10 Things to do in Wicklow on Culture Night 2022

CULTURE Night returns to County Wicklow on Friday, September 23, with 32 free events taking place in local towns, villages and rural locations.

ulture Night is a national moment, celebrating culture, creativity and the arts and seeks to actively promote the rich and varied culture treasured and nurtured in people’s lives.

This year, Wicklow Arts Office have collaborated, supported, and funded a range of events and activities across the county for Culture Night, thanks to the continued support of the Arts Council, Creative Ireland and the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme provided by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Creative Ireland.

Here we’re highlighting eight of the best things to do in County Wicklow on Culture night.

Journey through Arklow’s Culture Crawl

Arklow Music and Arts curate and manage the very first Arklow Culture Crawl on Culture Night, which will feature musicians, bands, artists, poets, actors and more. You will be led through the streets of Arklow stopping off at cultural and historic sites along the way to soak up all that’s on offer

Events kick off at 6.50 p.m. where people will meet at St. Saviour’s Church on the Coolgreaney Road and set off at 7 p.m. sharp, finishing at 11 p.m.. Make sure to bring your walking shoes and suitable clothing!

The line-up of artists include: Devin Reardon, Crinniu conducted by Rosari Kinsella, Suantrai Choir conducted by Sarah Clancy, Tommy Breen and The Cailini, A Chairde – Geraldine Hamilton, Mary Graham, Kathryn Noone, Tony Byrne Percussionist, Aaron T Bone Jazz Guitarist, Arklow Revival Gospel Choir, Dynamics conducted by Jennifer Lee, Cor na hAbhann conducted by Jennifer Lee, Wicklow Miners CCE Trad Group, Avril O’ Toole, Fionn and Roisin Vigors, The Kinsella’s, Kate O’Sullivan Poetry and Drama Recital, Eleanor O’ Reilly, Haiku Demonstration (Japanese Poetry), Niki Purcell (Artist), Ann Marie Williams Graphic Designer, Robin James Hunt Scottish Folk Singer, Arklow Pipeband, Christine Dunne Firmo and Richard Dunne, Sean Fox, Bri Elle Finn and Pat Power.

Venues being visited include St. Saviour’s Church, The Corner House, Tom’s Lane, Arklow Christian Community Church (Old Nun’s Chapel, St. Mary’s Road), Ormonde Cinema, Arklow Library, The Bandstand Arklow Town Centre, Bradshaw’s Lane and Arklow Golf Club.

A free bus will be available from 9.30 p.m. outside McMullans to bring people from the library to Arklow Golf Club at the end of the walk.

Watch Kila live in Baltinglass

Heralded as one of Ireland’s most innovative and exciting bands, Kíla will be performing in Fatima Hall, Baltinglass at 8.30 p.m.

The gig is part of their tour celebrating 35 years of composing tunes and wowing audiences with their unique brand of trad fusion.

Often defined as contemporary Irish World music, Kíla fuse the effects of their own melodies and Irish (Gaeilge) lyrics, Irish folk instruments such as whistles, fiddles, Uilleann pipes, bones and bodhrán with djembe, congas, drums, mandolins, brass and acoustic/electric/ bass guitars.

Their performance will be proceeded by harpist Aisling Ennis and soprano Catherine Redding, who present a recital of evocative and charming selections by Fauré, Debussy, Bellini and Strauss from 6.30 p.m.

Booking isn’t essential but it’s advisable.

Dress-up and stories for the kids in Bray 

Signal Arts Centre in Bray will host a celebration of art through the ages, beginning at 2 p.m. with workshops, dress-up and story-telling  for children. Children are encouraged to dress-up as their favourite art start or art work and will be provided with a polaroid memento. Children’s workshops will run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Song and cookery in Dunlavin

Local singer-songwriter, Amy Barrett, is taking to the stage at Market Square in Dunlavin for a special concert starting at 8 p.m.

In 2018 Amy’s debut single ‘Emilio’ went straight in as the highest new entry in the Irish iTunes chart and reached number two in the Singer/Songwriter Chart behind George Ezra. She has won Wicklow’s Scor na nOg solo singing competition multiple times and has a Community Games All-Ireland gold medal for singing.

Market Square will also host a fun-filled interactive cookery demonstration presented by celebrity chef and Wicklow native Catherine Fulvio, starting at 6 p.m. Catherine will demonstrate a new delicious dish especially designed for this celebratory event.

Festival of free music at The Avon in Blessington

Join the West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival on Culture Night for a magical musical evening in the stunning setting of The Avon, on the shores of the Blessington Lakes.

The second of two, free Culture Night performances at The Avon features the Yurodny Ensemble. Founded in 2007 by saxophonist and composer Nick Roth, this nine-piece musically-diverse ensemble perform contemporary interpretations of traditional music from around the world, alongside new work by composers inspired by these traditions. For this concert they will perform music from Macedonia, Egypt, Ukraine, Serbia, Romania and Turkey, as well as new music by Miklós Lukács and Cora Venus Lunny.

The concert starts at 8.30 p.m. Please note that this event takes place in a weather-proof marquee. The Avon Food Court will be open until 9 p.m. on the night. Choose from a selection of premium sweet and savoury food trucks, plus an outdoor bar.

The other event taking place at The Avon features two of Ireland’s most accomplished percussionists, Caitríona Frost and Paddy Nolan. Enjoy a feast of party-fuelled percussion virtuosity. A perfect way to get to know the different instruments that make up the percussion family including marimba, vibraphone, drums, and tambourines.

The concert starts at 6.30 p.m. and will include music by Elliot Cole, Philip Glass and Casey Cangelosi as well as an original composition from Caitríona based on techniques normally found in traditional Irish music.

Celebration of jazz in Greystones

The Whale Theatre in Greystones will hold an intergenerational celebration of jazz music featuring some of Ireland’s most celebrated jazz masters, alongside a new generation of emerging young jazz musicians. Spanning some of the many distinct jazz styles, and showcase a range of different instruments, this diverse evening will create a real Jazz Club vibe and starts at 7 p.m.

Follow the beat on Bray seafront

Laura Murphy Dance presents Abacus on the Bray seafront at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nine women take 18 buckets through some finely tuned choreography: lifting and swinging, twirling and clashing to the beat of the industrial drum.

Abacus is a hypnotic journey across the factory floor making a spectacle of the mundane. Choreographer Laura Murphy finds humanity in mass production and hears music where others hear noise. Pick up a bucket and get in line.

Catch-up with Cappy at the Courthouse 

Mark ‘Cappy’ Caplice, fresh from teaming up with the Grammys to make a song for their ‘Re-Imagined at home’ project, headlines Culture Night at the Courthouse Arts Centre in Tinahely.

Expect a multi-dimensional experience of sound and vision with music on stage from Mark, Layzee Gold and Sam Ali; while visual artist, Liing Heaney will animate the townscape buildings with projections from her CGI film making exploring Tomnafinnoge Woods in a digital space. It starts at 7.30 p.m.

Get creative with nature and mosaics in Rathdrum

A fun family Geli plate printmaking workshop takes place at Rathdrum Library, starting at 5.30 p.m. Celebrate Culture Night and the change in the season-by foraging fallen leaves, feathers and repurpose and recycle interesting textured objects to use as the subject for your print. Learn about registration, composition, negative and positive space, ink and print a one of a kind print to take home. Booking essential, please call (0404) 43232 during library opening hours.

You can create your own mosaic at Rathdrum Library through a workshop with Laura O’Hagan, getting underway at 7 p.m. In advance of the workshop the library will give participants a template on which to draw a simple line drawing of proposed design. This will be approximately 15 cm squared.

The workshop will consist of learning the technique of making a mosaic, participants will use the tools supplied to cut the components and produce a finished mosaic at this workshop. Participants must wear suitable footwear, not sandals or flipflops.

Look back at historic women in Bray

Bray Literary Festival presents ‘Reviving Forgotten Women’ a celebration in music and poetry, taking place at Bray Library from 7.30 p.m.

The night includes music written and performed by poet and songwriter Catherine Ann Cullen and songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Imogen Gunner, reflecting not only on the women of 100 years ago but also on their continuing influences on our lives today. Material will cover Women in the Decade of Commemorations: poetry and songs about the women of 1914-23, from suffragettes to 1916 rebels, prostitutes in the Monto, pioneering politicians and civil war doctors.

The second part of this event ‘Close to the Surface – Writing Forgotten Women into the Present’ will include readings by leading poets: Emily Cooper, Jo Burns and Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal.

To find out more about any of these events, or the many more Culture Night activities taking place across County Wicklow, visit culturenight.ie

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