Dazzling line-up of events across the county for Culture Night

On Friday September 24, 15 venues across Mayo will offer access to an amazing array of free late night culture and people can now see the full programme at www.mayococo.ie The Mayo venues have a wonderfully diverse programme, reflecting the wealth of cultural activity our county has to offer. Opening times range from 5pm to 12am.

If you have not encountered Mayo art squad then this is an opportunity to go along on Culture Night and sample what’s on offer at their open workshop in Castlebar.

At the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar you can participate in Express Yourself or explore artist Rory Breslin’s exhibition, or visit the drop in-drop out cinema on the evening, as well as a cultural swap where visitors can bring along some of your favourite books and DVDs and swap with other enthusiasts. Or you might like to pay a visit to The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, which is an ideal way to spend Culture Night. See the award-winning Museum Galleries revealing the lives of our very recent ancestors. There will also be an illustrated talk on the Cross of Cong by Manager Keeper Tony Candon at 7.30 p.m.

In south Mayo all the Claremorris Open Exhibition galleries will also remain open on Culture Night. This year’s exhibition features the work of 41 artists from Ireland, the UK, and Norway. There will also be a talk on the life and work of Claremorris native, sculptor Edward Delaney. The Custom House Studios are offering an opportunity to create your own masterpiece, visit open artists’ studios and take a look at the work of local artist Deirdre Walsh. Blink Visual Arts, a collective of arts venues in Westport, are creating a trail starting in the town centre and finishing up at the quay - a feast for the eyes all along the route.

At Ballina Arts Centre there will be an impromptu haiku competition, a drop-in, drop-out cinema running throughout the evening, and a chance for all the family to create their own artworks in response to Louise Butler’s exhibition. The Jackie Clarke Collection is one of the most important Irish collections in the world. The sheer range of this collection is breathtaking so why not pop along on Culture Night and relish the behind the scenes tours, a workshop on conservation and much more.

Áras Inis Gluaire will be full of music, dance, theatre, and film screenings, featuring the local arts community such as Craobh Clann Lír, films made by the North Mayo Digital Initiative, and the Mayo School of Dance. Ballinglen Arts Foundation offers you a look inside an artist’s studio or you can try your hand at printmaking. The foundation is also offering visitors an opportunity to browse through the 457 works of art that make up the Ballinglen Archive.

All venues have been extremely proactive in helping realise this wonderful programme of events, so make the most of this opportunity to experience the richness of cultural activity our county has to offer. Bring a friend or a neighbour, bring the family, or just bring yourself along to the venue in your locality. You never know what you might discover. Get in touch with each venue to check the time of performances or events over the course of Culture Night.

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