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Plenty to enjoy for Culture Night 2020 in Carlow & Kilkenny

There's a mix of digital & physical events taking place on Friday, 18 September

Culture Night 2020 falls on Friday, 18 September, and usually venues across Carlow & Kilkenny are filled at venues & outdoor spaces which are bursting with activity.

This year it’s a little different but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to enjoy. In fact, there’s plenty with a blend of digital & physical events continuing to champion the legacy of the annual celebration.


Visit the Butler Gallery at the newly refurbished location of Evans’ Home on Johns Quay, Kilkenny and for the first time, see the Butler Gallery Collection on permanent display. Explore the O’Malley wing dedicated to renowned Kilkenny artist Tony O’Malley and his wife Jane O’Malley. Plus, get a first look at ‘The Bloods’, a photographic exhibition by Amelia Stein depicting members of the Defence Forces at James Stephens Barracks.

From 5pm, adults can book into a life drawing class inspired by ‘The Bloods’. The rotating models for the class will be the personnel of James Stephens Barracks, posing in similar positions to those in the photos. Other events on the night include a children’s scavenger hunt, the launch of a virtual tour of the museum, plus the launch of ‘A Neighbourhood Museum’ with visual artist Annabel Konig.

Join the National Design and Craft Gallery for a unique Culture Night festival of self-directed workshops and activities for all ages both online and in person. They will provide the craft materials and self-directed family fun activities for all ages. Just bring along your picnic blankets, cushions & imagination. The main outdoor location for these self-directed activities will take place on the grounds of Kilkenny Castle. Inspired by the work of Fiona Mulholland, there will be safe socially distanced lawn markings for small groups of families & friends to gather and enjoy a day of exploration and creativity.

The Design and Craft Gallery also present, CONNECTED, a sculpture trail that allows audiences to re-connect with culture and craft outside of a gallery setting. Designed as a trail throughout the city, beginning from the courtyard of the Castle Yard and lush Butler House Gardens, the trail leads you through the cities key cultural and historic sites from Kilkenny Castle Park to Medieval Mile, Butler Gallery at Evan’s Home to Rothe House as well as infiltrating the streetscape through shopfronts, hotels and unexpected locations. A virtual online tour of CONNECTED will be available on the Culture Night website on the 18th September.

While exploring the Connected trail why not join the Kilkenny County Council Arts Office’s trail of poetry, displayed in shop windows throughout the city centre.  The poems on display are taken from the Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet 2020 publication.  The aim of the Broadsheet publication is to give local writers a platform for their work, a total of 12 poets were selected for this year’s Broadsheet by editor and poet Colm Keegan. A different poem will be featured in each window by the published poets: K.S. Moore, Mary Malin, Aoife Riach, Willie-Joe Meally, Carmel Cummins, Darren Caffrey, Noel Howley, Robert Mc Loughlin, Mike Watts, Breda Joyce, Jeffrey Gormly and Karen Morrissey.

If you cannot venture out to view the poetry trail you can call the poetry phone line at freephone 1800 272 994, where you will get to listen to the twelve wondrous poems from the Broadsheet, beautifully recited by Kilkenny actors. The phone line was initiated as part of the Kilkenny County Council community wellbeing initiative.

The Kilkenny Arts Office also presents an exhibition ‘Less Stress More Success’ at their Gallery on 5 Dean Street. Curator In Residence, Rachel Botha invites artists Eimear Murphy, Laura Fitzgerald and Saidhbhín Gibson to interpret stress/ success from varied perspectives. Raising questions concerning our strive to achieve. In relation to the exhibition a live workshop will be hosted via Zoom where Eimear Murphy will facilitate the exploration of the materials around us through our sense of touch. Using materials found around the house, this workshop will focus on the sensory and textural experiences of things.This workshop is suitable for teenagers and adults, and younger children should join with adult guidance.

The Medieval Mile Museum will offer a socially-distanced workshop where you will learn how to weave a simple 8-pointed star from recycled materials. Your star will join tens of thousands of others in the Amber Women’s Refuge One Million Stars to End Violence project.

Amber Women’s Refuge, led by Siobhan McQuillan (Art Therapist) and Relief Worker, initiated a Star Weaving project in Kilkenny in December 2019 with the aim to raise awareness and provide information about Domestic Violence. Kilkenny County Council has recently partnered with Amber Women’s refuge to support and promote this project and to get people weaving stars across Kilkenny and indeed the whole of Ireland.

To date there is a total of 3000 stars weaved by Kilkenny Volunteers, these stars form a fantastic installation for Culture Night at the Medieval Mile Museum.

TADA! Theatre School in Thomastown will host a series of theatre workshops at Thomastown Community Centre. These exciting workshops give a little taster of what happens at TADA! Theatre School, including theatre games, character work and scene work. There will be three sessions available, one is for children aged 8 and under, with adult accompaniment essential. Session two is for ages 9 – 13 and session 3 is for 13 and up, including adults.

At the Watergate Theatre catch a live rehearsed reading of ‘The Elm Tree’ by Darren Donohue in association with Asylum Productions from 8pm.

For more detailed information on the Kilkenny events and to make bookings please click here  


This year, Culture Night Carlow has been reimagined at Visual Carlow for our new reality.

‘WHEN I’ is a programme of newly commissioned works and performances for screen created by local and national artists in collaboration with members of Carlow’s community. See the fruits of this work captured in a 30-minute film that will premiere online at 6pm on Culture Night, Friday 18th September.

Artists working on the project include Katie Holten, Amanda Coogan, Tobi Omoteso, Feli Olusanya AKA Feli Speaks, John Scott, Jessica Traynor, Tom Lane, Tadgh O’Sullivan, John MacKenna, Fehdah and Carole Nelson.

In July of this year the Carlow County Council Culture Team made the decision to commission VISUAL Carlow to produce a digital programme of new works in collaboration with local film maker Patrick Bramley, Creative Director of Carlow based ULAB studios. Since July VISUAL Carlow, in partnership with Carlow County Council Arts Office, Arts Council of Ireland, Carlow County Development Partnership and Healthy Ireland Carlow, have been creating ‘WHEN I’.

‘WHEN I’ is a proclamation of hope, strength, and determination. Over the last few weeks and months, we have become frightfully aware of the fragility of our natural world and the unjust inequalities that lie buried deep within our society. We have taken to the streets to fight for racial equality and justice. We have experienced first-hand the negative impact our way of life is having on our planet. We have witnessed the closure of theatres, festivals, galleries, cinemas, libraries, bookshops, concert halls and venues. We have watched as artists and arts workers have hurried to find new ways and means of keeping the cultural and creative life blood of our communities alive, all the while facing major adversary and uncertainly, both personally and professionally. How we engage and participate in the cultural and creative life of our community has changed tremendously. But despite all this we continue to prevail through the solidarity of our people and communities.

In times of great change and uncertainty we can sometimes feel small, irrelevant, and powerless as individuals. ‘WHEN I’ is an artistic meditation on this and offers us an opportunity to reflect on how we may consider our own individual strength and our ability to create great change in the world. We ask you to join us in this commitment to positive change making by completing the proclamation ‘When I…’

This programme will premiere online at 6pm on Culture Night and will be available to watch on VISUAL Carlow, Carlow Arts Office/County Council and Culture Night’s websites and social media channels including Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

For more information on Carlow’s events click here