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Donegal preparing to wrap up in Culture Night

ON Friday September 20 hundreds of thousands of people across Ireland are invited to experience an explosion of creativity as the country comes alive for Culture Night, Ireland’s annual nocturnal cultural extravaganza.

Donegal County Council Cultural Services is proud to present another packed programme for this major national celebration with over 50 diverse events in 27 venues. This will be Letterkenny’s 11th occasion to take part in Culture Night, providing a terrific opportunity for families to sample aspects of Irish culture and heritage. Faces will light up with wonder as people of all ages come together to celebrate our local cultural identity, enjoying a totally unique evening of accessible, family friendly events – all completely free of charge.

Culture night extends an invitation for the community to wrap up in culture and create unique shared experiences and memories. From generations of families consuming and exploring new night-time adventures to groups of friends enjoying cultural genres they might never have before, this is a one of a kind experience for everyone to take part in.

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Highlights of events taking place in Letterkenny include:

Among the 2019 highlights are the largest outdoor event in the Letterkenny Town Park, an absolute favourite every year. Presented by Donegal County Council Arts Service, this night time extravaganza of sculpture, performance and art installation is simply not to be missed. Inspired by comic book visions of the future and real-life emerging cyber technologies, the brilliant Inishowen Carnival presents CYBERTRIBE featuring local performers from Fusion Events (Letterkenny), Zona Dance (Letterkenny), Aisling Dance Academy (Ballybofey) along with fire performance from In Your Space Circus (Derry).

Other much anticipated happenings include the guided tours at Letterkenny Courthouse along with a very special reading from our 2019 Culture Night ambassador poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin. From Cloch Cheann Fhaola in North West Donegal, she has been awarded several literary fellowships and is the 2019-20 Writer-In-Residence at NUI Maynooth. Drawing inspiration from the very rich and ancient relationship in Ireland between poetry and law, Ní Churreáin will read from her books Bloodroot and Town looking closely at the themes of landscape, roots, and the power of the human voice to excavate the past. Reading will be followed by an audience question and answer session.

All aboard…To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the closure of the Donegal railway line, visitors will be able to watch footage of trains and share their memories.

Film and Exhibitions 
Visual arts and films are strongly featured this year with a selection of exhibitions available at the Donegal County Museum including the Letterkenny Folk Festival featuring photographs, posters and leaflets from the collections of Sally Blake and Billy Watson to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the festival. And ‘All Aboard the Donegal Railways!’ where visitors can also watch footage from the heyday of the trains and share memories of the railways of Donegal.

Down the road, the team at the Regional Cultural Centre once again offer something special for all ages and interests with visual art, film and family workshops including ‘When I Was a Child’, a group exhibition curated by Peadar Mc Daid, featuring 50 artists presenting work that reflects something from their childhood.

Over at Century Cinemas the Donegal Intercultural Platform, Donegal Travellers Project, Building Intercultural Communities (BIC) presents the Launch of the Donegal Intercultural Arts Research Project Report and the screening of Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell’s film Gaza and Sai Sankar’s, Sakura Pooka. Followed by Q&A with Guest Speakers.

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Children and Families
Culture Night is a special after-hours event for all ages. This year the Central Library once again present a fantastic programme of history and heritage for Culture Night with exhibitions, tours and the Jessica Harkin Family Magic Show kicking off proceedings with a magical sleight of hand show that promises to get your Culture Night off to a magical start.

Donegal poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin who will read from her books.

Something a little bit different… 
We are excited to see these unusual performances take place on Culture Night. An Grianán Theatre presents Waiting Tables For Godot, by Mockingbird Theatre Group with Ronan Carr and Anne Gallagher. Performed in the theatre’s cafe bar with soup served in bowler hats for the customers, this show is about a pair of conjoined twins who are serving tables and waiting for Godot to come through the front door. The nearby Bus Éireann Bus Station presents an Donegal County Museum offsite exhibition as well as unique performance with Little John Nee who is Waiting On a Train. In this special Culture Night event he will present a series of songs and spoken word interludes on a theme of trains and railways. A member of the Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra and also of Aosdána, John Nee is an inimitable Donegal, Glasgow, Galway playwright, performer, storyteller, multi-instrumentalist.

Full Programme and Information
This, however, is only a taste of what’s on offer. To get the full story, you can download the pdf programme of Culture Night events from the Donegal County Council website www.donegalcoco.ie. Copies of the Culture Night programme booklet will also be widely available locally from this weekend.

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