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What’s on in the Arts online

Wednesday 19th 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.

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Kabosh: Previously untold stories of women as a tool of war are the subject of ‘The Shedding of Skin’, the new play from Kabosh which will have four online screenings from Tuesday 15 - Friday 18 June.

Written by Vittoria Cafolla and directed by Paula McFetridge, ‘The Shedding of Skin’ was created in response to the work of Ulster University Drama lecturer Dr Lisa Fitzpatrick, who has been researching sexual violence in conflict for many years.  Dr Fitzpatrick wanted to explore how her research material could be developed into a creative project and shared with a broad range of audiences, humanising victims and redressing the imbalance of stories from conflict being told with a predominantly male perspective. 

Kabosh will provide a list of resources and further information which will enable audience members to take action about the issues raised in ‘The Shedding of Skin’, whether by raising awareness or by supporting one of the charities which works in this field.

The cast of ‘The Shedding of Skin’ features Vicky Allen as Tereza, Louise Mathews as Ruth, Catriona McFeely as Sinéad and Shannen McNeice as Sam.  The play will be filmed at the Brian Friel Studio, Queen’s University, Belfast and screened online over four days from Tuesday 15 - Friday 18 June, supported by a range of themed panel discussions exploring issues raised by the production.
*‘The Shedding of Skin’ includes sensitive content and is recommended for people aged 16 years and over.*

Tickets for ‘The Shedding of Skin’ are £5 per person and can be booked now via

Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre: is presenting a new piece of work The Cairn on the 28-30 May at Pollnagollum Caves Boho Co. Fermanagh.  The work is a solo performance based around the building of a 6 foot stone Cairn whilst recalling the names and circumstances of people (63) who were killed in or from Fermanagh and its hinterland between August 1920 -August 1921.  For more information visit

Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company: This summer Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company launch their Digital Programme, a series of online bite-sized courses, each designed to encourage the exploration of creativity in movement, in the comfort of your own home. The courses are aimed at different age groups and are all led by the highly experienced artist-teachers of the Echo Echo Ensemble. Each course consists of 8 easy to follow videos of roughly 15-20 minutes long which include a variety of playful warm ups and exercises, some technical instruction and much guidance for the development Visit to find out more and register. Once you have completed the sign-up form you will receive links for the programmes directly to your email address and it’s all completely free of charge!

Declan McConaghy Show: Newry based former BBC broadcaster, Declan McConaghy has created a new series of short films where he talks in-depth to creatives from Newry and the surrounding area who have made a contribution to theatre, music, dance and the performing arts in general.

The latest conversation is with Newry born and Boston based dancer, director and choreographer, Sean Murphy.  Sean’s story is incredible and his journey in dance and movement has taken him from working as a delivery boy, to the Newry stage and onto the stages of London, New York and Boston.  It is a story with highs and lows, of being inspired and being inspirational.

Sean took his first steps in dance at the age of 14 in the physics lab of the Sacred Heart School in Newry. He always kept searching out more learning and challenges.  He studied at Trinity Laban Conservatoire before taking a high risk move, with an unexpected welcome, to New York to study with Alwin Nikolais.  Sean is now a teacher and choreographer at the Boston Conservatory.  The view the films visit Facebook,  and YouTube,

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: Get creative with Strand Arts Centre this summer!

Strand Arts Centre is running a summer programme of creative workshops as a result of funding from the generous people at the Community Foundation.  With sessions for children and families, and for adults, there is definitely something for everyone.  A wide range of activities will be on offer, from foraging and hula hoop, to creative writing, photography, paper-cutting, yarn-bombing and even stand-up comedy!

All the sessions will be suitable for beginners, and are designed to encourage us all to emerge from lockdown safely, and creatively, and ready for some fun.  Sessions will take place throughout the summer, at a variety of times during the week. All relevant Covid regulations will be adhered to.

Find out more about the classes here:

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

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

Accidental Theatre: presents the following events,

Saturday 22nd May 7pm - Robb Murphy- Yarn Bites
This month singer/songwriter Robb is joined by two members of his band and also special guest Ben Nelson. Come join in virtually for live performances and chat as we find out what Ben has been getting up to during lockdown, his songwriting process, and future plans. Get tickets here:

Sunday 23rd May 8pm- The Return of RUM
Deirdre and Christine met in 2017 at Accidental and bonded over their love of creepy knee movements and DM's.Together they formed Belfast's first female Two-prov group Rum DMC. They love big characters and making each other laugh. Tickets at

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:



Panarts: This Saturday 22nd May, Panarts Charity are celebrating 20 years since the pilot run of their Song Writing Convention and Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival. To help them celebrate, they are hosting four premieres of 30-minute concerts on their website and YouTube Channel.  Saturday’s celebration will feature two young singer-songwriters, Cora Kelly and Ben Cutler and Americana roots music from NJ McLean and Cup O’Joe. The free virtual concerts are part of the regular Saturday night Panarts Belfast Songwriters Series. 

All the songwriters featured in the series are filming 30-minute live concerts and Saturday’s virtual events will include young contemporary singer-songwriters and Americana and Bluegrass writers. Shows Premiere at 8pm and 9pm at and audiences can subscribe for free to discover new music from Northern Ireland. 

Ulster Orchestra: music and concerts to enjoy include:

Imagined Worlds, 28th May 2021, 7:30pm live stream

Programme of music:

Rautavaara Lintukoto (‘Isle of Bliss’)
Nielsen Little Suite for Strings
Larsson Trombone Concertino
Sibelius The Tempest Suite No. 2

Conductor Robert Houlihan
Trombone Neil Gallie

This concert will last approximately one hour and will be available for streaming for 30 days after the event.  Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased at

A Morning in May – available to stream now

Programme of music:

Mendelssohn Overture: Midsummer Night’s Dream
Respighi Il Tramonto (‘The Sunset’)
Haydn Symphony No. 6 Le Matin

Conductor David Brophy
Mezzo Soprano Sarah Richmond

Conductor David Brophy makes a welcome return to the Ulster Orchestra for a concert which starts at dusk in an Athenian forest, traces a Romantic sunset and ends with the start of a brand new musical day!  Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased at

Mozart’s Jupiter – available to steam now

This is a concert packed full of compositional fireworks and innovative creativity, featuring Principal Clarinet Francesco Paolo Scola as soloist. 

Programme of music:

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

Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased at

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: will 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.

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 on their YouTube channel,

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

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

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.

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



Belfast Book Festival:  Belfast Book Festival makes a welcome return from 10 - 13 June with an online programme of live events for book lovers, covering everything from love and politics to Cinderella as a zombie!

Presented by the Crescent Arts Centre, highlights of the festival include Annie Macmanus (BBC Radio 1) unveiling her debut novel ‘Mother, Mother’ which is set in Belfast; Ian McElhinney (‘Derry Girls’) and literary biographer Roy Foster exploring the work of Seamus Heaney; Glenn Patterson (‘The Northern Bank Job’) in conversation with author Conor O’Callaghan; Colm Tóibín (‘Brooklyn’), reading from ‘Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction’ and a special recorded performance from the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics, Lemn Sissay. 

For up and coming writers and poets, there will be discussions with industry professionals from the worlds of poetry, prose and publishing about how to get your work seen and heard, and the lucky winners of the Mairtín Crawford Awards for Poetry and Short Story 2021 will also be announced.

Multi-award winning author and Belfast Book Festival patron Lucy Caldwell returns with short stories of love, loss and exile in her new collection, ‘Intimacies’, in the company of fellow author Louise Kennedy (‘The End of the World is a Cul de Sac’) and actor and journalist Mira Sethi (‘Are You Enjoying’). 

In Northern Ireland’s centenary year and in a turbulent time for unionism, two of our most respected political journalists - Susan McKay and Amanda Ferguson - come together to discuss Susan’s new book, ‘Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground’.  Featuring over 100 new interviews with people including Toni Ogle, Dawn Purvis and Sammy Wilson, the book covers a range of social justice issues and campaigns, particularly the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

There are events for younger audiences too, with children’s author and poet Joseph Coelho reading from his deliciously creepy take on Cinderella - ‘Zombierella’ - while the team from Young Adult literary journal ‘Paper Lanterns’ will discuss ‘Writing the Teen Voice’.

For all of this plus much more, view the full Belfast Book Festival programme details and book tickets - priced either £3 or free at

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: welcomes 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



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



Please note visual art galleries are permitted to open to the public in from 24th May 2021, please check galleries websites for opening times as not all galleries may open from 24th May.

Belfast Exposed: reopens on 3rd June with three showstopper exhibitions below.

Gallery 1: AEON – Marcel Rickli
Gallery 2: A LIGHTNESS OF TOUCH – MFA Photography Graduates

After being closed for most of last year, Belfast Exposed welcomes the public back on 3rd June with a visual feast of three showstopping exhibitions that promise to both excite and challenge audiences. The three exhibitions – Aeon, A Lightness of Touch and Street View: Yan Wang Preston - celebrate both international and local artists. Rickli’s and Preston’s work are underpinned by a concern and reverence for the environment and affirms Belfast Exposed’s commitment to show work that focuses on, and highlights, environment issues. Belfast Exposed, despite the covid-19 pandemic and multiple lockdowns, has spent the last year supporting and promoting new talent and the exhibition ‘A Lightness of Touch’ is a continuation of that commitment and essential work for the development of the photographic and art infrastructure of Northern Ireland.  For further details visit

Void:  is reopening from 24th May and has a new location at 10 Waterloo Place, Derry-Londonderry.  The exhibition on show is outlined below.

Before the Cypress Broke now until 5 June 2021
Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm and Monday 24th and 31st May

Ali Cherri I Ayla Hibri I Charbel Haber I Daniele Genadry I Fiona Ones I Gregory Buchakjian & Valérie Cachard I Hussein Nassereddine I Jacques Vartabedian I Omar Khouri I Salah Missi I Sandrine Pelletier I Sirine Fattouh & Stéphanie Dadour I Ziad Antar

Void is delighted to partner with the Beirut Art Residency (BAR) on the exhibition Before the Cypress Broke, a fundraising exhibition that was initiated in response to the recent catastrophic events that have taken place in Beirut, Lebanon.

How to book:

Visitors can attend the gallery space without booking in advance - with the exception of groups of more than 6 attendees. They will monitor attendance to ensure that they maintain a safe number of visitors at all times. If you would like to book in for your group or if you would prefer to arrange a private visit please do not hesitate to contact Void at or phone 028 7130 8080.

Void will reopen on Monday 24th May and Monday 31st to facilitate visitors. Their regular opening hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm.  For more about the exhibition and to visit our viewing rooms please go to

R-Space: presents, Materials Messages and Meaning 9 - Remember
29 May to 25 June 2021, 11am - 5pm Tuesday to Saturday - Free Admission
Opening Reception 29 May 2021 from 2pm

Participating artists:
Hannah Magill - Niamh Clarke - Patrick Colhoun - Rita Duffy - Susan Hughes - Zara Lyness
Six artists based in Northern Ireland have been selected from an open call as part of R-Space’s Materials, Messages and Meaning series. Now in its ninth year, these exhibitions explore artists’ different approaches to materials, methods of production and messages within their work.

This year we have selected artists who have responded to the theme 'Remember'.
No booking is required but please see their website and social media for applicable Covid-19 restrictions of entry to the Gallery. Artist talks will also be streamed on their website and social media at 2pm on 29 May.  For more details visit

Golden Thread Gallery: presents,

Gallery One & Two: 'not only the earth we share' by Sol Archer with Household Belfast, (available to view for one week only, 25th - 29th May)

Project Space: 'Fionnghlas' by Paul Moore (available to view for one week only 25th - 29th May)

Coming Soon: 'Across and In-Between' by Suzanne Lacy 12th June to 14th August (this exhibition will span across the whole gallery)

No booking is required, max. 30 visitors in the gallery at any one time. Visit


In partnership with Ulster University and curated by Kim Mawhinney, Senior Curator of Art, Ulster Museum, Craft NI is delighted to present the work of the Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing Graduates of 2020. The work selected presents a range of works including functional, non-functional, figurative and abstract works across a breadth of materials, exploring a range of concepts, skills and processes.

Exhibition Dates: Monday, 17 May 2021 - Thursday, 17 June 2021
Opening Times: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm
Where: Craft NI Gallery, 115-119 Royal Avenue

Visit for updates.

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

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. 

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 five Belfast Print Workshop artists, Danielle, Helen, Josephine, Jonathan and Coby have been hard at work and prepared online workshps for you to try at home.  For full details visit  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


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