30 Sept 2022

Offaly people to 'come together again' for Culture Night 2021


Culture Night is back this year on Friday, September 17. This year Offaly County Council Arts Office invites you to Come Together Again across Offaly and beyond as we continue to explore new ways of expression.  

Much has been learned this year, and some artists and venues will be able to once again open their doors as well as offer virtual events in order to host a programme of FREE entertainment as part of our national celebration of arts and culture.  In its amazing 11th year, organisers invite you to experience another innovative and exciting Culture Night Offaly hybrid program through a spectacle of song, music, dance and visual arts as you’ve never seen before!

Over the years, Culture Night has become quite an integral part of the social life in communities, playing an important role of sharing art and culture in towns, cities and villages throughout County Offaly and Ireland. At this time of year, scores of venues open their doors as completely free events, to help support and promote artists from a variety of creative and cultural backgrounds. Some enthusiasts like to visit as many events on offer on the night as they can, in order to immerse themselves in as much cultural variety as possible! 

While we all faced challenges in 2020, we continue with enthusiasm as live events have the opportunity to rouse once again alongside our online events.   With straightforward health and safety guidelines in place, some ingenuity and creativity for live events and twinned with months of online experimentation and learning experiences, Culture Night Offaly will once again bring our community the colour and inspiration they desire. 

Launched on the Offaly Express and Offaly Independent Facebook Pages this past Monday, September 6 was an exciting promotional trailer featuring Offaly Culture Night’s amazing events. Excitement is growing as more ground events are taking place, as well as still providing some online features which continues to open us up to a further national and international audience.

Among this year’s highlights are:

The Makings – Fostering Youth Art Creativity - Launch

Offaly County Council presents a pivotal Youth Arts Strategy written by Angela Ryan Whyte, joined by special guests, speakers and an array of talented youth.   This special celebration of youth creativity includes performances by Donlon Dance Company, Speed Painter Shane Turner (both commissioned by the Offaly County Council Arts Office), and the Tullamore Screen Acting Company.

Donlon Dance Company’s chosen performance is an Urban Contemporary piece to a poem written by Camile Rainville called ‘Be a Lady’ which explores conflicting messages women have been given about how they should look, eat and behave in the workplace and in relationships with men.  The choreography has been created to give the young women in the dance group a platform to express their feelings through the art of movement.  

Revel in a mind-boggling display of creative skill and wonder as artist Shane Turner (South Africa’s Got Talent 2015, Ireland’s Got Talent 2019) reveals a surprise live painting performance of a locally inspiring personality that engages, perplexes, and enthrals audiences in an incredibly short time!

Tullamore Screen Acting Company will also provide a selection of scenes to view that are performed by young actors throughout the launch, followed by a brief explanation from the young people about their choices and how they approached the scene, including a special talk by actor Darragh O'Toole of Peaky Blinders.

The Tullamore Poet Laureate Reveal Event

Poetry Ireland presents ‘Poetry Town’ – a week-long celebration of poetry through special events and workshops in Tullamore and nationwide from September 10-18th.   Join Tullamore’s Poet Laureate Cormac Lally for a reading of his commissioned poem, written specially for the town.  Also expect some special guest appearances by other local poets including Eileen Casey, Richard Brennan and Pauline McNamee as well as some of Cormac’s students reciting work produced from his workshops.

‘Treasure’ – a Short Film Launch featuring the poetry of Eileen Casey

Treasure (Produced by Hello Camera, Birr) features poems by Eileen Casey, photography by Tina Claffey and art work by Caroline Conway. The film forms part of an exhibition, ‘The Strange Case of The Irish Elk’, a collaboration between Poet Eileen Casey and Visual Artist/Anthropologist, Curator and Poet, Jeanne Cannizzo. Treasure showcases bog themed poems set against a backdrop of Irish Peat Lands. Supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and commissioned by Offaly County Council Arts Office.

The Bog Gothic - Pop Up Museum and Exhibition at JJ Hough’s

This event weaves together perspectives from different parts of the community, old and new, through interviews, art work and objects sourced through local community groups such as the Bord Na Mona Men’s Shed and New Horizon’s Refugee Advice and Support, which react to and reflect on the role the Bog has played in the community and psyche of the Midlands.  The Bog Gothic Exhibition is also available online.  The project includes the work of artist Sheila Hough and Margo McNulty, commissioned by Offaly County Council Arts Office.

Adapting to a changed social climate, Offaly Culture Night 2021 will be notable as a wonderfully varied programme of events.   Hybrid celebrations allow us to make the best of both worlds as we highlight local culturally diverse and artistic attributes to our county, as well as sharing them with our national and global audience.   It will be great to once again experience some of the ever-popular original event format, as most Offaly Culture Night venues are now able to host more of their special ground events effectively, under current Covid-19 regulations.

For all event listings and details, check out the Offaly Culture Night Facebook Page and

All events are free but some will require advance booking due to limited spaces. Check our programme for details.

Culture Night Offaly is brought to you by The Arts Council in partnership with the Offaly County Council Arts Office. 

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