1 September 2021
By Tom Collins
Culture Night 2021 promises an evening of live and online events in Cork City. The official hashtags are #CorkCultureNight and #ComeTogetherAgain
With the announcement of further re-opening of the arts and cultural sector in the next few weeks, the return of evenings of music, art, dance and theatre are now tantalisingly close. The event that heralds the Autumn arts season, Culture Night, is in planning all across the country, and Cork City’s cultural community, as always, have some real treats in store. Officially launched today at Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork City Culture Night takes over our streets and venues on Friday 17th September.
Now in its sixteenth year, Culture Night once again presents a rich showcase of our creative city, with over 70 venues and organisations taking part. This year’s theme is ‘Come Together Again’, representing a moment many of us have looked forward to for a long time. Cork City Culture Night provides an opportunity for those directly involved in the arts to showcase exactly why this sector is so vitally important, and so intrinsically linked with our culture.
While certain events are to be enjoyed virtually, much of the 2021 programme can be accessed in person, safely in line with new guidelines as they come on stream – which will be welcome news to those craving that tangible cultural experience. But with numbers still very limited, patrons are advised to check booking requirements, and if plans change, to please release the tickets to allow someone else attend.
Among the highlights in 2021 are:
‘Upstaged – Culture Night in the Park’, is a celebration of street arts planned for Fitzgerald’s Park. A series of short Circus and Street Performance shows have been programmed by Circus Factory for the event. Also part of this event is a walkabout pageant “The Marriage Of Cultures” from Cork Puppetry Company, and other fun arts activities are still being added to the line-up. Fitzgerald’s Park is also home to Cork Public Museum, which as always, will be open, and Sample Studios will show the exhibition ‘Slow Puncture’ by Lily O’ Shea in the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion.
With safety considerations still topmost in our minds, Culture Night this year hosts several more events to be experienced outdoors. Also sited in Fitzgerald’s Park, but to be seen in various other city locations too, are elements of GRAFT, five temporary public artworks commissioned by the Glucksman and the National Sculpture Factory together. Encompassing film, sound, ceramics, textiles and metal, these very different works by notable artists Bríd Murphy, Adam Gibney, Seoidín Sullivan, Linda Quinlan and Vanessa Donoso Lopez form a trail to find and to follow.
IndieCork Festival’s ‘Creative Cork Showcase’ will delight film buffs, longing for cinema seats & popcorn. A programme of Cork shorts from recent years will be shown at the festival’s partner venue The Gate Cinema especially for Culture Night, as a taste of the festival which begins on September 19th.
Another Cork City Art Trail sees an exhibition by artist Ciara Chapman in shop windows around the city. This unique exhibition ties in with September as Chronic Pain Month, and chronicles a life lived while dealing with chronic pain. The visual representation of the artist’s struggle is intended to reassure those dealing with pain of any kind – mental, emotional, physical – that they are not alone – in My Chronic Pain Diary, the subject matter is communicated through vibrant artworks, bright colours, 3D illustrations, ornate origami and decorative lighting.
‘Rembrandt in Print’ is the title of another exhibition likely to be popular this Culture Night, featuring a collaborative Print Studio with Cork Printmakers, this will be showcased at the Crawford Art Gallery.
Leeside’s celebration of culture continues with a special event at St Peter’s Cork that explores Multicultural Spaces. The event aims to showcase the many vibrant international cultures present in Cork city. Each culture will be represented within their own section, with music, art, food and dance, offering an opportunity to engage with each unique cultural identity.
Speaking as Cork City Culture Night was officially launched, Lord Mayor Councillor Colm Kelleher commented:
“It is my privilege to be launching the Cork City Culture Night programme of events for 2021. Culture Night is always a favourite evening for people all across the city, myself included. Last year, venues across the city went above and beyond to ensure that the people of Cork would still be able to enjoy Culture Night, albeit in a different way to previous years. And in 2021 they have done this yet again, adjusting to changing guidelines to ensure this year’s programme has another fantastic variety of in-person, outdoor and online events for all to enjoy safely. From visual arts to music, film and literature, there truly is something for everyone – and I am encouraging the people of Cork to ‘come together again’ and enjoy these free events for Cork City Culture Night 2021.”
Many in-person events this Culture Night will require booking, and some online events require pre-registration. View the full Cork City Culture Night programme on www.culturenightcork.ie in advance, and keeping up with latest news via @corkcityarts on Facebook and Twitter, and on instagram.com/culturenightcorkcity, particularly as new guidelines may lead to changes.