Culture vultures in Derry and Strabane are in for a major treat this September when local venues pull out all the stops for Culture Night.
Culture Night this year will take place on Friday, September 18th a it will be real cultural experience for everyone.
For one night only, venues from across Derry and Strabane will throw open their doors and invite the public to come in and explore their local arts, heritage and culture and for free.
Organisers said the north west region will come alive to the sights and sounds of live music, theatre, dance and animation as cultural venues and performers deliver an evening of entertainment for all the family.
A wide range of indoor and outdoor interactive events that showcase the city and district’s diverse cultural talents and unique historical significance have been programmed as part of this year’s events schedule, to include art workshops and exhibitions, cultural traditions, museum visits, dance, film, literature, circus skills and more.
The highlights from this year’s programme of activities include a free family friendly street party being organised as part of the 2015 CultureTech festival.
This event will see the Booka Brass Band and other artists performing live in Derry’s Guildhall Square from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
Meanwhile the widely acclaimed Amnesty International Dreams of Freedom Exhibition will be available to view at the Pilot’s Row Centre in Rossville Street, while artist Katie Blue will showcase her latest junk sculptures to include an eclectic assortment of recycled kids toys and everyday household objects at the Yellow Yard, Palace Street (beside the Society Street carpark).
The Little Acorns Bookstore will host a unique Creative Typewriting Challenge while the Abbazappa Record Store will host the Connoisseurs of the Dreadful exhibition.
All lovers of anything retro are encouraged to come along to the Trunk at Yellow Yard and take an original ‘selfie’ picture using an instamatic Polaroid camera. These pictures will then be gathered for inclusion in the Vogues Gallery.
Moving along to the Craft Village off Shipquay Street there will be an exciting new wall art project entitled Diverse City.
Back in Guildhall Square there will be a shared reading programme called Reading Rooms.
City venues such as the Wee Nun’s School at Aras Colmcille, the Museum of Free Derry, St. Columb’s Cathedral, the Tower Museum, Harbour House, Echo Echo Dance Studios, the Bishop Street Studios and 39 Steps Gallery will also be open on the night.
Among the Strabane highlights will be an Open Mic Night at the Alley Theatre.
There will also be traditional Irish music, song and dance at a number of venues including Plumbridge Parochial Hall, the Smuggler’s Inn, Dixie’s Bar and Farmer’s Home.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said Culture Night is a great way of bringing culture to the wider community and making venues such as museums, galleries and theatres accessible to people from all walks of life.
Mr McCallion said: “It’s about getting people out and about and experiencing what’s on their doorstep and appreciating the local amenities as well as showcasing local talent.
“Our city and district is renowned for its unique culture and heritage and Culture Night gives us the perfect forum to showcase that talent and encourage the wider community to be part of it and join in the celebrations,” she added.
Culture Night comprises hundreds of events across Ireland and overseas.
From capital cities to county towns, the night is the biggest co-ordinated showcase of artistic talented each year.
Arts and cultural organisations everywhere will be planning toopen their doors until late with hundreds of free events, tours, talks & performances.
Locally the event will act as a bridge between summer festivities and the Halloween celebrations locally, with October 31 this year falling on a Saturday night.
For those local people wanting to plan your evening’s entertainment on Culture Night, Friday 18 September, a full programme is available at www.derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com/culturenight or at www.culturenight.ie.