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Culture Night 2020 - Mixing the virtual and the real for events to connect with culture

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5 min read

Culture Night 2020 - Mixing the virtual and the real for events to connect with culture

5 min read

Culture Night 2020 - Mixing the virtual and the real for events to connect with culture

The national institution that is Culture Night, the annual event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts, returns for its fifteenth year on Friday September 18th and despite the ongoing challenges posed for large scale arts and culture events, the Culture Night organisers have managed to create an incredible programme for 2020. Understandably there is a general consideration across the event for online or digital events but there are safe, offline events included on the programme too.

Here’s just a snapshot at some of the wonderfully inventive Culture Night events taking place this year that have been funded through the Creative Ireland Programme. So get involved, stay safe and enjoy connecting through culture. 

Reset by Joe Caslin (South Dublin) – OFFLINE / ONLINE 

A powerful new contemporary art piece created by artist Joe Caslin and a group of young people from South Dublin, will be launched, both online and on the outside of the Red Rua South Dublin Arts Centre at 8pm on Culture Night. The second part of a collaboration (the first of which premiered during Cruinniu na nOg), Reset reflects the shared experiences of young people in the area and their thoughts and feelings around the last six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The online launch will also feature a documentary film capturing the story of the project, interviews with the young people involved and music and spoken word performances from some of Ireland’s foremost artists. 

Find out more about the event here

National Circus Festival of Ireland (Kerry) – ONLINE 

Juxtaposing the eye-popping spectacle of circus artists against the backdrop of Tralee, Fiuntas is a specially commissioned video piece from the National Circus Festival of Ireland and Kerry County Council Arts Office. 

Watch it here

Online Dance Performances by the Welcoming Project (Kerry) – ONLINE 

As part of a collaborative arts process between locals and people in Direct Provision, facilitated by the dance artist in residence, Catherine Young and co-funded by Creative Ireland, the Welcoming Project is moving online for Culture Night with a new dance film showcasing the company’s dance and music works with musical contributions from Palestine and Nigeria along with local Irish musicians. The programme also includes classes in West African and Palestinian dabke dance which are sure to book out quickly. 

Watch the film and book the class here

Beyond Imagination (Kerry) – OFFLINE 

An innovative collaboration between local businesses in Tralee and Kerry Local Creative Youth Partnership and then designed and led by young people, Beyond Imagination is a unique street side gallery in shop windows on the Mall in Tralee which will be unveiled at 5pm on Culture Night and this imaginative streetscape is sure to light up the town. 

Find out more about Beyond Imagination here

We Celebrate Helen Roe (Laois) – OFFLINE 

An outdoor immersive spectacle which deserves to be seen in person, We Celebrate Helen Roe is an outdoor projection in Portlaoise which will introduce audiences to the historical achievements of Laois woman Helen Roe. The projections have been created by artist Caroline Conway and will be unveiled on Culture Night from 8-11pm at Fitzmaurice Place Plaza in Portlaoise.  

Find out more about We Celebrate Helen Roe here

Music Generation Laois: The Impossible Dream (Laois) – ONLINE 

Audiences can watch a short video to document this project to date. Music Generation Laois has commissioned composer Martin Tourish to create a 20 minute suite of music inspired by the life of Portlaoise’s Colonel James Fitzmaurice. A pioneering aviator, Fitzmaurice was part of the first successful transatlantic aircraft flight from east to west in 1928.

This project moved online after Ireland went into lockdown in March 2020. The Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra was established in 2016 and is a traditional music ensemble that provides a platform for young people in Co Laois. Martin Tourish has been collaborating with these young musicians to create The Impossible Dream.

View The Impossible Dream here

Visit Cork Community Art Link HQ (Cork) – OFFLINE 

If you’ve ever wanted to go behind the scenes to see how fantastical mural and street art are created, the artists and facilitators at The Lido in Cork will be showcasing their ongoing work for the Dragon of Shandon this year along with demonstrating techniques used in designing street theatre. 

Find out more about this event here

A Poem on Hearing the Birds Sing (Roscommon) – OFFLINE / ONLINE 

A historical epic in poetry form, this outdoor film which brings Douglas Hyde’s poem to life, centered around the struggle for Irish independence in Co.Roscommon, will be projected onto the buildings of Roscommon Arts Centre, King House in Boyle, the Douglas Hyde Centre in Portahard, Frenchpark and on the building of Connellan Solicitors, beside the entrance to Strokestown Park House. In Boyle, the film can be viewed from the rear of King House, in Shop Street Car Park.  

Find out more about the screenings here

Short Performances from Fregoli Theatre (Roscommon) – ONLINE 

Culture Night also brings a chance to view both of the Fregoli Theatre Company’s short online theatre performances again. The two pieces, ‘I Want You to Know Me’ by Maria Tivnan and ‘Inside You Stay’ by Tara Finn, deal with issues of growing up and childhood along with mental health. 

Find out more about these screenings here.

Kildare COVID Notebook Project (Kildare) – OFFLINE 

The culmination of the COVID Notebook Project, featured on RTE News last week, is this special presentation of the completed notebooks before they are scanned for archiving by Kildare County Council. Earlier this year, over 150 Kildare residents received an A5 notebook which they filled in during the lockdown, a mixture of scrapbook and time capsule of this monumental time in Irish history. 

Find out more about this event.  

Check out the Culture Night programme of online and offline events across the country at https://culturenight.ie/ 

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