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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020
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Culture Night reimagines itself to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic

Taking place on 18 September, all events will be free to attend, whether physical or digital.

Culture Night 2019
Culture Night 2019
Image: Peter Houlihan

PLANS HAVE BEEN unveiled for Culture Night 2020, promising a mix of digital and physical events all across Ireland.

Now in its 15th year, Culture Night is an all-Ireland event with towns and cities all across the country hosting free cultural events in spaces like art galleries and museums.

However, Culture Night this year will be radically different due to the Covid-19 pandemic as indoor gatherings of more than 50 people or outdoor gatherings with more than 200 people are banned.

Despite the situation, the organisers want to ensure that Culture Night remains true to its legacy, and will still hold physical events alongside digital events for the first time.

Aimée van Wylich, the national coordinator for Culture Night told TheJournal.ie that digital events are a good opportunity for people to experience Irish culture at home and abroad.

“It’s an element that Culture Night hasn’t really featured before,” said van Wylich, adding that it’s something that will be looked at even after this year.

Van Wylich also added that digital events help provide more accessibility to arts and culture, with more people being able to access interesting content.

The Arts Council will be the primary funder for all events taking place, with director Maureen Kennelly saying that it will be a fantastic opportunity for artists.

“While this year presents new challenges for the cultural sector, we see Culture Night as a fantastic opportunity for artists, arts organisations and audiences to connect, online and offline, and to celebrate the value that the arts brings to our lives,” said Kennelly.

This year, Culture Night has appointed new trailblazers, which are artists who represent the scale and diversity of culture in Ireland.

They come from various cultural disciplines, including music, dance, literature and theatre.

For the first time, an international trailblazer will be featured, with podcaster and author Maeve Higgins representing Irish cultural diaspora.

Other Culture Night trailblazers include:

  • Fehdah (Emma Garnett) - musician and producer
  • Michael Gallen - composer and performer
  • The Gardiner Brothers – World champion Irish dancers and Riverdance members
  • Úna-Minh Kavanagh - Gaeilgeoir and author
  • Mark Smith - performer and theatre maker

As part of the festivities, RTÉ will be showcasing new content commissioned from all around the country.

Events

Online

For photography fans, there’s Bob Dixon’s Photography which will show off portraits of musicians, poets and painters that Dixon has worked with in the past. The gallery will be entirely digital with no booking required.

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A short film on the discovery of the Nebula Whirlpool will be broadcast live on social media. Filmed on location in Birr Castle, the film is a collaborative effort from composer Ann Cleare, singer Pascal Kennedy, cinematographer Brendan Farrell and director Fiona Breen.

Offline

For those in Dundalk, there will be a family ceramics workshop held in An Táin Arts Centre for all budding artists. With only two workshops being held on the day, booking is essential to secure a spot.

For music or architecture fans in Dublin, you can pay a visit to 1WML where you can explore the future workspace or the musical legacy of Windmill Lane. With no booking required, you can catch some live music too.

There is also more yet to be revealed, with van Wylich saying this is only “one glimpse of what’s coming down the line.”

The complete list of Culture Night events can be found at www.culturenight.ie.

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