The fifteenth edition of Ireland's Culture Night is set for this Friday, September 18
Culture Night, the annual, all-Ireland public event that celebrates culture, creativity, and the arts, is returning this year in both a physical and virtual aspect as organizers encourage audiences to come together apart as they "open a window into Ireland's shared cultural experience."
This Friday, September 18, Culture Night 2020 will host dozens of free, cultural events both online and offline, many of which are family-friendly and suitable for all ages. The entire programme for Culture Night 2020 is available online here.
Organizers for this year’s events said: “In response to the unprecedented challenges of the moment, Culture Night will share a hybrid programme of digital and physical events, continuing to champion the Culture Night legacy as a night of shared cultural experiences– making culture free and accessible to all. Audiences of all ages both here and abroad, can seek out culture online, or in their locality.
While many of Culture Night 2020's events will take place online, there will be some "safe, offline" events on the schedule as well. (Organizers, committed to the health and safety of audiences and presenters, do note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, events on the Culture Night programme are subject to change/cancellation.)
On Culture Night / Oíche Chultúir, arts and cultural organisations and venues of all shapes and sizes, from independent studios and art-spaces to national cultural institutions, extend their opening hours to allow increased access for the public. Special and unique events and workshops are specifically programmed at participating locations and, thanks to the continued support of the Arts Council and local authorities across the island of Ireland, all activities are made available to the public free of charge.
The Arts Council is the primary funder for Culture Night for the first time ever this year, driving the event’s focus on equity for artists and increasing visibility of Ireland’s diverse cultural landscape.
Newly appointed Director of The Arts Council, Maureen Kennelly said: “While this year presents new challenges for the cultural sector, we see Culture Night as a fantastic opportunity for artists, arts organisations and audiences to connect, online and offline, and to celebrate the value that the arts brings to our lives.
"The Arts Council’s ‘Paying The Artist’ and ‘Equality, Human Rights and Diversity’ policies are key considerations in the planning for this year’s event, and we envisage that Culture Night will be part of our path to return to creativity and culture in new, inclusive and exciting ways.”
Culture Night / Oíche Chultúir has grown from a relatively small-scale cultural event, staged only in Dublin in 2006, to the significant national cultural event it is now, with some 400,000 people visiting museums, galleries, historic houses, artists’ studios, and cultural centres across the island. The initiative has captured the public imagination and its success has been propelled by the enthusiasm of artists and cultural organisations.
Culture Night / Oíche Chultúir is an initiative of Dublin City Council (Temple Bar Cultural Trust) and became a national event with support from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht from 2008 onward. In 2020, responsibility for steering and funding Culture Night / Oíche Chultúir on a national level was transferred from the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht to the Arts Council.