What's On Guide February 2020

29 Jan 2020

What's On Guide February 2020

Arts & Business NI events

Allianz Arts & Business NI Awards 2020 – Thank you for making it a great night!
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
16 January 2020
The Lyric, Belfast once again played host to over 250 guests for the Allianz Arts & Business NI Awards 2020. The awards sponsored for the fourteenth year in a row by Allianz, celebrates the rich creativity and pioneering partnerships between the worlds of business and the Arts here in Northern Ireland.
Dr Wendy Austin, MBE compered the ceremony during which Awards were announced across ten categories. Those shortlisted and winning arts-business partnership Awards are a spectacular reflection of how rich creative collaborations can deliver meaningful benefits for both sectors. Among the speakers on the evening was Tracy Meharg, the Permanent Secretary, Department for Communities and Ciaran Scullion from the Arts Council of NI.
The Allianz Arts & Business NI Business of the Year Award 2020 went to A & L Goodbody for excelling in integrating arts and culture through its business working in partnership with the Lyric Theatre and Belfast Exposed. The Allianz Arts & Business NI Arts Organisation of the Year Award 2020 was won by Book Trust NI who received a cheque from Allianz for £3,000. Barry Desmond of Alexander Boyd Displays took home the title of Business Individual of the Year. The awards pieces presented to the winners on the evening were designed and created by local contemporary Irish goldsmiths Martin Cameron and Laura Breen, who are based in Randalstown, Co. Antrim.
To see the full report, the fabulous winners, and videos from Awards night follow this link
and read 2 new blogs from our business member Whitenoise here
If your business would be interested in sponsoring any of our Arts & Business NI member events please just let us know.

4 Corners Festival
Various Venues, Belfast
31 January – 9 February 2020
The 4 Corners Festival seeks to inspire people from across Belfast to transform it for the peace and prosperity of all. It features innovative events designed to entice people out of their own ‘corners’ of the city and into new places where they will encounter new perspectives, new ideas and hopefully meet new friends. The Festival takes place annually in February. It comprises a range of events featuring discussion, music, prayer, drama, poetry and story-telling in venues across the city of Belfast.

NI Science Festival
Cathedral Quarter Belfast
13 February – 23 February 2020
With over 180 events across 50+ venues, the NI Science Festival offers a stimulating and wide range of events focusing on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These events present some of the best scientists from NI and beyond to discuss their work, cutting-edge research and what the future might hold. During the day, the Festival offers a range of workshops, talks and interactive activities for young people, parents and schools. In the evening we will present an eclectic mix of scientific debate, talks, theatres, comedy, music and film for adults.

Big Telly Creative Shops
17 February – 28 March 2020
Big Telly Theatre Company (winners of Allianz A&BNI 2020 Creative Cultural Engagement Award) are opening a Creative Shop in Ballycastle. The Creative Shops ethos is to get the local community involved in all kinds of colourful and creative stuff, while breathing life into vacant shops and energising high streets across the country - bringing a bit of colour, life and craic as well as celebrating what is local and special about a place. Anything can happen and usually does! Theatre, dance, music, window theatre, open mic, stories, memories, histories, puppets, longest ghost story in the world, tall tales, knitting, poetry, film making, local artists, visiting artists, dog shows, trade secrets, mannequin Mondays - it’s all going to be happening in Ballycastle Creative Shop. There are activities for all ages, and everybody is welcome. Passers-by, shoppers, young, young at heart, old hands, new hands – literally something for everyone! Keep an eye on Big Telly’s Facebook page and website for details of when and where, with events on up to 6 days a week!

BMS International Festival of Chamber Music
Various Venues, Belfast
21 February – 23 February 2020
The International Festival of Chamber Music is Northern Ireland’s premier chamber music event, presenting top international classical musicians alongside outstanding local artists in three days of world-class concerts and recitals. This year’s artists include: rising stars from Europe, the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam; former BBC Young Musician, cellist Laura van der Heijden; renowned Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero; and an all-star trio of Adam Walker (principal flute, London Symphony Orchestra), Hélène Clément (viola, Doric Quartet) and Agnès Clément (harp, Brussels opera). The wide-ranging programme includes classical favourites Brahms, Haydn and Beethoven as well as quartet arrangements of Renaissance music, live improvisation, and a brand new work by Irish composer Rhona Clarke. There’s something for everyone, including the youngest audiences. ‘Chamber Babies’ offers short, informal concerts for babies up to 18 months old and their mums and dads in the Crescent Arts Centre, presented by local harpist Gráinne Meyer. The main concerts take place in the grand surroundings of Queen’s University’s Great Hall, while the annual student showcase recital and masterclass are based in the Harty Room, with its celebrated acoustic and beautiful beamed ceiling. All performances (except lunchtime concerts) include complimentary interval refreshments. Free parking is available at both venues from Friday evening onwards, and there is disabled access.

Brilliant Corners Jazz Festival
Various Venues, Belfast
27 February - 7 March 2020
Brilliant Corners is Belfast’s only jazz festival. This edition will see 10 days of the very best local, national and international talent fill the city with music. There will be familiar names and brand-new stars. Expect sounds from Berlin, New Orleans, mid-Ulster and outer space. We’ve grown this year with an extra couple of concerts, post-gig jam sessions at The Sunflower, and the films are back too! Our ridiculously good value full-festival-ticket is back as well, giving access to 12 ticketed gigs for just £50 – or you can pay per concert. We just want you to hear as much as you can, go to things you may not normally go to, and say things like “I had no idea I would enjoy that so much!” The programme is fit for bursting with great stuff and we can’t wait for you to enjoy it. If you have been before, you’ll know what to expect; amazing, surprising, life-changing music. If you haven’t, we hope you’ll come along and experience Belfast’s only jazz festival in all its bijou glory!

Theatre & Comedy
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
31 January – 1 February 2020
Following their highly-acclaimed 2018 tour, and their extended sold-out run at The Peacock Theatre, Livin’ Dred Theatre present the award-winning Trad by Mark Doherty. An hilarious, absurd and poignant tale of a 100-year-old Irishman… and his father! Together they set out to discover the son they never knew he had. "There's a child belonging to me wandering around out there for seventy years and I never met him. I’ve a trip left in me… Get me leg!" Featuring live original music, and directed by award-winning actor Aaron Monaghan, Trad is a side-splitting, heart-warming saga not to be missed.

Minor Monuments with Ian Maleney
Seamus Heaney HomePlace
1 February 2020
Written and performed by Ian Maleney, with original film footage by Jamie McGoldrick. Set around a small family farm on the edge of a bog, a few miles from the river Shannon, Minor Monuments is a live audio-visual essay unfolding from the landscape of the Irish midlands. Taking in the physical and philosophical power of sound and music, and the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on a family, Ian Maleney questions the nature of home, memory, and the complex nature of belonging. The show weaves live reading with voice recordings, music, the ambient sound of the landscape from Ian’s home place, and original film footage shot by Jamie McGoldrick. A thought-provoking and quietly devastating meditation on family and loss, Minor Monuments is a beautiful and unique literary experience.

Kiss Me Kate
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
1 February – 22 February 2020
Kiss Me, Kate, Cole Porter’s iconic musical comedy follows a fiery couple of co-stars feuding both on and offstage in a production of Shakespeare’s Taming Of The Shrew. Showbiz shenanigans together with a jazz-inflected score form a sparkling tribute to the golden age of theatre in all its greasepaint and glory. Kiss Me, Kate’s award winning music and razor-sharp wit are catapulted into the limelight by a cast performing show-stopping numbers including Too Darn Hot; Another Op’nin’, Another Show; Brush Up Your Shakespeare; and So In Love. Whilst chaos reigns in this behind-the-scenes battle of the sexes, the show must go on...

4 Corners Festival presents Grace Beneath the Cranes
H&W Welders Football and Social Club, Dee Street, Belfast
1 February 2020
Singer-songwriter Tommy Sands, along with Belfast poet Linda Molloy and former loyalist prisoner turned playwright and poet, Robert ‘Beano’ Niblock, will explore a variety of themes in song, music and poetry including murder, prison, serious injury, and recruitment into a paramilitary organization. The overarching theme of the evening will be ‘Grace beneath the Cranes.’ Tommy Sands’ most famous song There Were Roses is about a Protestant friend murdered by republican paramilitaries. Linda Molloy’s 18 year-old son was the victim of a sectarian murder in 1996. Robert ‘Beano’ Niblock’s plays include Tartan and A Reason to Believe.

Coole Lady: The Extraordinary Story of Lady Gregory
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
5 February – 9 February 2020
Coole Lady is a memory play. From her estate at Coole Park, Lady Gregory, co-founder of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, reflects on a life of service to her country, her family and her friends. She recalls times when she was the centre of Ireland’s literary life and periods of personal tragedy lived in the midst of national struggle. She speaks frankly about her love affairs and her determined efforts to ensure the survival of her beloved Coole. Proud and indomitable on the outside, Lady Gregory reveals a passionate nature and deep vulnerability within. More than anything, the play is a story of survival and courage that engages our sympathies and touches our hearts.

The Ardhowen, Enniskillen
6 February 2020
Who was Edith Piaf? And how did she come to represent the spirit of Paris like no one before or since? Her life is as well documented as her legendary voice - a child of the Paris streets who rose, via a tragic life of drink, drugs and premature death at 48, to become the best-known chanteuse in America and throughout the world. She lived a passionate life loving, laughing, crying, drinking, taking and giving to excess. Christine Bovill’s Piaf is a moving theatrical homage to one of France’s most endearing icons; celebrating some of her best-known songs, threaded with Piaf’s story, and Christine’s own remarkable journey in the world of chanson. An award-winning songwriter in her own right, Bovill has toured throughout Europe and the Far East with her self-penned homage to the Little Sparrow. Despite the sorrow of Piaf’s story, this is an evening of celebration – a tale of human triumph over tragedy; and, at its heart, a unique performance by a woman widely regarded as one of the finest interpreters of French Song.

The 10 Dark Secrets Of The Irish Revolution
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
6 February – 7 February 2020
Join historical Entertainer Paddy Cullivan this February as he brings you an audiovisual spectacular for the centenary decade of the Irish Revolution. Using imagery, historical insight and song - Paddy reveals the 10 strangest things (and Darkest Secrets) that happened during our Rising, Revolution and Counter-Revolution (Civil War). He also draws parallels with those events’ effects on modern Ireland. How did the lawyer who prosecuted the 1916 leaders end up in one of the highest positions in the Free State? Why were 280,000 women denied the vital Treaty Election Vote of 1922? What made 2 million Irish People turn from hating 1916 to supporting the War of Independence? What dark secret made Michael Collins sign the Treaty, and why is his assassination even stranger and more covered-up than JFK’s? Unfolding like an unputdownable thriller, all these questions and more will be dealt with in the show to end all Irish Revolution shows… Age 16+.

Stranded! Half Cut Cabaret
Strand Arts Centre
7 February 2020
Most Seedhead Arts cabarets will have a tantalizing mix of music, comedy, magic, circus and the truly bizarre. And there’s always a compere on hand to hold that fine line between general merriment and total mayhem! Over 18s BYO

Maiden Voyage Double Bill (dance)
The MAC, Belfast
7 February – 8 February 2020
Boundaries and our sense of belonging are at the forefront of this new double bill by Maiden Voyage Dance. Brink: A new duet from Eileen McClory, negotiates the fragile balance for survival when our future is entrusted to another. Brink is performed by Ryan O’Neill and Vasiliki Stasinaki with original music by Katie Richardson. The Here Trio: From acclaimed choreographer Liz Roche, challenges preconceptions about site, history and the right to belong in a place. The Here Trio is co-produced in partnership with Liz Roche Company, performed by Ryan O'Neill, Sarah Cerneaux and Gloria Ros Abellana, original music by drummer Bryan O’Connell, with sound design and visuals by Luca Truffarelli. Age 13+

Lyric Theatre, Belfast
11 February – 16 February 2020
Following on from its critically acclaimed sell out run last year, Little Willow Productions is proud to return with Ruby! a play written by Michael Cameron and featuring Libby Smyth as Ruby Murray. Belfast born Ruby Murray was one of the most popular singing stars in the world in the 1950s, becoming the only recording artist in history to have five songs in the Top Twenty in the same week. Behind the triumphs however, a darker story was unfolding in Ruby’s life. This intimate drama enthralled audiences on its debut run. Please note the play contains strong language and adult themes.

Midweek Magic Club
The Black Box, Belfast
12 February 2020
All magic is not the same. Midweek Magic Club is the magic equivalent of a garage band playing in a sweaty basement bar. It’s rough, it’s intimate, it’s full of raw energy and we’re going to be right up in your faces blowing your minds. MWMC is a two and a half hour event which is all about the close up. Close up magic that happens right at your table. It was the first event that Seedhead ever set up and it’s still one of our favourites because it changes the dynamic of what it means to go to a show. It’s an event that allows you to see old friends or make new ones because the micro performances are spread out over the evening, allowing you to socialise and have a beer in-between. There’s really not another night like it in Belfast. It’s always different, always rowdy and ALWAYS worth leaving the house on a Wednesday for.

Sorry For Your Loss
The Alley Theatre, Strabane
13 February 2020
Nothing ever happens in the isolated town-land of Bannion, Donegal. But when sisters Barbara and Alice learn of the passing of their uncle Paddy (or is it Peter) their fortunes are about to change. Hosting an Irish wake - easy...! Keeping this a secret from their cunning sister Majella and superstitious niece Cara? - difficult..! Especially as Bannion is home to some unusual townsfolk. Are they making a grave mistake, or are their lives gonna hit a dead end? With more twists than a cork screw this adult humour show will have you killed with laughter, as we give uncle Paddy the send off he always wanted!! If it's laughter you're after then this is the wake for you!

Girls Night Oot
Millennium Forum, Derry-Londonderry
13 February 2020
Back By Popular Demand. Join the girls on a hen night that you won’t forget with a smash hit retro soundtrack…Songs from 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and Now! To prepare for a marriage all a girl needs are her friends and a guid old hen night! Banterous and Bootyliciously good fun! Songs include Hot Stuff, Girls Just wanna have fun, I’m Every Woman and many more! Over 18s only.

Stranded! Coven Comedy Club
Strand Arts Centre
14 February 2020
Make a date with some of Belfast’s hottest stand-up comics for this spectacular brought to you by Coven Comedy Club. Four acts plus special guest headliner. Over 18s BYO

Across The Threshold
The Dark Horse, Hill Street, Belfast 18 February – 19 February 2020
Seamus Heaney HomePlace 20 February 2020
Theatre inspired by Heaney ‘Fragments of theatre and conversation inspired by the poetry of Seamus Heaney, with pieces written by Nicola McCartney.’ Big Telly Theatre Company present an atmospheric hour of theatre. The performance will feature two short pieces based on the poetry of Seamus Heaney, with sensory audio and visual experiences, and readings of a selection of Heaney’s poems. Originally from the 2008 Big Telly production of ‘Bog People’ and directed by Zoe, Nicola McCartney’s writings weave intricate portrayals of the humanity and the landscape so beautifully and painfully captured by Heaney’s work. The performance style is sparse, intimate, evocative paying homage to Heaney’s extraordinary depiction of landscape, belonging, the domestic and the epic. This is an intimate experience for audience – an interactive, sharing performance event which Big Telly are delighted will be hosted in The Dark Horse as well as in Bangor, Cushendun and Seamus Heaney Homeplace in Bellaghy. Tickets for The Dark Horse are available through Eventbrite. and for HomePlace book here

Dream, Sleep, Connect
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
18 February – 22 February 2020
A bold new comedy by c21 Theatre Company about disconnection in the digital world, Dream, Sleep, Connect takes a timely ‘swipe’ at online dating and app-oholics. Chris is working on a technological solution for the Irish border under the beady eye of his boss, Lucy, when he realises he has no one to invite to the office do. He joins Tinder only to find he’s met his match in more ways than one… But before long, Chris begins to ask the ultimate question: Who is watching who?

NI Science Festival presents: Laughs@TheLoft – Weird Science
Brickwork Lounge, Derry
20 February 2020
Laughs@TheLoft comedy club is delighted to be working in conjunction with the NI Science Festival to bring you a very special stand-up treat. Some of the best and brightest stand up comedians in the North will take to the stage to deliver a series of comedy talks on a whole host of bizarre science based subjects. From the truth behind hairy babies to why we think the way we do and more... Hosted by comedy club regular MC Peter E Davidson (As heard on BBC’s The Blame Game & Live at The Sunflower) and will feature a whole heap of special guests. Age 18+

NI Science Festival presents: Can You Beat Your Genes?
The MAC, Belfast
21 February 2020
What is your full potential? Are you held back by your genes? Limited by whatever you inherited from your parents? Is our life’s path set at birth or can we overcome our genetic destiny? We are living in age of genetic testing, engineering and cloning: for a few quid anyone can send off a DNA sample and get results about where they came from, who they are, and what their future holds. It's all pretty confusing but Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken, TV presenters and identical twins, have lived their whole lives as an experiment to get some answers. Age 16+

Stranded! and NI Science Festival presents: Wonder Frog does Science
Strand Arts Centre
21 February 2020
Belfast’s longest running improv comedy group serves up an hour of hot, fresh, off-the-cuff science inflected comedy. The whole show is an experiment of inspiration! Wonder Frog uses only audience suggestions to create comic scenes on the spot that have never been seen before and will never be seen again. Come along and influence the genetic makeup of the show by throwing your words, ideas and thoughts into the Petri dish of improv and see the results right before your safety-goggled eyes! Over 18 BYO

Poet in da Corner by Debris Stevenson, feat. Jammz
The MAC, Belfast
26 February – 1 March 2020
A coming of age story inspired by Dizzee Rascal’s seminal album. In a strict Mormon household somewhere in the seam between East London and Essex, a girl is given Dizzee Rascal’s ground-breaking grime album Boy in da Corner by her best friend SS Vyper. Precisely 57 minutes and 21 seconds later, her life begins to change – from feeling muted by dyslexia to spitting the power of her words; from being conflicted about her sexuality to finding the freedom to explore; from feeling alone to being given the greatest gift by her closest friend. Step into a technicolour world where music, dance and spoken word collide and experience this semi-autobiographical story about how grime allowed Debris Stevenson to redefine herself. Poet in Da Corner features grime MC Jammz as SS Vyper, and is directed by Royal Court Associate Ola Ince. Age 14+ .

First Response: True Stories From the Front Line
The Playhouse Theatre, Derry
26 February - 29 February 2020
Devised by the Cast, directed by Ailin Conant. Throat clenches. Palm sweats. Vision tunnels. Breath shallows. Stomach knots. We all share a nervous system designed to respond to crisis in a certain way. But what happens when your professional duty requires you to run towards the scene of the horror, at a time when everyone else is running away? First Response has been created and performed by individuals who worked the front lines of some of the most difficult experiences of The Troubles. What secrets do these men and women hold in their physiology, and how can their story help us understand ourselves and the society we live in today? Supported by an ensemble from University of Ulster drama.

Junk Kouture
Millennium Forum, Derry-Londonderry
27 February 2020
Junk Kouture, the national recycled fashion competition for post primary students is back for its 10th year running. The competition continues to encourage young designers to get creative and make recycled couture designs from items that would normally go in the bin! Junk Kouture inspires and ignites passion in the teenagers while educating them about the importance of recycling and reducing waste. The biggest one yet, the Northern Regional Final will be jam-packed with incredible talent, lots of energy and an unbelievable atmosphere. Booking available 13th February 2020.

A Holy Show
The MAC, Belfast
27 February – 29 February 2020
Flight EI 164 is about to depart... Step on the plane with us and experience this most Irish of hijackings. There’ll be music, nostalgia, heroism, praying, visions, romance (maybe) sex (maybe) a special appearance by Our Lady (definitely). There’ll even be a miracle in this "gloriously comic" show inspired by real-life events... I swear. Reasons to come and see it - i. You will be entertained ii. You will see 2 amazing actors iii. You will feel better for coming iv. You might see a miracle! Age 14+.

Shirley Valentine

Lyric Theatre, Belfast

27 February – 15 March 2020
Shirley is back! Following a sold-out run in 2019, Tara Lynne O’Neill is back in the title role of this funny and heart-warming play. Shirley is a housewife. Her kids have left home and she finds herself talking to the wall while she makes chips and eggs for her husband. What has happened to her life? Out of the blue, her best friend offers her a trip to Greece for 2 weeks and she secretly packs her bags. The note on the kitchen table reads "Gone to Greece back in two weeks." She heads for the sun and on a voyage of discovery starts to see the world and herself in a very different light. Willy Russell's heart-warming comedy took the world by storm when it premiered in 1986. It was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film. Now, in between filming for the award-winning Derry Girls, the extraordinary Tara-Lynne O'Neill stars in this Lyric revival.

Royal Moscow Ballet presents Sleeping Beauty (ballet)
Millennium Forum, Derry-Londonderry
28 February 2020
After a sell out performance of Swan Lake in 2019, the Royal Moscow Ballet brings every child’s favourite fairytale to the Forum stage with very special guest soloists from the world famous Bolshoi Ballet. Experience stunning choreography, breathtaking costumes and vibrant sets in this classic story of love and innocence, mystery and magic set to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score.

Pilgrim St
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
8 February 2020
Ask any member of Irish band Pilgrim St to list their influences and the responses will more than likely be very similar as each of them has their say. Pick any of the grittier characters from genres such as Appalachian old-time, bluegrass and the folk back catalogue from both sides of the Atlantic, and you’ll instantly be in the same groove. Then, they might single out Springsteen (particularly in Seeger Sessions mode), Hank Williams or Woody Guthrie. But, if you end up expecting them to play some sort of Americana mish-mash, you’d be mistaken. For, running deeply through the band’s core is that unmistakable Irish phenomenon, a gift for rousing tales and stirring choruses - hearts wide open and going for broke - just like those lovable predecessors The Pogues or The Saw Doctors. BYO

Ulster Orchestra - Rustioni Conducts Music for Valentines
Guildhall, Derry-Londonderry
13 February 2020
We have a special treat in store as our Chief Conductor Daniele is joined by his talented wife and star violinist, Francesca, for this wonderful Valentine’s Day concert. Prokofiev was deeply inspired by Shakespeare, hence composing the score for the Romeo and Juliet ballet, which includes the beautiful Balcony Scene. Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto perfectly encapsulates how Shostakovich took the suffering of his absurd and treacherous world and transmuted it into something beautiful and profound. Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony is a romantic four-movement work that contains the kind of melodic appeal and colourful orchestration that has made Tchaikovsky such a popular composer – this is possibly one of the greatest symphonies of all time.

Ulster Orchestra - Lunchtime Concert: Storybook Escape
Ulster Hall, Belfast
20 February 2020
A concert which gives musical life to three literary figures. Prince Igor hails from the Russian epic The Lay of Igor’s Campaign and Eugene Onegin is the foppish anti-hero of Puskin’s poem. Nielsen composed the music that forms the Aladdin suite to accompany a new production of Adam Oehlenschläger’s dramatic fairy tale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. While the production of the show was something of a disaster, the music has outlived the play and become one of Nielsen’s most popular works.

Moving on Music presents: Saltarello Trio - TOUR
First Presbyterian Church, Rosemary Street, Belfast 27 February 2020
Great Hall, Magee Campus, Derry 28 February 2020
Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart 29 February 2020
A lot can happen in a thousand years. Traveling a millennium in one performance might seem like a bit of a challenge, but Saltarello Trio manage it with gusto. This musical journey, presented by Garth Knox,Sylvain Lemêtre and Agnès Vesterman, somehow traces a clear musical line from Hildegard Von Bingen to David Fennessy, stopping along the way to admire the work of Dowland, Vivaldi and Purcell, not to mention an extraordinary arrangement of the folk song Black is the Colour, entitled ‘Black Brittany’. No strangers to Irish audiences, the three members of Saltarello have been trailblazing the world of classical and contemporary music for years. For this outing they soak-up the colours and textures of folk music to hatch arrangements full of wit and feeling. They highlight connections and similarities that exist between century-wide soundworlds, and present it in an immensely enjoyable programme.The trio’s gorgeous swirling string lines and razor-sharp percussion helps reimagine old music, proving a good tune speaks to us all, regardless of language, no matter the age.

Keith James: The Music of Yusuf – Cat Stevens
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
29 February 2020
A concert that will give you far more than just the music itself. The amassed body of music from the hugely popular and sincerely adored singer/songwriter, Cat Stevens makes for a collection of 'must have' records across a whole generation. Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were on everyone's turntables and on every radio station, live versions are played in concerts, bars and on the world's beaches to this day. Songs such as Wild World, Father and Son, Moonshadow and Where do the Children play have been covered by hundreds of Artists worldwide. Join Keith James, for this intimate concert as he performs some of Yusuf's iconic songs. Keith is a well respected and inventive guitarist singer/songwriter who specialises in performing intimate, carefully researched biographic style concerts. He weaves the story of Cat Stevens’ life from his early pop career, life threatening illness and spiritual journey around a performance of his well crafted and memorable songs. Age 18+ BYO

Ulster Orchestra – On Your Doorstep: A real Bohemian Rhapsody!
The Old Church Centre, Cushendun
29 February 2020
Members of the Ulster Orchestra string section are delighted to be making their first ever visit to Cushendun to perform an appealing programme including Antonín Dvořák’s String Quintet No.2, a real gem of nineteenth century chamber music repertoire and music that our musicians love to play. Our journey to Cushendun is part of a series of concerts which bring small groups of Ulster Orchestra musicians to venues right across Northern Ireland. The atmosphere is decidedly informal and there’s always a chance to chat to players post-show!

Sailortown Folk Night
The American Bar, Dock Street, Belfast
2nd & 4th Thursdays 8pm
Open folk sessions with some of the best musicians in Belfast, compered by Joshua Burnside. Free entry.

Afternoon Blues
The American Bar, Dock Street, Belfast
Every Saturday 2pm
Run by the infamous Chris Roddy of The Rotterdam and The Pound, proper music for grown-ups.

Sailortown Open Mic
The American Bar, Dock Street, Belfast
Every Sunday 7pm
Open session with some of the best musicians Belfast has to offer, compered by David Browne Murray.

Family (younger, older and all abilities)
Under the Hawthorn Tree
The MAC, Belfast 30 January – 9 February 2020
The Ardhowen, Enniskillen 6 February 2020
Making its return to the MAC, award-winning children’s theatre company Cahoots NI and the MAC present their stage adaptation of Under the Hawthorn Tree. Based on the internationally acclaimed book by award-winning author Marita Conlon-McKenna and published by The O’Brien Press, Under the Hawthorn Tree follows the journey of three brave siblings as they fight for survival during the Potato Famine in Ireland, 1845. When their father goes to find work and their mother leaves to find him, Eily, Michael and Peggy, starving and faced with the workhouse, embark on a treacherous journey to find the great aunts they have heard of only in stories. This remarkable story of endurance, in a defining moment of Irish experience, is told like never before in the play by Charles Way, directed by Paul Bosco McEneaney with a stirring live original score from Garth McConaghie. Under The Hawthorn Tree is perfect for families and children age 7+

Storytime Sunday
The MAC, Belfast
2 February 2020
Relax with your little ones at the MAC on the first Sunday of each month for some fun story time in the wonderful Family Room. Sit back and listen to some tales, fables and yarns all told by our professional storyteller. Age 3-5 years.

Black Moon
The Black Box, Belfast
4 February 2020
Black Moon is a night for and by adults with learning disabilities – giving people a chance to socialise in a cool, modern environment, meet new people and learn new skills. The club is on the first Tuesday of each month (usually) and is from 7pm to 10pm. It is £3 entry and £1 entry for parents and carers. If you would like to arrange for a group to come along please get in touch! Black Moon is an inclusive event. Over 18s only. Please drink responsibly. There are also Black Moon discos in Omagh, Armagh, Newcastle and Clandeboye Estate. If you would like some further information please contact

Baby Daddy
FE McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge
6 February 2020
Baby Daddy is a show for babies aged 6-18 months with an all-male cast. It features 3 male performers, each playing a live instrument, and takes place in a specially-designed tourable theatre space, playing to 6-8 babies at a time (and their grown-ups). It utilises Replay’s knowledge of sensory theatre, music and play, and expertise in working with babies to create a unique, safe and fun-filled show full of making friends and laughter. With three beardy men, powerful live instruments, lots of rumbling songs, and a bit of rough and tumble, this show is the daddy of them all. This is a free event but tickets will need to be reserved in advance.

Mini Moon
The Black Box, Belfast
8 February 2020
All the fun and craic of Black Moon but this time for the wee ones! If you have a young child with any kind of disability why not join us for an afternoon boogie? The music will be low, there are coloured lights & moving visuals, soft cushions, sensory toys, bubble machines, and lots of dancing and enjoying ourselves. The Green Room will be open to grab tea, coffee or juice or if you just need a chill out from all the dancing! Mini Moon is a free, monthly event and supported by Children In Need.

Bosco’s Magical Garden and Sleeping Beauty
The Playhouse Theatre, Derry
8 February 2020
Bosco is Bosco, not a boy, not a girl, just a Bosco: a cheeky, lovely, funny, slightly-cracked, irrepressible, eternal five-year-old who lives in a box and who loves nothing more than to just be Bosco and meet all the boys and girls. After starring on Irish TV for three decades, you’ll see why Bosco remains a firm favourite for each new generation. Enjoy the enchanted story of Sleeping Beauty where an evil Fairy-Night filled with jealousy tries to harm Beauty but luckily she has very good fairy friends. With its brilliant array of Characters, lots of fun and excitement through this completely interactive live experience with the absolute magic of Puppet Theatre.

Baby Art
FE McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge
11 February 2020
Baby Art is a colourful creative workshop designed for babies from 0-2 years. This workshop will explore painting, colour, pattern and a variety of different textures. Sensory materials are a great way to develop little creative minds.

Island Disco
The Ardhowen, Enniskillen
12 February 2020
Those Island Disco is a Fermanagh and Omagh District Council event for adults with a disability, run in partnership with Mencap. Come along to the monthly disco to dance the night away, socialise and make new friends. The DJ will be playing a range of music from ABBA to Derek Ryan. The Bar will be open for attendees to purchase a drink or some snacks. If you can come independently you are welcome to do so; if you need bring someone to support you, they can come for free by completing a PASS Scheme Registration Form. For more information please contact the Box Office or email Suitable for 18+ years.

Energy of Light Discos
Millennium Forum Theatre & Conference Centre, Derry
14 February 2020
These are monthly discos for young people aged 15+ who are experiencing limited physical, sensory and/or learning disability.

Maritime Mile Giant Explorers Trail
Titanic Belfast
15 February 2020
A family friendly trail, where you get to explore the Maritime Mile, searching for clues to the area’s shipbuilding and maritime heritage past! The Wee Tram will ferry everyone around the area, accompanied by a guide and a treasure map with lots of clues. Immerse yourself in Titanic’s history as you travel on The Wee Tram, stopping along the original rail tracks from the coal cart rails on the Titanic Slipways. Along the way, you will also spot Riverbox, a striking audio-visual experience, located on the slipways. Stop at the Great Light, a 130-year-old giant optic lens situated along the Titanic Walkway as well as learning about the engineering brilliance of the original pumps at the Pump-House. Don’t forget to look out for our very own GIANT H&W cranes, Samson and Goliath! PLUS! There will be plenty of prizes to be won by your little ‘giant’ explorers. Meeting point: Titanic Sign, next to Titanic Belfast. Ages 6-14 years old. Book at

NI Science Festival presents: Curtains up! Stage Technology in Action
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
15 February 2020
Welcome to the theatre! In this interactive stage technology tour, you will get a unique backstage experience of the NI Opera and Lyric co-production of the musical Kiss Me, Kate and learn about the nuts and bolts of a theatre production. We will show you how stage lights work, how sets fly and explain why theatre technicians must always wear helmets. See the stage as you have never seen it before, and you never know, you might even spot a singer! Age 6+

Family Crafts
The Ardhowen, Enniskillen
15 February 2020
Get the whole family together to spend quality time with your kids. Get in touch with your creative side during this enjoyable arts & crafts class, without the hassle of being left with the mess. Join us for more hugely popular craft classes this half term and this time it’s not just for the kids! Age 4-10 years with parents/carers.

NI Science Festival presents: Maddie Moate
The MAC, Belfast 15 February - 16 February 2020
Alley Theatre, Strabane 17 February 2020
Maddie Moate, Children’s Presenter, YouTube star and BAFTA award-winning presenter of the incredibly popular children’s show Do You Know?, returns to the NI Science Festival with a brand new show! Bring your little scientists along on a curious journey for all the family to enjoy! Age 4+

Teenager Painting Workshop (age 13-16)
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
17 February – 21 February 2020
This is a fun and dynamic workshop designed for those who are considering GCSE or A-Level Art or entering 3rd level Art and Design Institutions. The week-long course is also suitable for teenagers interested in discovering their artistic potential and developing their artistic skills. The sessions will provide a relaxing and structured environment, whilst learning to draw from observation and paint with various mediums such as watercolour, acrylic and oil paint. Week long course Mon-Fri 9.30am-3.30pm. A materials list will be provided prior to first session.

Dementia Friendly Tea Dance
Millennium Forum Theatre & Conference Centre, Derry
20 February 2020
The Millennium Forum’s Dementia Friendly Tea Dances are held in the venue’s Studio once a month and for December there is a special Christmas Carol Dementia Tea Dance. The events are free with an afternoon of entertainment and music. The Tea Dance begins at 2pm and finishes at 3.30pm. Refreshments are provided by the in-house restaurant from 2pm. Free to attend but booking essential. Advise any dietary or access requirements when you book.

NI Science Festival presents: Dr Chris and Dr Xand’s Brains, Bugs and Body Parts!
The MAC, Belfast
22 February 2020
Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken from the hit CBBC children’s television series, Operation Ouch! are going to be live on stage for the first time in Northern Ireland Packed with stunts, crazy experiments and amazing facts, the doctors will explore the fascinating world of human biology and show you the awesome things your body can do! They’ll even be on hand to answer all your questions! Age 4+

NI Science Festival presents: The Science of Circus
Alley Theatre, Strabane
22 February 2020
In the Science of Circus, Professor Lukey Luke takes us on a hilarious journey exploring the parallel patterns that exist in the circus versus the patterns in the real world. Check out his amazing discoveries in Circus and the Solar System and Gravity, a juggler’s best friend. All ages

NI Science Festival presents: Immersive Sound Concert
Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast
22 February 2020
Step into an amazing sound world of immersive music composed especially for the world-class 3D sound system in the Sonic Lab. Age 10+

NI Science Festival presents: SARC Showcase
Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast
22 February 2020
Manipulate your voice, step into another world, or try on someone else’s ears! Get hands on with some of the latest audio and video technology with an interactive open day of what researchers and students in SARC studios are getting up to featuring music, documentaries, audio drama, experiments and more. Sign up for an immersive experience created for and with people with Parkinson’s disease (on the hour every hour). You’ll even hear the brand-new album created by the teenagers on the JAM4 Music Technology course that takes over SARC every Friday evening. All ages

Moves & Melodies (Age & Dementia Friendly)
Millennium Forum Theatre & Conference Centre, Derry
monthly starting 23 January 2020
Moves & Melodies is an exciting new 12 month project commencing January 2020 in the Millennium Forum. This is an afternoon of song and dance for 50 people. This project will be provided complimentary and will be held once a month in the Studio Theatre. The music facilitator is Fiona Logue and the dance facilitator is Emma Lindsay from Emma Lindsay Dance. There will be an opportunity to learn new dance skills and sing a range of song styles every month. Booking available from Monday 2nd December 2019.

Family Friendly Art Workshops
Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
1st and 3rd Saturday each month
Family friendly art workshops are held from 11am-12pm on 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month in Golden Thread Gallery. They are free to attend but places are limited so book in advance. All materials are supplied along with soft drinks and snacks. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Silver Screenings
Strand Arts Centre
February 2020 (Thursdays)
Weekly screenings of classic films for seniors (but open to all). Great opportunity for seniors to meet and interact, and enjoy a trip down memory lane. Free tea/coffee included in ticket price. Free transport for community groups available on request. Screenings in February include David Lean’s This Happy Breed starring Celia Johnson and Katherine Hepburn in Summertime.

The Imaginarium Arts & Story Centre
Sticky Fingers Arts, Newry
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
The Imaginarium is a very special emporium where children let their imagination go wild. Open the secret door and step in to the magical world of the Imaginarium, a world of exploration and play. Hide in the secret tunnel, jump over the bridge, visit the village in the forest, dress up as a pirate or a dinosaur, sail through the river, make a wish in the well, take the helm and fly to the moon, everything is possible.

Jude Bailey-O’Hare
The Black Box, Belfast
2 January – 2 February 2020
Exploring the deterioration of a mind. Using first and second-hand experiences of toxic behaviour within a relationship as the subject matter while extracting the essence and feeling involved in those experiences through a trial and error process of stitching techniques to create an atmosphere within each piece that will push the audience to question and explore the meaning behind every action taken within their own relationship.

Mark Garry: Songs and the Soil
The MAC, Belfast
30 January – 19 April 2020
This exhibition across all three of the MAC’s galleries will represent the most significant presentation of Mark Garry’s work to date, developed specifically for the MAC over the last two and a half years and comprising a series of installations and individual works under the combined title Songs and the Soil. These works explore interrelated research areas and material interests that are reflective of Mark Garry’s multidimensional approach to a subject and exhibition-making. Songs and the Soil engages with the related subjects of landscape and music/sound, looking at each element from historical, social and culturally perspectives and points where these elements combine or intersect. Mark Garry is driven by a fundamental interest in observing how we navigate the world and the subjectivity inherent in these navigations. His work is characterised by delicate site-specific installations which are meticulously constructed, combining physical, visual, sensory and empathetic relationships that intersect the gallery and form connections between a specific space and each other.

Ima-Abasi Okon
Void, Derry
1 February 2020 – 9 April 2020
Void Gallery is delighted to present a commission by London and Amsterdam based artist Ima-Abasi Okon in partnership with the Chisenhale Gallery. Okon works with sculpture, sound and video to produce installations that explore exhibition-making as an exercise in syntax, adopting linguistic and grammatical structures within her installations as a way of complicating the construction of knowledge. For the iteration of the commission, Okon delineates individual aspects of a previous vocabulary of symbols embedded in both hand-made and mass-produced materials, including film to explore representations of the body and the formation of taste, value and excess.

Left Right and Centre
Ulster Museum
Until 9 February 2020
Cornelia Parker (born 1956) is one of the most outstanding artists of her generation, and this exhibition celebrates the acquisition by the Ulster Museum of her major new video work, Left Right and Centre, 2018. Made in response to the 2017 General Election, Left Right and Centre was filmed in the chamber of the House of Commons using a drone-mounted camera and a wind machine. Newspapers are scattered throughout the chamber suggesting powerful hidden forces and the manipulation of the media during what has been described as one of the most important elections in recent history. Parker’s work consistently challenges and subverts many of the deeply-held traditions of contemporary life.

NI Science Festival presents: International Images of Science
Millennium Forum, Derry
13 February – 23 February 2020
International Images for Science is an exhibition of eye-catching photographs that show how science is all around us. The subjects range from the smallest microbes to the distant universe and were taken by a wide assortment of students, amateur photographers and the very best researchers and science photographers. Some images were made on million-pound microscopes, others captured on smartphones and everything in between! 100 images were chosen from over 2500 entries. Each is visually stunning yet also has a science story to tell.

NI Science Festival presents: Miguel Martin - Fire in the Middle
Naughton Gallery, Queens University Belfast
13 February – 23 February 2020
Miguel Martin (b.1985, Belfast, Northern Ireland) Artist-in-Residence 2020, presents ‘Fire in the Middle’, exhibiting new moving-image, photographic, and sculptural works that cross-reference autobiographical elements with science fiction and uncanny cartographies. The exhibition explores the ways in which Netflix culture, the gig economy, and portals act as metaphors for a future in which advanced digital geo-mapping re-configures and re-interprets the post-Troubles topography of Belfast.

NI Science Festival presents: The Frequency of Things
Artcetera Studio, Rosemary Street, Belfast
13 February – 23 February 2020
This solo exhibition by Dr Josephine McCormick explores and rethinks The Frequency of Things in relation to the impact of The Internet of Things. McCormick’s artwork utilises an armoury of techniques such as a frequency generator, drawings, prints, paintings and installation in order to express the experience of the spectacle of modernity.

Late Night Art
Various Galleries, Belfast
First Thursday of every month
Late Night Art Belfast happens across the whole of Belfast on the first Thursday of every month with over a dozen galleries opening their doors for an evening celebration of the vibrant visual arts scene. Guided tours available but alternatively you can just wander in and out and enjoy a glass of wine and some nibbles as you enjoy an evening stroll around the city. Download the map here

Art on the Rails
Project 24, Queen’s Parade, Bangor
Last Sunday of each month
A monthly curated art and music festival featuring over 30 exhibitors of art and contemporary craft to inspire, relax, revive and stir your senses. Bring a picnic or enjoy food and refreshments from the traders on-site, sit back in the deck chairs and lose yourself in the music or try a free craft taster session and take home a piece of art. Free event.

Decades: Fifties & Sixties – Amanda Croft Lecture Series
Ulster Museum
Starting 21 January 2020 (Tuesday mornings)
A series of ten lectures on the art of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The Ulster Museum has an exceptionally fine collection of paintings and sculpture from the 1950s and 1960s. This series of illustrated talks will examine the development of abstraction, expressionism, kinetics, pop and op art by these local, national and international artists against the back drop of the post-war shift from austerity to affluence in Britain and America. Lectures will take place Tuesday mornings between 11am and 12noon. Venue: Lecture Theatre, Ulster Museum. Please note there will be no lecture on Tuesday 25 February.

Strung On Air: A St Brigid’s Celebration
Seamus Heaney HomePlace
31 January 2020
Featuring Moyra Donaldson, Bernie McGill and Maria McManus, with music from Brigid O’Neill. ‘As if St Brigid once more/ Had rigged up a ray of sun/ Like the one she’d strung on air/ To dry her own cloak on’ Seamus Heaney, ‘The Clothes Shrine’. As a celebration of St Brigid’s Day, HomePlace is delighted to present three of Northern Ireland’s leading women writers, reading their work alongside the beautiful music of Brigid O’Neill. Bernie McGill is the author of two novels and one short story collection and her work has been anthologised in the award-winning collections The Long Gaze Back and The Glass Shore. She is currently Writing Fellow with the Royal Literary Fund at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast. Maria McManus is a poet and playwright. Her most recent collection is Available Light and she has published three other collections of poetry. Maria is currently a poetry mentor for the Poetry Society and the creator of Ireland’s first Poetry Jukebox. Moyra Donaldson is a poet, creative writing facilitator and editor who has published four collections. Her most recent collection, Carnivorous, was published by Doire Press in 2019. Critically acclaimed artist Brigid O’Neill is a genre-spanning singer-songwriter whose evergreen music appeals to all generations. Her latest album Touchstone sees her effortlessly weave elements of folk, country and jazz into her relatable tales of happiness, heartbreak and the human condition.

4 Corners Festival presents John Hewitt: A Talk and A Walk
Girdwood Community Hub
1 February 2020
Tony Kennedy, Chair of the John Hewitt Society, talks about one of our greatest poets, covering his life, poetry and its continuing relevance. Hewitt was born and spent his early years in nearby 96 Cliftonpark Avenue and the talk will be followed by a walk in the area where he grew up. He had a happy childhood during which many of his attitudes to life were shaped by his father who was principal of Agnes Street National School. The walk will retrace the road to school taken by a young John Hewitt and his sister in the early years of the last century. John Hewitt’s poetry, remembering life at that time, will be read during the walk.

4 Corners Festival presents Grace Beneath the Cranes
St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ Grammar School, Glen Road, Belfast
3 February 2020
“Each generation has a sacred task /To tell a better story than it was told/ A story made, as honey is in bees/ From things that we have found outside ourselves.” The words of poet, BAFTA award-winning filmmaker and playwright Damian Gorman who will be in conversation with Judith Hill, the UTV reporter, about his work and the role of grace in his life. The conversation will be interspersed, and the evening enriched with music and song from Belfast singer songwriter Anthony Toner. Damian, who has encouraged other people’s writings for more than thirty years, set up An Crann/The Tree, a project to help people tell and hear stories of the conflict. He will read and reflect on extracts from his poems and writings.

Ulster Museum
6 February 2020
Discover what it’s like to be a natural science conservator. This guided tour will reveal what goes on behind the scenes in caring for museum collections. From meteorites to mammoths, taxidermy to T-Rex, you’ll learn the tools and techniques used to preserve treasures for future generations to enjoy.

Fashion Fridays
Ulster Museum
Second Friday of each month
An in-depth look at the outfits and inspirations behind the Ulster Museum’s latest fashion exhibition Vice Versa – the influence of menswear on women’s fashion…and vice versa! Encompassing centuries of style, this exhibition explores the enduring influence of men’s fashion on womenswear, and…vice versa! Tours start at 1pm and last 45mins. Meet in the Fashion gallery on Level 5. This is a free event and takes place on the second Friday of the month. (Please note, due to the bank holiday, May's Fashion Friday will take place on the 15th.)

CinePunked presents: An Introduction to Charlie Chaplin
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
16 February 2020
From poverty-stricken beginnings in South London to a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, perhaps no other actor and filmmaker in cinematic history is more recognisable than Charlie Chaplin. Love him or hate him, his impact on film has been huge and lasting. Through in-depth analysis of selected clips, a bit of film history, and a lot of guided discussion, you will learn how to apply the language of film analysis in engaging with and critically evaluating Chaplin’s work. Learn about the man, the myth, and the filmmaking process in this one-off workshop led by film experts Robert JE Simpson and Dr Rachael Kelly. No experience is required, just a love of film and an interest in Chaplin himself. CinePunked have years of experience in delivering interactive events for film lovers, so come and discuss, debate, and learn about one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars. Age 16+

Slow Art Sundays
Ulster Museum
First Sunday of each month
Allow yourself to experience art in a new way on a mindful journey of discovery, one art piece at a time. It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. Visitor Guides will lead participants in an engaging and in-depth look at works of art displayed in the Ulster Museum. Free to attend but limited places available so book through the website. Suitable for adults and older children.

Take Part
Sew Macho
The Ardhowen, Enniskillen
30 January 2020
Guys, come learn how to sew! Join Vintage Exchange for this unique beginner’s taster session, designed specifically for men. Learn all the basics of machine and hand sewing and how to make and mend items for your home and yourself. Perfect for the modern man. Please bring your own sewing machine. If you don’t have a machine, we have a limited number of machines available for use (free of charge). Booking essential.

Women Carers Music Project
The Black Box, Belfast
weekly for 12 weeks starting 5 January 2020
The Black Box is partnering with Oh Yeah Music Centre to deliver a relaxed and interactive music-based project for female identifying carers who are in a caring role with people with learning disabilities. The project is free to attend, no music experience is necessary just an interest in meeting new people and exploring ways of connecting through chat, music and workshops. Lots of suggestions for workshop themes and most suitable times already received but get in touch to find out more and give your own preferences by email to Seonaid at or complete the form online here

The HomePlace Book Club
Seamus Heaney HomePlace
2 February 2020
With Carol O’Doherty and Patricia Broderick. A story is always better if you have someone to share it with and what better spot to meet and share stories that HomePlace! Join Carol and Patricia for this relaxed and friendly book club. Meeting monthly, the club chooses accessible and entertaining books relating to themes found in Seamus Heaney’s work. Come along for some entertaining conversation and the shared love of a good book! Dates and books for the Winter/ Spring 20 season are: Sunday 2 February – Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler; Sunday 1 March – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon; Sunday 5 April – Milkman by Anna Burns.

Belfast Street Art Walking Tour
The Black Box, Belfast
2, 9, 16, 23 February 2020
Belfast is famous for its Street Art and there are hundreds of tours that will show you the murals of conflict but what about now, where has this tradition of painting on walls led us? Belfast has become a place where street art has flourished, where artists from around the world have come to paint. Devised and led by the local artists who have driven the scene in the last few years this is a 2 hours long, gently paced guide to the ever changing face of street art in the Cathedral Quarter. Starts at Duke of York, finishes at Black Box.

Real Sketchy
The Black Box, Belfast
6 February 2020
Since November 2012 Seedhead Arts has been running and developing Real Sketchy, a open live sketching event taking place in a bar environment. Over the years it’s developed from something that was largely populated by artists to being somewhere that anyone can have a wee sketch and a laugh over a few pints. Although inspired by the spirit of Street Art, we’re really interested in the cross-pollenisation of different disciplines like comic, illustration, design, etc and how this plays out in a live environment, in a crowd of people with a wide range of skills and backgrounds. Plus beer. And music. Thanks to sponsorship from Ink Monkey in North Street we are now able to provide pens, pencils and paper for everyone.

Becoming A Writer
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
15 February 2020
Based on the work of Dorothea Brande and her inspirational book Becoming a Writer, this course with tutor David Tierney will encourage you to adopt the skills and mindset of a writer. Using practical and engaging exercises we demonstrate how to reduce resistance to writing by creating a regular writing habit which uses the conscious and unconscious mind, fully engages the imagination and stops your inner critic taking over control. At the end of this workshop you will have a clearer idea of yourself as a writer, what your abilities and weaknesses are and the conditions under which you write at your best. Age 18+

Gallery Walking Tour
The Black Box, Belfast
15 February 2020
From the people who brought you the five star Street Art Walking Tour, join us for a two-hour tour of some of Belfast city’s best-loved art galleries. Discover the hidden gems of a well-established, thriving contemporary art scene in Belfast and enjoy artworks from both local and internationally acclaimed artists.

NI Science Festival presents: Cyanotype Blueprints
Nerve Centre, Derry
16 February 2020
This workshop will utilise analogue technologies and the process of cyanotype to create a unique blueprint of the walled city. The cyanotype process was first introduced by astronomer John Herschel in 1842 as means of reproduction. Source material will be collated in advance from maps and existing photographs, printed on acetate and available to create unique collages. The goal is to experiment with this imagery in order to create unique negatives that can be subsequently printed as a photographic record. All ages.

Paint Your Own Unique Artwork
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
16 February 2020
Have you ever wanted to paint a specific image but have never got the chance, the support or the basic materials to do so? This workshop is for students of all abilities who wish to improve and work on a subject they are interested in. Bring your own theme to work with and get lots of one-to-one encouragement and guidance. Tutor Daniela Balmaverde. No advanced knowledge of painting is required. Age 16+

NI Science Festival presents: Pitch-Perfect Karaoke
Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast
22 February 2020
Are you ready to let the bass drop and hit the notes on the best sound system in Ireland? The Sonic Lab was built for the latest developments in cutting edge audio technologies... but it also works for karaoke. Willing singers will get a chance to sing their favourite tracks cranked up on the massive 3D sound system. We’ll dabble with autotune and other effects that will turn your vocal performance into an instant classic! Contact to register your interest in singing. Put “KARAOKE” in the subject of your e-mail. Age 14+

TENX9 - Nature
The Black Box, Belfast
23 February 2020
Tenx9 is a storytelling event where nine people have up to ten minutes each to tell a true story from their own life. So join us to close the 2020 NI Science Festival in the Black Box for true stories on the theme of Nature. If you have a true story from your own life that you’d like to be considered If you’d like to apply to tell a story please email Please note that Tenx9 is an extremely popular event and operates on a first come, first serve basis. Getting down early is strongly recommended. Age 18+

Solo Charleston & Vintage Jazz Roots
Partner Swing Dance Styles
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
25 February – 31 March 2020
Whether new to dancing or seeking to refresh/fine tune your skills, these courses are for you.
Solos - 6 weeks: 25 Feb to 31 Mar: 1960s Routines. Learn The Madison, The Nitty-gritty and more from the swingin’ 60s. These fun routines are packed with a variety of jazz moves and plenty of attitude. Suitable for beginners and returning students.
Partners - 6 weeks: 25 Feb to 31 Mar: 1950s Jive. We aim to get you ready for the social dance floor by working on elements such as connection, frame, lead/follow techniques, styling, floor craft, etiquette, alongside iconic dance moves. Whether you know it as Rock’n’Roll, Rockabilly, Country or Shorthand Jive, the techniques are similar. Join us to learn one of our favourite fun and versatile dance styles. We want to make sure you get the most out of these classes, which is why we ask participants to sign up with a partner. This helps keep the class even so no-one has to miss out. Find a friend and come along.
No dance experience required. Flat, no-grip shoes advised.

Saturday Theatre Club – from age 3
The Ardhowen, Enniskillen
from 25 January 2020
Have your kids caught the acting bug? Do they dream of becoming the next Liam Neeson, Bronagh Gallagher, or Adrian Dunbar? Why not give them a head start with the Ardhowen’s very own Saturday Theatre Club?! Join Shauneen this spring as she focuses on essential elements of stage performance featuring Disney and musical chart hits, historic plays, and poem recitation. Students will have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of topics, such as dance-drama and improvisation/acting techniques, in a non-competitive environment. Saturday Theatre Club is mostly about encouraging self-expression, boosting confidence and having fun!

Useful info
Own Art Scheme
Own Art makes buying art easier and more affordable than ever
Starting or growing your very own art collection has never been easier thanks to ‘Own Art’, an interest free loan scheme supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, which aims to make buying art more accessible. Own Art makes interest free loans possible for people over the age of 18 in Northern Ireland, who want to buy artwork by a living artist from galleries that are signed up to the scheme. It works by letting you spread the cost of the artwork over 10 months, making it more affordable to buy the artwork of your dreams. Own Art customers are able to borrow anything from £100 to £2,500. The loan can also be used as a part-payment on higher value items, helping to support more ambitious buying for higher value items. A deposit isn’t necessary. More details on the website here

Creative Space available for hire
Belfast Exposed, Donegall Street, Belfast
Belfast Exposed is a photographic gallery located in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and offers three contemporary, multi-purpose spaces available to hire at affordable prices. There are a range of spaces available including two galleries exhibiting internationally renowned artists and local photographers, as well as a studio, and all are suitable for meetings, wine receptions, presentations, seminars, business events and more. They are happy to partner with local restaurants to support your catering needs. See more information here

Creative Space available for hire
Void, Patrick Street, Derry
Void have a variety of flexible rooms available for hire. Conveniently located between Strand Road and Queen Street, the modern, airy spaces are suitable for formal and informal occasions, meetings, conferences, seminars, performances, private functions and exhibitions. Void has full disability access and offer technical assistance and equipment hire on request. To find out more email to or check the website

Creative Space available for hire
Golden Thread Gallery, Great Patrick Street, Belfast
Golden Thread Gallery (GTG) is a medium-scale, publicly funded, contemporary art gallery based in Belfast and is available to hire for corporate events, product launches, seminars, conferences, filming and parties. There are two large gallery spaces, a smaller project space, front foyer and back foyer. The venue can accommodate up to 150 guests. The Gallery is a ground floor space and fully wheelchair accessible, including a designated bathroom. See more information here

EastSide Arts
East Belfast
EastSide Arts organise a year-round programme of events throughout east Belfast including festivals and community projects. Events include EastSide Arts Festival, CS Lewis Festival, Woodstock Rhythm & Blues Festival, Artful Ageing, HOME Project, and CS Lewis Square events. They need help with a wide range of duties covering everything from front of house, workshop assistance and set building to general enquiries and more. Volunteer to be part of it by following this link

Young at Art
Are you interested in the Arts? Do you want to work with children and young people? Do you want to learn new skills and meet new people? Young at Art and Fighting Words Belfast are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to support their wonderful work. To find out more about getting involved use this link

Volunteering on a Board
We keep a register of Arts organisations currently looking for board members from the business sector.
If you are interested in finding out more, have a look at current opportunities here Give us a ring for a chat and to progress an introduction.

Contact us:
Twitter: @artsbusiness_ni
Phone: 028 9073 5150
For information about business membership contact:
Maeve at
Sarah at

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Our Funders & Partners

Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.