Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

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What’s On in the Arts online!

Wednesday 20th May 2020 at 12pm 0 Comments

What’s On in the Arts online! Image: What’s On in the Arts online!

As more and more artists and arts organisations from Northern Ireland go digital to connect with audiences staying at home, the Arts Council has rounded up just some of these fantastic things to do this week online!

To be included in the What’s On guide please email with details of your activity and include one photo.

Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre: in Enniskillen, will be hosting the Inside Out Festival, 22-24 May 2020, bringing a vibrant blend of performances, events, discussions and participatory activities to be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of home.  The eclectic festival programme features opportunities for the whole family to get involved in participatory activities such as ‘Dance on your Doorstep’ and a range of social/political discussions.  With appearances by Adrian Dunbar and John Kelly, alongside a showcase of new work from leading Irish performers and creators, the festival offers cultural and creative inspiration.  Visit 

Northern Ireland Opera: is delighted to announce the full line-up of classical musicians who will be involved in ‘At Home for Heroes: A Classical Thank You to the NHS and Frontline Workers’, a one-hour long online concert which will be hosted by BBC’s Sean Rafferty and  broadcast on their YouTube channel on Monday 25th May at 8 p.m featuring the below artists who have generously donated their services:

  • Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway, with Dearbhla Brosnan (piano)
  • Barry Douglas (piano)
  • Tanya Houghton (harp)
  • The Priests
  • Ruth McGinley (piano)
  • Francesca Dego (violin) & Daniele Rustioni (piano)
  • Ulster Orchestra Musicians: Tamas Kocsis & Michael Alexander (violins); Philip Walton (viola); Charles-Antoine Archambault (cello); and Chris Blake (oboe)
  • Northern Ireland Opera: Ben McAteer, Ellen Mawhinney, John Porter, Dawn Burns with David Quigley (piano)

NI Opera’s YouTube channel:

VOID: art gallery in Derry, Londonderry, is marking Creativity and Wellbeing Week and Mental Health Awareness week by offering drawing workshops from Stephanie Gaumond online at or find them on Instagram @derryvoid where their IGTV channel is full of great videos for all ages.  Also artist, Sinead Crumlish, returns this Saturday 23rd May at 11am with a salt painting workshop for all the family. Tune in to Void’s Facebook page and Instagram @derryvoid for the brand new workshop!

Strand Arts Centre: Comedy sketch trio, Those Who Can’t, is delivering a series of ‘Strand-ed at Home?’ online sessions as the Strand Arts Centre’s lockdown artists not in residence. From Zoom meetings and overzealous home parenting to creating new recipes with cupboard leftovers (how many uses are there for butter beans?), these short, sharp, satirical commentaries provide a mockumentary style response to our new ways of working and living.  Strand Arts Centre’s “Strand-ed at Home?” online sessions continue this weekend. For adults and teens, the Friday night gig at 8pm is author Jan Carson reading from her 2017 flash fiction anthology Postcard Stories. And for younger kids on Saturday at 12 noon, there is a fun paper cutting arts and crafts workshop with Siobhan McKinley. These and other videos are available on the Strand’s You Tube channel

Future Screens NI: will hosts a discussion online with award-winning writer and producer, Amanda Verlaque, recent recipient of funding from the Arts Council’s Artists Emergency Programme, on Tuesday 26th May at 12 noon.  Amanda is one of The Mac theatre’s new Hatch and Scratch artists. She has written about political hypocrisy and also homophobic hate crime, a play she is currently developing with Tinderbox Theatre Company and Outburst Queer Arts Festival.  Amanda is currently  exploring how immersive technologies complement and improve traditional film storytelling techniques to enhance audience experience.  For info and tickets visit

New Lodge Arts: has created the Boredom Buster Activity Book. The book is filled with games, creative challenges, colouring in, stories and much more and is guaranteed to keep kids entertained!   The booklet was designed by local artists and the New Lodge Arts staff team.  Download your copy here

The Burnavon Theatre: in Cookstown has a packed programme of daily activities and performances available to the public through its social media channels, Facebook – and YouTube –

Monday and Tuesday: arts and crafts activities with “how to” videos with the centre’s regular artists
Tuesday: Cookstown Youth Choir
Wednesday: The Traditional Music in Schools Programme continues to be delivered to hundreds of young musicians through the weekly Wednesday tutorials
Friday:  Pipes and Drums demonstrations
Saturday: Cookstown Folk Club sessions
Sunday: Family Fun Days featuring family-friendly shows and performances.

Big Telly presents its second run of Operation Elsewhere on the 23rd and 24th May, back by popular demand and after fantastic reviews in regional and national press. Operation Elsewhere was a sell out success last time round, with audiences and critics immersed in the fearless comedy joy of the hour long show on Zoom! Streamed live into the homes of families, friends and neighbours in Ireland, UK and internationally, Operation Elsewhere took everyone by storm with its uniquely Irish brand of myth, madness and craic!

Tickets are on sale now at

Watch the trailer

Belfast Photo Festival Instagram Residencies:

Christian Filardo (18th - 24th May 2020): Christian is a Filipino American photographer living and working in Richmond, Virginia. Filardo uses his camera to record everyday nuances, later grouping images to create narratives from the mundane, intimate, and quiet.

Dino Kuznik (25th - 31st May 2020):  Dino uses photography as a medium to immortalize scenes that are aesthetically unique, with an emphasis on color and composition. Solitude is a driving factor behind Dino's personal work. It reflects a peaceful state of mind, one only attainable after total immersion within the environment he works in.  Experienced as a journalistic photographer, retoucher and a graphic designer of 7 years, he now mostly focuses on his personal body of work and commercial project ranging from artistic portraits, automotive, travel, landscape, documentary and fashion photography.

Don’t forget that the below artists and arts organisations are still rolling out terrific online arts content for people of all ages:


Golden Thread Gallery (GTG) is offering reading groups, free family art activity sheets, Q &As with curators and online exhibitions plus more.  For further visit

The Belfast Photo Festival has been running a series of week-long Instagram Residencies with inspiring photographers. The current residency features Madeleine Morlet (11th - 17th May 2020) at

Void Gallery’s weekly exhibition tours and arts activities can be found at

Belfast Exposed Photographic Gallery daily activities can be found at

ArtisAnn art gallery has a new online exhibition which you can enjoy at home.  The show features art by well known and loved artists, such as Brian Ballard and Neil Shawcross, alongside young exciting talents such as Trina Hobson and Charlie Scott.  Visit to view.


Music from Northern Ireland on Spotify: featuring some of the best music from the region in a Spotify playlist featuring some Arts Council supported artists.  Have a listen at

The Ulster Orchestra's new digital platform features one of their players or a performance every day on the Orchestra's Facebook page

Visit their Instagram page for a series of pop-up performances

NI Opera’s weekly Opera Club details can be found at and

Musician, Matt McGinn and Cormac Neeson host a global and virtual 'In the Round' music session using Facebook Live with special guests from around the world.  Visit

Bluegrass, gypsy swing and folk family trio, Cup O’Joe, have been hosting regular gigs live from their living room in Armagh.  Visit

Join singer-songwriter, Amanda St John, live from her home on Facebook every Sunday evening from 8-9pm.

The Journal of Music hosts a weekly Digital Concert Planner


Maiden Voyage, a multi award-winning dance company in NI, wants to get everyone dancing at home!  The company has released their work and creative resources to download for use at home.Visit

Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre in Enniskillen, has a free programme of movement activities especially designed for older people as part of their Arts & Older People funding from the Arts Council. The movement sessions are available for everyone at

DU Dance: Will you accept the DU Dance Challenge?  DU Dance is putting together a series of weekly challenges to get everyone dancing at home! Follow their social media for weekly updates and share your dancing with the hashtag DUDancechallenge Visit


The Lyric Theatre the first in a new four-part series, New Speak Re-Imagined.  The five performances, which were due to take place at Lyric’s Naughton Studio, will now move online and be featured in four weekly instalments.  New Speak: Re-imagined is available to view for free from 24th April – 22nd May.  Visit

Little Red Riding Hood & the Big Bad Wolf (Online) - Fri 22 May  The Lyric Theatre have been busy rummaging through their archives for some old favourite shows and they're excited to announce another full production screening for you to enjoy with all the family, for one week only!  Available to watch for free from 22 - 29 May on the Lyric Theatre YouTube channel:

Waterside Theatre: Waterside Theatre, in Derry-Londonderry, has an online programme of classes for families, children, young people and Care Homes to help us shake off those lockdown blues.  We have lots of your favourite artists delivering workshops in dance, drama, storytelling, movement, music and visual art.  For more information on our timetable and how to join in and get creative contact


BookTrust has launched BookTrust NI HomeTime which features a new video every week from NI authors and illustrators.  From free online books, author readings, activity sheets, competitions, videos to live drawalongs, BookTrust HomeTime has been designed to keep families busy and enjoying reading.  Malachy Doyle, Andrew Whitson and Jan Carson have created content for the BookTrust NI HomeTime page, reading stories, teaching us how to draw characters and sharing ideas for keeping in touch through Postcard Stories.  Visit

Hear award-winning children’s author, Oliver Jeffers, read and

Learn to draw and access free online books with BookTrust

Verbal Arts Centre in Derry-Londonderry has launched WellRead, a free website aimed at supporting parents of children aged 8- 11 years to nurture a child’s emotional health and wellbeing through storytelling.  The WellRead website features a collection of carefully curated, new and classic, short stories by authors from all over the world.  Accompanied by a series of questions using state-of-the-art chatbot technology parents, are guided through the story to help them spark a conversation with their child.  WellRead is designed to help parents talk to their child about emotional wellbeing and for   a child to learn more about their own feelings as well as the feelings of those around them. It also allows them to explore new ways of solving problems and coping with stress.  To get started with WellRead visit

Children’s Books Ireland has launched the ImagineNation campaign bringing together leading Irish children’s authors and illustrators to create a free 24-page ImagineNation playbook available for free download to children from all over Ireland to enjoy.   The playbook has activities, puzzles, poems and short stories from some of Ireland’s best children’s writers and illustrators to delight, entertain and spark creativity.  Download your copy at

Creative Writing with Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre: Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady is connecting the local community through creativity with virtual arts activities for all ages.  All activities are free with something for everyone, including writing and illustrating short stories, making poems and reading their favourite books.  For more information to go or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Get Creative UK has online creative activities available for everyone to find a way to get creative while staying home.  There are over 280 creative activities to offer creative inspiration to people of all ages.  These free (or low-cost) activities cover almost every art form you can think of and most can be done without specialist equipment.  For info on all activities visit

Rainbow Factory is bringing colour and life into the lives of young people with an ingenious interactive website!  During the current crisis the team at Rainbow are acutely aware of the need to stay connected with young people, support them in their isolation and their anxieties.  With this in mind the Arts Team has been working extremely hard to design and develop a Virtual Rainbow Factory, so that hundreds of young people can continue their beloved performing arts training and ignite old and new friendships.  Safeguarding is of the utmost importance, therefore much of the site is password protected.  You can access via: and CLICK the link to Virtual Rainbow Factory. For more information simply email: and to receive your special password.

Beyond Skin has launched Arts Dialogue Online Workshops, an international collective of musicians, artists, producers, writers & peace activists with workshops including graffiti/street art - joropo dance - sound & healing - creative mindfulness - refugee awareness - hiphop/grime/trap production - Indian arts - South Indian & Tanzanian cookery, mandolin, ukulele, bouzouki tuition - songwriting for social change - decompress stress - unlocking voice & rhythm  and Youth4Peace Training.  Most private group workshops will be hosted through Zoom and Northern Ireland groups have access to part or fully funded workshops. Contact for more information.  Visit

Studio 2 Greater Shantallow Arts in Derry has re-released a 30min film they produced with Dan Gordon and featuring Bronagh Gallagher in honour of our wonderful NHS staff.  The film can be viewed at Also visit to see what other wonderful things they are doing.  

Wheelworks has launched the Make, Do, Create Festival consisting of a series of free artist-led creative workshops, ideas and inspiration that will take place online every day for 6 weeks from Monday 13 April until Sunday 24 May 2020.  From animation, visual arts, music, photography, dance and abstract film making, there is something to suit all tastes.  Visit

Arts Care’s new channel allows everyone at home take part in their range of visual arts workshops, ‘stay active’ movement sessions, music and singing, storytelling, poetry reading and t enjoy the wonderful clown doctors.  The channel also offers a range of participatory arts workshops especially for older people in residential care or who are self-isolating at home.   Visit

Say A Great Big Hello Campaign is Arts Care’s latest campaign which asks children and young people at home, throughout our communities, to create an art work, take a photo or write a poem to send a Big Hello message to children and young people in hospitals, cancer care services, looked after children, children with complex needs and those children and young People in mental health units at this time.  Email to be part of the online exhibition!

Arts Ekta storytelling series: Join ArtsEkta every Thursday for their fabulous online storytelling series, 'World of Words'. Each week a line-up of amazing storytellers, writers and poets from around the world will be taking over their Facebook page with tales, myths and legends. There will also be an opportunity for people to get involved in an exciting creative writing competition with winners having their stories professionally animated. Keep updated with all online offerings at 

Streetwise Community Circus continue with the brilliant, Streetwise at Home, a digital hub where people, young and old, can learn circus skills from professional circus performers.

New Lodge Arts hosts a weekly dance session every Monday at 6.30pm live from New Lodge Arts Facebook page.  What a great way to start the week ahead with loads of energy!  Get the whole family involved! Visit


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