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Culture Night Friday September 23rd 2011

The second Culture Night to be held in Westmeath promises to be even bigger than better than the inaugural event last year which boasted more events than any other county outside of the capital.

This year more than 80 events have been planned for the one-day spectacular  - beating last year’s impressive 70 plus events!

And, the best news is that during the credit crunch no-one will be left out of the fun as locals are being offered the opportunity to attend any and all of the vast selection of events for free in efforts by the County Arts Office to showcase the county's talent and rich arts and culture heritage and make it accessible for as many people as possible to take part.

And, with more than 80 shows and activities planned there should be something to suit absolutely everyone's tastes  - from the youngest to the oldest in Westmeath and throughout the Midlands.

Managing Director of the Temple Bar Cultural Trust, the organization behind Culture Night is looking forward to Ireland Culture Night 2011 and hopes the success of Westmeath Culture Night will become the "hallmark" for other regions.

Dermot McLaughlin said: "Westmeath Culture Night  really captured the spirit of the Culture Night and it blazed a new cultural trail  in people’s imaginations.  From looking at the media coverage and impact, it is clear that Culture Night and Westmeath make a perfect match!

"The range of events and the broad sense of inclusion and shared involvement  leading up to Westmeath Culture Night reminded us of the role that culture  plays in defining us and in creating communities.

"I hope that the kind of leadership and confidence that Westmeath showed last year will become the hallmark for Culture Night not just in Westmeath, but also in the Midlands generally.

"2011 is a really important year in the development of Culture Night and our goal is to work with all our partners to create Ireland Culture Night so that the island of Ireland is buzzing with Culture and welcoming to everyone.

“I expect to see Westmeath at the forefront of this!" enthused Mr. McLaughlin.

Westmeath Culture Night 2011 will build on the success of last year and will boast everything from drama, music - traditional and modern - performance art, exhibitions, street dancing, historic tours, face painting and much more.

The one-day and night of free events has been designed to transform the county into a cultural hive of activity in the hope that everyone will open their eyes to what is on offer around them.

The idea is that the one day event on Friday, September 23 will turn each town in the county into an accessible cultural venue and offer people of all ages and persuasions the chance to experience culture in various forms including dancing, family fun, music, poetry, lectures, art, drama and sport to name only a few – and all for free.

Events will begin at 10am and finish in the early hours in locations across the county including Mullingar, Kinnegad, Streete, Castlepollard, Milltown, Delvin, Ballinagargy, Moate and Athlone and will include everything from storytelling for children to street performance and drama and even puppet-making and cookery classes!

Some of those taking part are TR Dallas, the Mullingar Town band, Pat Welsh & Michael Sexton Ceili Band, the Athlone Arts Group, Exquisite Co-lab, Viking Tours River Sailing with historical & environmental talk with Michael McDonnell. Synergy and Light Dance will be debuting their new collaboration titled 'Caught!' they will also be exploring the concept of performance in everyday life giving 'going shopping' a whole new meaning as well as an extra surprise dance piece. Also, attractions such as Belvedere House, Dun Na Si Heritage Centre, Moate Museum, the Cathedral Museum Cathedral of Christ the King are all throwing open their doors and providing free tours.

Catherine Kelly, Westmeath County Council Arts Officer, said: "This is the second time that Culture Night has taken place in County Westmeath and so we are very excited about the event. Last year saw thousands of people  participating and attending events throughout Westmeath and so we felt that it was an excellent way for members of the community to enjoy the arts.

"We really hope that as many people as possible take advantage of the occasion to check out arts and culture activities which are of particular interest to them."

She went on to say: "I would like to thank all the groups from across the county who are putting on an event or show in their area – some of whom also put on activities last year. The wealth of activities on offer means that our programme really does have something for everybody to enjoy."

Culture Night 2011 

*** Please note a change of venue for the Athlone Little Theatre Production of "Two" by Jim Cartright has been moved to the Sheraton Hotel.

For further information contact:

Catherine Kelly
Westmeath County Council, County Buildings, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath


044 9332140
ckelly@westmeathcoco.ie | www.westmeathcoco.ie/culturenight