If you are not familiar with Culture Night– this year Friday the 24th of September- where have you been? This is a night when galleries, museums, libraries, theatres and cultural venues open their doors late and f or free to encourage people to familiarize themselves with the culture on their doorstep. In this attempt to draw people in, and with the limited time of just one evening- these institutions pull out all the stops (and even artifacts from museums for people to touch and hold) to get the public’s attention. This is a fantastic initiative and it is expanding rapidly. This year 20 towns and cities throughout Ireland are celebrating Culture Night. This is one of my favourite times of the year- with just an evening so there is such a rush as people dash round and try to see as much as they can of the music, performances and exhibitions but there is also the fantastic atmosphere to soak up. At Pue’s we thought we would share our plans for Culture Night with you- Lisa Marie.
Juliana Adelman: Some of the Culture Night offerings are simply additional opening hours to traditional institutions (very welcome!), but others are much more creative. On the creative side, I’d be tempted by the Dublin City of Literature line up which includes storytelling on a bus (Culture Night Bus Route B) and theatre pieces on three Liffey bridges. I’ve been meaning to check out The National Print Museum (6 to 11pm) for a while and on Culture Night they are offering not just tours but printmaking workshops and demonstrations which sounds like fun. Guided tours of the Freemason’s Hall, built in 1865, on Molesworth Street also piqued my curiosity (5 to 10pm). Maybe I’m just nosy, but I pass the building several times a week and always wanted a look inside! Finally, you can round off the evening with some music. Dublin City Council’s Wood Quay Venue is hosting ‘Gospel by the quay’ featuring gospel groups from across Dublin (6 to 9pm). And in the DCC Amphitheatre there is Polish, Slovak and Lithuanian folk music.
Lisa Marie Griffith: This year I am going to be in Dublin and on the Luas to make everything that I want to see! Working from Collins Barracks back to the city centre, here are my pics: 1. The National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts who are taking objects from their collections out of storage so that the public can touch and handle them- I love this idea 2. St Mary’s Abbey has 2 exhibitions that I like the look of- a Vintage Irish Bookcovers exhibition and ‘Life thru my mobile phone’ as well as music on site from 8.30. 3. The Chester Beatty Library have guided tours on all evening but the music this year looks like the most interesting aspect Dara O’Brien will play the sitar followed by other music throughout the night. The Library always puts on a good show for Culture night. 4. I always like to wander into City Hall as they have people dressed up in eighteenth century costumes including a drummer at the entrance. 5. A wander through Temple Bar is mandatory on Culture Night just for the atmosphere alone but a food stop is also pretty useful. After all that I tend to end up in the pub for a pint- The Lord Edward last year was a good stop!
Christina Morin: I’m gutted that I’m going to be out of the country for Culture Night, especially as there’s an incredible lineup of events. As I’m hoping to live vicariously through the reports of others who attend, here are my picks for the night: 1. The Light House Cinema in Smithfield is hosting three separate screenings of The Red Balloon, a famous French short film that I’ve always wanted to see. I love the vibe of film festivals, but I also like the idea of being able to devote an hour to film before moving on to other media productions, like my second recommended site: 2. The Bad Art Gallery. The Culture Night’s brochure doesn’t say much about this spot on Francis St. except that there will be live art production on the night. Sounds too intriguing to pass up! 3. Dublin Civic Trust is opening its restored merchant house and shop on Castle Street, dating from the 1830s, to the public, and I’d love a little nose through it as well as the Trust’s current exhibition on ‘The Irish House’ – a look into an authentic Dublin pub from the Victorian period. 4. In the same vein of experiencing Dublin as it once was, the James Joyce Centre on North Great Georges Street is inviting people to experience Joyce’s Dublin – a fantastic idea, especially given the saturation of Joyce’s works with the city’s geography and urban landscape.
Kevin O’Sullivan: Like Tina, I’m going to miss the events – I’m flying back into the country late on the night – but there are a few things that have caught my eye in the line-up in Dublin. It must be seven years or so since I saw the last production of the Plough and the Stars in the Abbey, so it would certainly be worth nipping in to the Abbey on the morning of 24 September to see if you could nab one of the 30 free tickets they’re giving out. The Gallery of Photography in Temple Bar is always worth a look on a weekend afternoon, so I’d be curious to have a gander by night, while the Irish Manuscripts Commission – where I spent the one Culture Night I’ve made it to thus far (working) – has a good showcase of materials and talks. NCAD, meanwhile, always seems so far away up on Thomas Street, so this seems as good an excuse as any to take a wander up and have a look around. And finally, the Irish Film Institute is showing ‘Into the West’, worth watching for its depiction of a very run-down looking Dublin at the turn of the 1990s, its classic storyline, and all those timeless quotes. ‘Don’t leave me with the horse.’ Brilliant.
Tags: Culture Night