Derry City & Strabane - Culture News June 2020 




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Culture News June 2020


At the end of April 2020, Thrive launched the 'After the Interval' audience survey in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, in partnership with Katy Raines at Indigo Ltd. With this survey, they wanted to find out how audiences felt about coming back to live arts events, booking tickets now and in the future and missing out on live events during lockdown. Here is what they found out...


A pandemic couldn’t stop their senior citizens from successfully completing the NIHE Listen Share and Change project with the Verbal Arts Read Rooms. Village champion, Geraldine Galloway helped members move online via Zoom. The Forum received 10 tablets by the Kathleen Graham Charitable Trust ensuring the reading group to continue their class throughout social distancing


Written by Film Festival Team Live and direct to your favourite watching device, the shiny new BFF Player will be our online portal for a regular selection of short films and features, Q&A’s and discussions. Some of these will be new, others are wee gems unearthed from the archives.Our selection features Desert Island Flicks and some past short film competition winners.

Check this space for more BFF Player exclusives!


Virtual Summer Jamm is taking place on Saturday 13th June and we want you to take part in our TikTok Challenge & Busking Competition. Check out the link for more info.


Street Art, Graffiti and Mural specialists have been working their magic in partnership with local groups and businesses to pay tribute to Key Workers. Their latest work has been created with Old Library Trust on the Healthy Living Centre in Creggan.

Check out these beautiful tributes on UV Arts social media channels


Encore Contemporary Choir have adapted regular Thursday night rehearsal sessions as a means for members to stay connected to each other in these difficult times. Now virtual and done in isolation, the weekly sessions still happen and the choir have just released a video of their latest work which will bring joy not only to choir members but audiences alike.


“For many of us, singing is therapy. Our Thursday night rehearsals are a break from our daily personas as mammies and daddies, sons and daughters. They are a break from work or anything in life that causes us stress.

This video is the product of a desire to stay connected to each other, even in these difficult times. The message is one of hope; we will get through this and be together again, but until then we will keep holding on.

Encore is what it is because of each and every member. I could not be more proud of everyone who took part in this project; pushing personal boundaries in a bid to sing as a choir once again”.


Lights on the Horizon is an exciting new collection of stories and poems on paperback and Kindle, celebrating heroes and hope during Covid-19. All proceeds in aid of HSE and NHS frontline staff.


In these unprecedented times, the Tower Museum is collating a digital collection. A snapshot of what your daily life is like during the Covid19 crisis. You can do this with one simple image or a few words. This is open to everyone, we are all in this together. Check out the Tower Museum website Submissions to

Tower MuseumOn the 9th June the Council’s Archive & Genealogy service will celebrate International Archives Day with some social media posts using the #AnArchiveIs We will be asking you, to tell us what you think an archive is.. The archive sector celebrates raising awareness of the indispensable nature of archives in the preservation of the world’s memory. For details contact



Donegal CC have launch a new Public Art commission opportunity. This public art commission is funded by the TII as part of the N56 Coolboy to Kilmacrennan Road Scheme. The central theme of this Art Project focussed on St. Colmcille, in order to commemorate the 1,500th anniversary of his birth in 2021. It is anticipated that the total budget the artist will have to manage will be approximately €60,000.

Foyle O-Bon festival

The highlight of our Foyle O-Bon festival each year is the beautiful lantern ceremony. This year we want to create a beautiful display of lanterns at the Playtrail which we will light and film to create a virtual O-Bon but we need your help! We will offer online workshops and lantern making packs to create individualised pieces. To take part in this project email us with your name and postal address to Thank you and we look forward to seeing all your beautiful designs! For more information check out our link. Team O-Bon

Celtronic 2020 - Together : Apart

For the last twenty years, music fans from Derry, across Ireland and beyond have looked forward to the end of June for the annual dance music festival, Celtronic.

Festival organisers have expressed their disappointment at the necessary postponement of the festival but still wish to mark 20years and have announced a Celtronic for the times that we currently live in. Celtronic 2020 - Together:Apart will take place online and on your radio over 6 days and nights from Tuesday June 30th until Sunday July 5th.

You are invited to join from your living room, your bedroom, your garden or your workplace, alone or with your family and a few friends, and listen and watch some of the amazing local and national electronic music emerging from Ireland, stream exclusive performances from some of our favourite international artists and check out some of the recently discovered mixes from the last 20 years of Celtronic. 

“Nothing that we do will replace or replicate the beautiful togetherness and unity experienced dancing to the best electronic music in the world in a dark room with a massive sound system surrounded by friends and crew. We hope that Celtronic 2020 - Together: Apart will provide some joy and bring us all together while we remain apart”.

The Alley Theatre Summer Programme

We are delighted to be welcoming audiences to our new DIGITAL programme of events. A virtual hub of events and workshops for all ages accessible through our facebook page. Enjoy music nights, storytelling, murder mystery evenings, arts and craft classes and lots

Virtual Summer Jamm highlights

Virtual Summer Jamm took place on Saturday 13th June if you missed out. Check out the link for the music highlights..

Learning Festival

Now a member of UNESCO'S Global Network of Learning Cities, the city and region will host the first ever Virtual Learning Festival. Funded by North West Regional College and Ulster University, the Festival will offer a wide range of online learning experiences and activities in the form of information sessions, live presentations, short films and live chats, under the following learning themes: Jobs & Skills, Health & Well-Being, Arts & Culture and Technology & Science.

Guildhall Virtual Tours

The Guildhall invites you all to ‘take a virtual tour’ of Derry’s beautiful civic building! As you can’t call in for a visit jut now, meet our tour guides as they take you around the magnificent Guildhall virtually. Watch the tour on their Facebook or Instagram pages!

Walled City Music International Piano Festival

The Walled City Music International Piano Festival 2020 is online welcoming 100 participants from across the globe! Prizes will total over £4000 as well as special awards, concert opportunities in Europe, and full tuition scholarships to the 2021 WCM International Piano Festival. Learn more about these online competitions on the website and note the deadline is Tuesday 30thJune!

Culmore Cloud Festival 2020

​Culmore Cloud Festival. June Events include:

15 – 29 

TREASURE HUNT Upload local map and complete in your own time.

11 – 25 RAINBOW DASH Create a window display celebrating of our key workers- 3 prizes


Portraits under Lockdown- photographs of life now. For a pictorial history display @ Victoria Hall

Earagail Arts Festival

virtualDonegal’s premier summer festival brought to you via 18 digital events over 18 days from 9th to 26th July 2020. Adigital programme of new online and previously unseen archive performances. Working with our partners (including DCSDC) and artists on new artist development and audience engagement initiatives, to connect us with the rest of the world.

North West Arts, Culture & Heritage Planning Symposium 2020Hosted by Earagail Arts Festival, Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council present an online symposium designed to facilitate a co-ordinated and collaborative planning approach to programming, delivery and evaluation across the arts and cultural sector in the North West of Ireland.

Responding to current events and building on programmes already in development, the 2020 symposium will focus on two key strands: Audiences & Industry.

In a time of change and uncertainty, collaboration is key. The symposium invites local, national and international Industry leads, Arts & Cultural Networks, artists and creators to come together to share learning, research, opinion and plans in a bid to strengthen the sector as we move forward and deal with challenges.

The symposium will see a series of series of sessions delivered over a number of days throughout the Earagail Arts Festival (9th-26th July)

Participants are invited to select from and input to a range of presentations and discussions relevant to them, their organisation and their work.

Culture Night 2020

Save the Date! Culture Night celebrations will take place across Ireland on the 18th of September 2020. Although in a very different format, with most events happening online and/or within social distancing guidelines, Derry & Strabane will once again present a programme of activity which reflects the rich diversity of arts, culture and heritage of our district. Details of how to take part, programming and supports coming soon. Save the date.

Ulster Orchestra’s Lets Play Lets Play online platform

you can expect live-streamed recitals, some split-screen chamber ensembles, tutorials and tips for players and conversation about the music we play and the range of work that we do. Our videos will be uploaded each day to YouTube - access the playlist by clicking #UOLetsPlayAtHome or follow them on social media networks Instagram, twitter, face book.


IYSC Social Distancing

Animation 2020Let the gang at In Your Space Circus bring the fun TO YOU with their alternative selection of social dis-dance discos, circus entertainment, parades and fantastic front yard festivals.

IYSC can provide a high-quality, fun & engaging performance for your neighbourhood! Promoting joy, happiness, shared experience, and community cohesion on the streets.

 Some fabulous fest-y ideas: front yard frolics.

For cost and availability please email



 Arts Council NI Artist Emergency programme

updateThe Arts Council of Northern Ireland has announced a further 150 artists to benefit from its Artists Emergency Programme. This is in addition to the 88 awards its May announcement. Emmet Stewart, Sara Greavu, Gregory Mc Cartney and Ayesha Mailey are among local artists to be offered the award. Welcome news, allowing artists to develop new works, with 58 of these awards going to artists to receive Arts Council support for the first time.

Void Derry

Director RecommendsMoMA The Museum of Modern Art’s extensive resource of reading material in response to BLM, covering poets, writers, theorists, activists is part of recent Void’s Director Recommends series with Mary Cremin. The texts can be downloaded

 “With the 'Black Lives Matters' protests that have erupted in America and throughout the world, in response to George Floyd’s death and the systemic racism in America, it’s important to show our solidarity with the movement there and to be reflective of the racism that exists within our own context”. , and IMMA’s launch of the Derek Jarman catalogue Protest are among other resource recommendations. 

A Place to Start | Magazine

Ways of Working

RoeDerry artist Roe, progeny of the North west Regional College music programme and is one of a host of musicians from throughout Ireland involved in newly formed supergroup Music 4 Medicine who have released a cover of Lean on Me by the late Bill Withers with all proceeds to help buy PPE for Nursing Home staff . Check out this amazing story of Roe’s musical talent and journey as she reached Number One on the Irish iTunes chart and her plans for the future.

Red Bull Storytellers S1 E4: Rise Up: a life in music