Culture Night 2020 - what are you going to?

Dance, performance, music, visual arts, film, and talks throughout the evening of September 18

Aisling Connaughton of Youth Ballet West prepares for Culture Night 2020 with Galway County Arts Officer, Sharon O'Grady, and City Arts Officer, James Harrold, ahead of Friday September 18. For details visit Photo:- Aengus McMahon

Aisling Connaughton of Youth Ballet West prepares for Culture Night 2020 with Galway County Arts Officer, Sharon O'Grady, and City Arts Officer, James Harrold, ahead of Friday September 18. For details visit Photo:- Aengus McMahon

Culture Night, Ireland's annual night of free arts, entertainments, and cultural events, to encourage the public to embrace, enjoy, and develop more interest in music, theatre, literature, dance, and the visual arts, returns tomorrow, Friday September 18.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in what Stephen Fry has called, "a very dark time for the performing arts", has seen shows, tours, and events cancelled. In recent weeks live events have started to happen again, but on a very restricted basis. So given that Galway has been without arts events since mid-March, Culture Night is the perfect opportunity for an evening out - all events will adhere to Covid-19 guidelines - and appreciate the boost the arts can, and does, provide to our lives.

Culture Night 2020

Dance and performance

Brú Theatre, Galway Dance Project and the Town Hall Theatre will present the Remote Control Artists Showcase, an evening of live performance, dance, and music from Galway based artists Kristyn Fontanella, Fionnuala Doyle Wade, and SJ Woods [pictured below].

The three have been taking part in the inaugural Remote Control programme, designed to help early to mid career artists in new ways to engage their audiences, network with arts organisations, and develop relationships with professional mentors.

Working remotely with Oona Doherty, Louise Lowe, and New Art Club, Fontanella, Doyle Wade, and Woods, have been developing new work during the Covid 19 restrictions. For this performance at the Town Hall they will perform and discuss some of the work developed so far. The event will be facilitated by Brú’s James Riordan.

The show runs from 7pm to 8pm. No tickets available on the door due to Covid 19 restrictions. Admission is free but ticketed and ticket numbers are limited. To book call the Town Hall (091 - 569777, ). All public safety guidelines will be adhered to in line with the Town Hall Theatre’s Covid-19 safety plan.

Sound, technology, and movement will combine in Three Dream Echo, an interactive piece from Galway based musician and performer Philip Fogarty. It takes place at Galway Courthouse from 8pm to 10pm.

Philip Fogarty Three Dream Echo

Compelling and unnerving, Three Dream Echo takes up and responds to the sounds and movements of people using high technology in both audio and visuals. 'Part AI, part human, part dream’, it continues a series of live events by Philip which invite the guest to participate in the sound-making process, as simultaneous listener and performer.

The show is in association with Galway Court Service. Admission is free but Covid-19 guidelines will be strictly observed. No more than three people will be admitted to the supervised space at any time, in which case these persons must be members of the same household. Entry will not be permitted to any person without a face covering. For more see

Culture Night at Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey.

Kylemore Abbey will celebrate Culture Night in Galway with a day of readings from the works of Irish writers associated with this splendid Victorian building, while it's neo-Gothic church will host a concert.

Starting at 12pm this Friday, September 18, there will be a poem or excerpt from Lady Gregory and her contemporaries read every hour by Kylemore Abbey guides, who have chosen the piece or anecdotes to share. The readings will be available free of charge on the Kylemore Abbey website and Facebook page, and include pieces from Lady Augusta Gregory; WB Yeats; Oscar Wilde, whose parents dined and socialised at Kylemore; and Oliver Saint John Gogarty, who fished at its rivers and lakes.

The readings will culminate that evening with the Abbey being lit in white to celebrate Kylemore’s recent success as a finalist in the RIAI public choice awards for the cultural and architectural work completed by Axo Architects in delivering Kylemore’s new visitor experience, 'From Generation to Generation'.

There will also be a concert in Kylemore’s neo-Gothic church - recently the host location for the Other Voices Courage series on RTE2 - compered by Kylemore history guide and sean nós dancer Emma O’Sullivan. The concert will also feature harpist Lynn Saoirse, singer-songwriter Eileen Keane, and trad duo James and Isabelle Ruddy. This will be a Facebook live event starting at 7pm.

Now in their centenary year as custodians of Kylemore Abbey, the week will also see contributions from the Benedictine Community. As keen promoters of culture, the Nuns are delighted that Kylemore Abbey is to host events for this growing and important annual occasion.

Visual arts

After The Rain, the new exhibition by the artist Paul Guilfoyle, at The Kenny Gallery in the Liosban Industrial Estate, will open virtually at 6pm via Kenny’s YouTube Channel and social media feeds. After this the exhibition will be open to the public and run until October 16.

Paul Guilfoyle painting 1

Guilfoyle's art explores the landscape of Connemara and west Mayo, particularly how light affects the region. “The focus in all my paintings is light," he said. "I have no interest in painting grey landscapes, there has to be some lifting of the colours in it. You see the difference sunlight makes on a landscape that is essentially dark, so you get these moving spotlights of light passing across the land. It is very dramatic."

The necessity of lockdown this year meant a return to the artist’s reliance on his memory of often visited locales, favourite haunts since the times of his childhood rather than a plein air approach. However, travel and hill walking (and pay extension outdoor painting ) resumed in time for the artist to complete this collection.

Paul Guilfoyle 2

Gallery opening times are Mondays to Saturdays, 9am to 5pm. social distancing will be observed and visitors are asked to wear a face mask.

UachtarARTS will present an Art Trail throughout Oughterard, as well as a video installation and exhibition in the Courthouse to mark Culture Night.

The Courthouse event will run from 4pm to 6pm, and showcase short films which were created in collaboration with the ConTempo Quartet, along with an exhibition of the artworks featured in the films. The Art Trail will be available to view throughout the shop windows of Oughterard all day tomorrow, and over the following week.

Music, art, and talks

Art in Mind, Galway’s new artist led, non-profit organisation, dedicated to promoting wellbeing and mental health through creative practice, will also run events for Culture Night.

Located in the Liosban Industrial Estate, the venue will host an exhibition by sculptor Glenn Gibson, entitled The Observer & The Observed, featuring his acclaimed Connemara hawthorn sculptures, along with new, large works, exploring the human form. The Art in Mind Studio will be showcasing work by a number of artists, including Julia Dunin [pictured below], Ronan Fahey, Niamh Daniels, Gala Tomasso, Jane Hanberry, and Carly Mucha.

There will also be the lecture, ‘Marketing Masterclass for Artists’., hosted by Jane Hanberry, and targeted at creative practitioners looking to enhance their physical and digital promotions. It will also be broadcast via the Art in Mind Facebook page.

Julia Dunin

Art in Mind and mental health awareness project, It’s OK Cork, will present a poetry circle event at 6pm. The Galway Ukers will be providing Ukulele tutorials and play alongs from 7pm. Musician and poet Gerry Hanberry will play a mix of originals and covers from 8pm. The music portion of Art in Mind will close with a rock band fronted by Ritchie Brennan from 9pm. See

Film and television

Cumar: A Galway Rhapsody, Aodh Ó Coileáin's acclaimed documentary on Galway's artistic community and why the arts is so vital to Galway, will be shown on TG4 tonight at 9.30pm and repeated on Wednesday September 30, also at 9.30pm.

'Cumar' (meaning confluence ) stands as a rhapsody to Galway from its artistic community. It features six Galway based artists and explores their homeplace as a source of impetus for artistic endeavour. The film features comedian Tommy Tiernan, writer Mike McCormack, poet Rita Ann Higgins, singer Róisín Seoighe, Macnas's Noeline Kavanagh, visual artist Pádraic Reaney, and musician Máirtín O’Connor. It was shown at the 2019 Galway Film Fleadh and won Best Documentary Award at the London Irish Film Festival 2019.

For more information about all Culture Night events in Galway see


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