LIMERICK is to become a hub for the arts and entertainments world, as Culture Night 2015 takes place tonight, showcasing more than 80 performances countywide for the public.
From 5pm to 10pm, a programme of 85 cultural events for all ages will take place on the evening.
At the launch of the annual festivities, Mayor of Limerick City and County Council Liam Galvin said tonight will be a “fantastic opportunity” for families and friends to enjoy a “celebration of culture that brings us together and brings out the best in us.
“In 2014 Limerick showed its passion for culture and this vibrancy and energy is a real asset to us as we bid for the European designation Capital of Culture 2020,” he said.
Limerick arts and culture officer Sheila Deegan said that Culture Night has been put together by cultural organisations, artists, heritage groups, castles, villages and citizens, “who believe in the power of culture to bring us together, create conversations and enjoy a good night out.”
She said that the city and county’s “passion for culture was a force of change” during the year of the National City of Culture designation, and that people should “use that change to win the [European Capital of Culture 2020] bid.
“Culture Night is a shared vision for enjoying, celebrating and promoting creativity and culture in Limerick for five extra unexpected hours on Friday from 5pm to 10pm. The chance encounters that happen at the unique events programmed by local cultural organisations, individual artists, community groups, heritage sites of all shapes and sizes, indoors and outdoors - are designed to capture the imagination and remind us of the wealth of cultural activity we have inherited and created.
“On culture night, be a free spirit and use the locus of Limerick to view the world. Limerick is a hub of artistic development and exceptional richness and diversity of culture. So expect the unexpected.”
Quoting the novelist Kate O’Brien, Ms Deegan said:
“The freest spirit must have some birthplace, some locus standi from which to view the world and some innate passion by which to judge it. It was in Limerick that I began to view the world and to develop the necessary passions by which to judge it. It was there indeed that I learnt the world, and I know that wherever I am it is still from Limerick that I look out and make my surmises.”
Among the many venues opening their doors to the public on the evening of culture are Limerick City Gallery of Art, Dance Limerick, the Hunt Museum, Mungret College, St John’s Cathedral, and Desmond Castle.
According to a spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council, youth arts will play a “key part” of the Culture Night programme, where Limerick County Youth Theatre will host drama workshops at the HoneyFitz Theatre, in Lough Gur.
Nessan O’Donoghue of Mungret Heritage, who will deliver A Plate of Mungret, one of the “highlights of Culture Night”, said:
“We will begin the night by re-enacting the Irish myth of the Salmon of Knowledge with a real Salmon kindly donated by Rene Cusack the oldest family Fishmongers in the country. After the Salmon has been cooked you are invited to try it to see if you have gained all the world’s knowledge!”
Culture Night is organised by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with the local authority art offices all around the country.
For details of events taking place in Limerick limerick.ie/culturenight