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What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 16th September 2020 at 1pm 0 Comments Dance , Drama , Literature , Northern Ireland Music , Visual Arts

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

As more and more artists and arts organisations from Northern Ireland go digital to connect with audiences at home, the Arts Council has rounded up just some of these fantastic cultural things to do online.  As the arts sector slowly and safely re-opens we have also highlighted some exhibitions and events to enjoy in galleries and outdoors, supported by exchequer and National Lottery funding.


Belfast Trad: BelfastTrad offers 40 classes per week in traditional Irish music and dance in the historic Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, situated between Queen's University and Shaftesbury Square.  They also run a full program of masterclasses, lectures and other events and classes are open to everyone 12 and up. Younger students from age 6 can start at their BelfastTrad Kids classes.  Due to the ongoing closure of the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast Trad, are running a series of online classes with instruments also available to hire.  Courses start on 21st September and run for 10 weeks, costing from £40.  Find out more and enrol at

Irish Traditional Music Archive: The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) and the Arts Office of Clare County Council are delighted to announce that the outcome of the first Duala: Creator-in-Residence Scheme will be launched in glór, Ennis on Culture Night, Friday September 18th, 2020.  Following an open competition that attracted a wide variety of eclectic and attractive proposals, the Duala commission was awarded in 2018 to joint applicants Jack Talty and Maurice Gunning. 

Jack and Maurice set out to compose an audio-visual installation that explores the relationship between music, people, and place, specifically drawing on ITMA multimedia collections of traditional music and musicians of County Clare as its primary inspiration.  The finished piece explores the ways in which memory and landscape influence our identity formation. ‘Duala’ examines this sense of place and identity through the lens of Irish traditional music and song. The 25-minute film weaves archival footage alongside original music and videography.  Duala will premiere online at 5:30pm (IST) Friday 18 September 2020 on: ITMA website / ITMA Facebook page / ITMA YouTube Channel / ITMA Instagram TV.  Visit

Northern Lights: Check out the brilliant Northern Lights Line up that Roe Valley Arts Centre has coming up this Autumn.  Northern Lights brings you live music, storytelling and spoken word streamed right to the comfort of your own home via Facebook, Youtube and Zoom.  Performers include musician, Antony Toner, Lore Live, Ten X 9 storytelling, Bernie Magill, Hannah McPhillimy and Jessica Bates.  Be sure to keep an eye on our social media and website for details of how to watch and listen coming up soon.  Visit

Moving On Music: This week Moving on Music premiere the second ‘All About’ Outreach video from jazz pianist, Scott Flanigan.  Scott's second video explores how jazz chords can be used to push the boundaries of harmony. Scott will break down each inversion that can be used within a scale and how this can be affectively put into a tune.  Get your keys ready! Visit:

Ulster Orchestra: The Ulster Orchestra is back and performing live from the Waterfront Hall in a new series to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.  For the first concert, which took place on Friday 4th September, the Ulster Orchestra performed Bela Bartók's haunting, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, conducted by Jac Van Steen.  The concert is available  to listen back at   For upcoming concerts visit

Northern Ireland Opera: The Festival of Voice 2020 took place in First Church Belfast last month in front of a small socially distanced audience.  This is the first time live opera has been performed in the city since before the lockdown. Five finalists from across the island of Ireland competed for the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and to become the Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020.   A short film about the event with concert highlights was released on Northern Ireland Opera's YouTube channel on 13th September.  Visit

Folk Park Live: Snow Water and the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone, have launched, Folk Park Live, a new audio-visual exhibition which takes visitors through a 300 year musical journey of Ulster emigration through song.  The experience is available to view at from the comfort of your home.  The Arts Council went along to hear all about it, watch the video at

The Duncairn: Carlingford Heritage Centre and The Duncairn in Belfast join forces to bring you, The Carlingford/Duncairn Summer Series, a series of three concerts by Irish musicians including Yue Tang & Brian Connor, Niall Hanna, Rachel McGarrity, Stephen Loughran, Zoë Conway & John Mc Intyre plus The 4 of Us, Emma Langford & Cathie Ryan.  You can watch all three concerts back at



Island Arts Centre: in Lisburn is hosting The Great Artdoors Festival, an outdoor festival happening on 19-20 September.  The weekend features Northern Ireland Opera who present Opera Under the Stars at Moat Park - join two of Northern Ireland Opera’s Associate Artists as they perform some beautiful music in the park. Listen to the stunning voices of soprano Helene Murray and mezzo Dawn Burns as they sing some familiar classical opera arias and duets.

NI Opera will also perform at Castle Gardens.  For kids there is a musical theatre masterclass and a series of pop-up theatre called Maverick, the moon and me.  Events are free but booking is essential.  Visit

Culture Night Online 2020: Culture Night’s online 2020 core programme has been unveiled with a packed line-up of music, debates, visual arts and thought-provoking films on 18 September.  This year’s programme of commissioned pieces will see venues such as the Belfast Cathedral, Black Box, Oh Yeah Centre and The MAC as the backdrop to what is set to be an exciting evening of entertainment.  Among the performers taking part this year in the CNB Online Core Programme are Lyric Theatre, The MAC, Ulster Orchestra, Cherry On Top, Susie Blue, Sinead O'Donnell, tenx9, Charles Hurts, Becha, Stephen Beggs, Paul Currie, George Quinn, Rachael McCabe, Bounce Culture, The Swing Gals and many more.  For more information on this year’s programme go to or follow #CNB20 #CNBonline on social media.

Drive-in performances: MayWe with the support of the Arts Council and Catalyst present the LOUGH DOWN LINE UP at Queen’s Road, Belfast on 26-27 September.  There are eight drive-in shows to choose from across two days, with a headline performance from And So I Watch You From Afar.  There’s also comedy from Lurgan’s Micky Bartlett and performances from Ronnie Greer and his eight-piece band, Joshua Burnside, Ciaran Lavery, Prime Cut Productions and Pan Narran’s, My Left Nut stage show ,Catilin-Magnall Kearns's, 'The Monolgues', Belfast Operatic's 'Songs from Stage and Screen' as well as Mr Hullabaloo and 'Dino Day Out' children's theatre.  Tickets are priced from £15-20 per car per show and are available at

Belfast International Arts Festival: The 58th Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF) has been digitally launched with an imaginative and inspirational programme for the times we live in, as Northern Ireland’s leading contemporary multi-artform festival largely goes virtual for 2020.  From 12th October to 1st November, inspirational events featuring dance, music, theatre, film, visual arts and discussion will be largely hosted online, with a small number experienced in-person. The impressive programme responds creatively to the current pandemic and explores matters of contemporary interest such as gender equality, multi-culturalism, representation, the climate crisis, and democracy.  Visit to view the full programme and access tickets.

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: presents their Samhain Programme with a plethora of new events and programmes for all as we transition from Summer to Autumn signalling the arrival of the dark nights as we approach Samhain. There will be a new term of Irish classes catering to all levels along with a new tin whistle course. There is a beautiful new project for children, Play Me a Story, with author Myra Zepf and the Ulster Orchestra. Bàrd, File, Bardd encompasses a fantastic poetry presentation looking at mother tongues with poets, Ciara Ní É, national poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn and Scotland’s Pàdraig Mac Aoidh which will be broadcast on their YouTube and Facebook channels as part of Culture Night, Friday 18th September at 8:30pm.

They also kick off the 30 year celebration of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiach with an inaugural heritage event, a special art exhibition, Cultúrlann Collection, which will launch in Dánlann Dillon at the beginning of October. They present their fourth virtual concert celebrating the indigenous Celtic festivals, the Samhain concert will showcase the best of traditional music courtesy of Music in the Glen along with storytelling and mumming with Cleamairí Feirste as per the ancient Samhain tradition. The concert will be broadcast on Cultúrlann Facebook and YouTube channels on Friday 30th October at 8:30pm.



Lyric Theatre and Traverse Theatre: present, Denouement, by John Morton, an audio recorded rehearsed reading from Mon 7th until Sun 20th Sep.  John Morton’s brutally comic Denouement was nominated for the inaugural Popcorn Award for playwriting.  A co-production between the Traverse Theatre and Lyric Theatre Belfast, it stars real-life couple Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls) as Liam and Marie Jones (In the Name of the Father) as Edel, is directed by the Traverse’s award-winning Co-Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls (Crocodile Fever, Ulster American) and features sound design and composition by Michael John McCarthy.  This production was due to premiere at the Traverse Festival in August before playing on the Main Stage at the Lyric in September.  Suitable for ages 16+.  Listen to the audio recording at

Cahoots NI: The University of Wonder & Imagination is now enrolling students of all ages and magical abilities…and there’s a place with your name on it!  Part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival, you can interact with the liveliest of lecturers, choose your subjects of study, enter themed rooms and encounter all kinds of problems and puzzles, unlocking your and your family's magical powers as you go.  Tickets cost £20 per screen and booking is now open at



R-Space: in Lisburn is now reopen to the public.  Details of their current and upcoming exhibition are below:

Re: New Wallace #3
Robert Peters
12 September - 16 October 2020
11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday
Augmented reality and mixed media by Robert Peters casting an eye on the fraught relationship between Britain and Ireland in the 19th century; absentee landlords, rent strikes, decadent aristocrats, the Famine and Home Rule.  Re: New Wallace #3 is the much anticipated third in their series of Re:New Wallace Collection exhibitions, in collaboration with The Wallace Collection, London. 

MMM#8 – Obvious
Aimée Nelson, Aoife O'Connor, Gary Shaw, Jill Phillips, Mr. Papers, Pauline Clancy
7 November - 11 December 2020 
11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday
Six artists based in Northern Ireland have been selected from an open call as part of our Materials, Messages and Meaning series. Now in its eighth year, these exhibitions explore artists’ different approaches to materials, methods of production and messages within their work.  The works include interactive screenprinting, mixed media installations, digital imaging, and folk art.


Millennium Court Arts Centre: in  Portadown, is showing their current exhibition" NO TIME" by Martin Boyle online as the centre remains closed to the public.  Visit

VOID: Void has a new website! Here you can find all the latest updates about their events and exhibitions. You can also look back on their past exhibitions and events by searching the archive. There is also a shop where you can search through their artist publications or show your support for the arts by donating or becoming a Void Supporter. Void will continue to create both online and in-house content to bring to their audience so keep an eye on the website for further information.  Their public gallery is also now reopened and will be showing an exhibition by artist, Alan Phelan, echoes are always more muted, from 5th September until 31st October

Roe Valley Arts: presents the online Dungiven Regeneration Club Virtual Exhibition from 2nd  September until 10th November.  Dungiven Regeneration Club (DRC) was established in 2015 to advance the arts culture in Dungiven area and to aesthetically regenerate the area through art.  For this exhibition the members of the club have submitted works of art that they have created over the lockdown period. The exhibition highlights the wonderful artistic talent in our local Causeway Coast and Glens Borough and is a brilliant example of how the arts can bring a community together and enhance their local area.

Craft NI: is now reopen to public presenting regular exhibitions of the work of craft makers from around Northern Ireland and also a gallery retail space where you can buy from local craft makers.  Visit

Beyond Skin: to mark Community Relations Week, Beyond Skin will present the following:
#ArtsDialogue – Music Is The Dialogue And We Start Together, is a fly on the wall filmed documentary capturing a day at Start Together Studios Belfast with members of#ArtsDialogue - an international team of musicians, artists, producers, writers & peace activists.  Filmed & Produced by 3FortyFive Films. Supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland & Community Relations Council.   Watch the film at Available at:

Virtual Art Exhibition by Sienna Wilgaus
Sienna (13yrs) has recently joined the Beyond Skin team of youth4peace ambassadors. Sienna has also been chosen to receive additional support from Natali Márquez Foundation which aims to support young girls in Northern Ireland and Colombia to develop their creative skills to be used to make the world a brighter place.  Sienna's School Glengormley High is partnered with C&S Music School Japan through a friendship project developed by Min-On Music Research Institute (MOMRI) Japan and Beyond Skin. The project is a legacy outcome from Anne O'Donoghue award supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. To view the exhibition visit:

The MAC: has re-opened its café and galleries to the public.  From now until 11th October, The MAC presents the popular, Ulster University BA and MFA Fine Art Graduate Show, across all three MAC galleries.  The MAC is open from 10am-4pm Wed-Sun and you must book to attend the exhibition at

Belfast Exposed: present two exhibitions which will be highlighting the work of a selection of recent graduates from the MFA Photography and BA in Photography and Video at Ulster University.  The exhibitions are:
Anthropology (MFA Exhibition) – 3rd September – 24th October, exhibition link:
Human Condition (BA Exhibition) – 3rd September – 24th October, exhibition link:

University of Atypical: is now open to the public presenting the re-opening of Brian Kielt’s exhibition, Confessionals.  Brian Kielt is a painter based in mid-Ulster who makes work about memory, trauma and anxiety. In 2012 Kielt co-founded the LOFT collective and continues to collaborate with members on numerous projects. This is Kielt’s fifth solo exhibition. His work has featured in several group shows and has work in private collections in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and the USA.

Conscious that many people may continue to shield, they have also organised an online event for those who can’t make it to see the exhibition. A Studio Visit with Brian Kielt will take place on Saturday 3rd of October 2020 from 2pm to 3pm. Join online for an informal tour of the artist’s studio, in the rolling foothills of Glenshane. This is a great opportunity to meet the artist, find out more about his creative process and the ideas that inform his practice, and get a sneak peek of works in progress. Questions for the artist from attendees are welcomed. Register your interest and receive the Zoom link at

Golden Thread Gallery: is now reopen to the public with the below exhibitions on show:

More Bad News – showing now until 19th September
A solo exhibition by Dougal McKenzie

Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence – showing until 30th September
Co-curated by Mary Cremin and Peter Richards, featuring artists: Bassam Al Sabah; Liliane Puthod; Michael Hanna; and Stuart Calvin



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