CULTURE Night 2012 takes place this evening for the fifth year in the city and for the first time across Limerick county.
The nationwide night of culture, which encourages local cultural institutions and bodies to throw open the doors of their venues and invite the public inside for free, takes place this Friday from 5pm to 10pm in various venues, featuring free concerts, walking tours, drop-in workshops, poetry, film and theatre events and more, with a strong emphasis on events for all of the family.
Culture Night in the city has gone from strength to strength and is expected to attract over 6,000 people to the 45 venues taking part.
City arts officer Sheila Deegan said she would “absolutely encourage” people to come out and visit the participating venues across the city centre.
“It is important to support the participating organisations who have made a lot of effort for Culture Night, but there will also be something waiting for people to do in every place,” she explained.
The number of participating venues has gone from 14 to 45 for this, the fifth year it has taken place, and the arts office estimate from previous surveys that 6,000 people came out to attend last year.
“We normally have around 6,000 people attending events across the city. We actually do surveys and ask the venues to count their numbers and we give some feedback which informs what we do in other years,” she explained.
“Last weekend saw the Elemental Arts Festival and a lot of people came out who were excited about the amount of cultural activity taking place in Limerick, and this is another opportunity for people to come out again with their families.
Ms Deegan picked out some highlights from the packed programme.
“The two free music events will be very popular. I would encourage people to make a booking at the Belltable for Honor Heffernan, but the National Chamber Choir is first come first serve on the night.
“Both the Hunt Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art will be a hive of activity with workshops so you will be able to make, see and hear something, because both of those places will have music, workshops and tours.
“There are a lot of walking tours, so hopefully the weather will hold, but the art tour will actually have a bus and will leave from the City Gallery at 6.15pm and will call to all of the art studios and venues that people may not be able to find normally.
“The Printmakers is always really exciting for young kids because they can get messy and also come away with something that they have made. It is a very vibrant, exciting night,” added Ms Deegan.
The National Chamber Choir will perform a concert in St Mary’s Cathedral entitled Equinox, conducted by David Hill. The concert is to coincide with the autumnal equinox, offering representations of darkness and light through a wide range of sacred texts.
Heffernan, who performs in the Belltable at 9.30pm, boasts a versatility and vocal ability that makes her comfortable singing anything from jazz and blues to rock and folk.
King John’s Castle and the Hunt Museum will be free to visit, with the latter offering craft workshops, guided tours and art demonstrations by Limerick Art Society. Limerick Printmakers on Sarsfield Street will offer the whole family inky with the Big City Block Printing project.
See www.limerick.ie/culturenight for a full listing of events.