Earhart Arts Festival kicks off on Friday!

A scene from last year's Earhart Arts Festival carnival.
A scene from last year's Earhart Arts Festival carnival.

This Friday sees the official start of what is hoped will become one of the city’s premier Cultural Arts Festival events with the launch of the Earhart Arts Festival 2017 in Studio 2.

The new and enhanced programme which will also celebrate the 85th Anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s historical first ever Trans-Atlantic Flight by a female aviator who touched down in Ballyarnett on 21st May 1932 bringing the world’s press flooding into Derry.

This year’s innovative and enhanced Arts festival programme will bring a feast of the very best of International Music, Dance, Performance and Visual Arts combined with a display of some of Ireland’s greatest Traditional Performers and will showcase the city’s and region’s wealth of local talent and Multi-Cultural offerings in an amazing array of international music, dance and performance from all corners of the world.

Speaking over the weekend, Ollie Green, who has been co-ordinating the festival since 1999 said: “In this our 18th Festival, it was so important to reach out and showcase the amazing abundance of creative artistic talent that emanates from our city, both through the traditional music field and indigenous local people and within those from all parts of the globe who have chosen to make Derry and the North West their homes.

“We are delighted to present legends of traditional Irish music such as Cathal McConnell, Gabriel McArdle, Cyril Maguire and Jim McGrath, who with a host of local outstanding artistes will be providing Masterclasses and performances throughout the weekend culminating in ‘An Seisiun Mor’ on Saturday night at Studio 2 and Sunday night with Ceili Mor Dhoire featuring the Emerald Ceili Band in St. Brigid’s College, Carnhill.”

With performances and workshops of Indian, African, Chinese, Philipino and Spanish dance, music, song and crafts together with events like ‘The Garage Session,’ ‘Galliagh Hop’, the ‘Love Your Passenger, Love Yourself’ film screening and more - all offering our young people a range of creative and inspiring fun-filled events building up to Sunday afternoon’s Finale ‘Multi Cultural Family Fun Day’.

This will see a full programme of entertainment with everything from a Scallywags Puppet show to balloon modelling, Bollywood Dance workshops and Henna Tattoo – all free and taking place in the heart of the community at Studio 2.

Sunday night sees ‘In Concert with Pat MacCafferty and Friends’ – an amazing performance of some of the city’s greatest talent, the likes of The Villagers, Andrew Ferry, Two’s Company, Erin Carlin, Trevor Burnside and Damian McAdams performing the ‘Neil Diamond Experience’ among others, in the Wee Theatre, bringing to life all the music and song that has made Derry famous the world over.

Looking forward to a number of other events over the summer, Mr. Green concluded: “We are again delighted to be supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Executive Office and we hope this new format for the Earhart Arts Festival will commence through our “Communities United” programme a wonderful array of new community engagement/participation arts-led workshops that will lead to a massive grand finale Arts Showcase of the Earhart Arts Festival 2017 happening in the Guildhall Square at the end of August.