Live music, dancing, guided tours, readings and live TV from Lough Boora in Co Offaly are part of this year’s Night of Culture, which takes place this evening.
In all, more than 1,700 artistic and cultural experiences will take place across the country.
Described as a national “moment” to connect people to cultural activities locally and nationally, the Arts Council organizes in partnership with cultural organizations across the island of Ireland.
In addition to traditional and beloved Culture Night activities including museum visits, live music performances and workshops, this year also sees the introduction of Culture Night Late, a specially-programmed set of events that will take place later in the night than usual.
These natives, described as a showcase of Irish, UK, West African and American culture taking place at the Sugar Club in Dublin, include Fibín sa Taibhdearc which will transform central Galway into Gaeltacht, live electronic music and DJ at King John’s Castle in Limerick.
Culture Night Late, also held in Tralee, Co Kerry, and Tipperary, can be found online.
The arts minister, Catherine Martin, welcomed the introduction of the dance and other late-night events and said it was “cool” to see the dance, club culture and electronic music scene on this year’s programme.
Another new initiative this year is Read Mór, part of the Arts Council’s 70th birthday celebration. The Conductor Book for travelers on the Intercity and Bus Éireann Expressway will offer one of 21 different books by Ireland-based authors and publishers including Colm Tóibín; Claire Keegan, Doireann Ní Ghríofra, Marian Keyes, Annie West and David O’Doherty.
For younger readers, the Arts Council also offers a special online event with Laureate na nÓg Áine Ní Ghlinn and painter Andrew Whitson. Ag Buzzáil leis an Laureate is a poetry and drawing event, inspired by the ringing of bees, suitable for children aged 8 to 12, at home, at school or in after-school groups.
The diversity of this year’s Culture Night program is a testament to the diversity of organizers and volunteers who made it happen, said Maureen Keneally, Director of the Arts Council, and she encouraged everyone to come out and enjoy the night.
Cultural Night aims to give people a glimpse of what is happening in their area, and research has shown that it encourages participants to try new experiences at night and even beyond.
Full details of the cultural night’s activities can be found online, and there will also be special cultural evening programs on RTÉ TV and Radio.
On RTÉ 1 TV and RTÉ Player at 7pm, a ceremony will be broadcast live from the edge of Lough Boora in Co Offaly, celebrating Ireland’s moorlands and featuring among others the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Tolu Makay, Martin Hayes, Loah, Damien Dempsey and Jack O’Rourke .
Culture Night will also be celebrated on Arena on Radio 1, RTÉ Lyric FM and rte.ie/culture.
As always, all Culture Nights events are free, but some require advance reservations, so it’s worth checking online before you travel.
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