark buildings, commercial spaces, homes and arts organisations also currently closed to the public.  Visit the interactive map for locations here URGENCIES (2021) - Google My Maps

Available online now is: Tricks of the Trade by Jan McCullough.  Explore the gallery space and read Instructions on the Assembly of Workspace, a publication made in collaboration with writer, Wendy Erskine.  To see the show visit

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: present an online art exhibition, Submerged in Echoes, by Emma Berkery.  Associate artist with Cultúrlann for the last number of years, Emma presents an exhibition of new work developed and created in An Chultúrlann itself. Emersed within the life and language of the building, the artist produced works in a variety of media reflecting her experiences during this time. Works include abstract paintings, and text based screen prints. Challenging both artist and viewer, many of the paintings are produced with a limited palette and suggest both physical and psychological spaces.  Visit

VOID: Void has launched its online viewing rooms - bringing their exhibitions programme to your screen so that you can enjoy the artworks they present despite COVID-19 restrictions or your own location. Follow the link to have a look around our current exhibition and see a selection of works from each artist.  Find the link here

Void’s Guardians of Time Lost Film Screenings: to coincide with Before the Cypress Broke exhibition, Jowe Harfouche has selected 4 films that will be available over the course of the exhibition. 

The next two films that will be screened on Void's website are Birds of September (2013), Sarah Francis on the 8th of May and A Feeling Greater Than Love (2017), Mary Jirmanus Saba on the 22nd of May. Both screenings are free but booking is essential in order to receive the private viewing link - book via the links below. A link will be sent 30 minutes prior to the screening of the films.  Book on the links below.

Birds of September (2013)

A Feeling Greater Than Love (2017)

Art Packs – Void’s Art Packs have been overwhelmingly popular and they are delighted to announce the latest activity - create your own pencil case! As usual, it is first come first serve so email now to reserve your pack.

Their next art pack takes inspiration from David Beattie’s Offsites project Slowtime. In your Expand the Image pack, you will receive 2 photographs taken by the River Foyle along with an instruction leaflet that will give a little guidance in how to approach the activity. Adults and kids alike can enjoy it! To order yours, please email

ArtisAnn: present Intimacies, an exhibition by Matthew Smyth at the ArtisAnn Gallery, 70 Bloomfield Avenue, Belfast from 5th - 29th May.

Belfast born Matthew Smyth graduated in 2020 with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine art from De Montfort University in Leicester.  While still an undergraduate he featured in the ArtisAnn Gallery Emerging Artists Show and had an artwork purchased for the permanent Government Collection of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.  The paintings in this exhibition show his portrayal of the intimacies of human form.

All artworks are available to buy, and can be delivered free of charge.  You can also buy art from this exhibition through the Arts Council supported, Own Art scheme, which gives you an interest-free loan over 10 months (and you still get to take the art home immediately the exhibition ends).  Visit

Causeway Coast and Glens:  An exhibition featuring ‘100 Famous Sons and Daughters of the Causeway Coast and Glens’ is now available to view online.

The list, selected from public nominations, is part of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s NI 100 programme marking the centenary of Northern Ireland.

Council’s NI 100 Working Group, supported by local historians, shortlisted 100 people who were born or lived within the Borough, and whose achievements over the last century are worthy of recognition.  The exhibition helps to tell a story about the people of the Borough while highlighting their contribution to the first 100 years of Northern Ireland.

For more information about Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s NI 100 programme visit

Catalyst Arts: for more details of upcoming talks and events. 

Craft NI: Visit for updates.

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 presents, 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 a series of fun workshops online which can be accessed at

Belfast Print Workshop: present a series of workshops as part of Belfast Learning City's Festival of Learning.  In 2020 Belfast City's Festival of Learning did not go ahead as planned, and instead took the form of an online festival. Five Belfast Print Workshop artists, Danielle, Helen, Josephine, Jonathan and Coby have been hard at work and prepared online workshops for you to try at home.

They have posted these projects on our social media channels during January and March 2021, and they remain available for you whenever you feel the urge to print at home! Some equipment or materials may be necessary for part of the work demonstrated, we've included that information whenever possible.  Check out the projects below:


Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre:  is hosting a powerful new virtual exhibition until 30th May charting global progress on the journey to realising children’s rights.  ‘Arpillera Voices for #ChildrensRights’ is a collaboration between Conflict Textiles, Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre and Fundació Ateneu Sant Roc and builds on previous collaborations over the past 10 years.  The Arpillera Voices for #Childrens Rights exhibition will run online at It’s also part of the live archive of Conflict Textiles where it will be available to view at


Comments (0)

Add Your Comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.