What's on Guide April 2019

01 Apr 2019

What's on Guide April 2019

Arts & Business NI Events

If your business would be interested in sponsoring any of our Arts & Business NI member events please just let us know.



Ards International Guitar Festival Various Venues, Newtownards 3 April – 7 April 2019 This festival is a guitar enthusiast’s dream. Choose from virtuoso performances, family-friendly events, discussions, clinics and free fringe events – there is something for everyone here. From up and coming talent Dea Matrona and Hugo Boitel-Gill to internationally renowned Mike Dawes, Ariel Posen, Simon McBride, Dónal Clancy and Shane Hennessey amongst others, there is a feast of treats on offer. Visit ‘In Your Town’, a free exhibition of Rory Gallagher memorabilia or catch the Rory Gallagher Brunch when Ralph McClean will discuss the work of the Irish legend. Visit the website for the full programme of events.  

Belfast Film Festival Various Venues, Belfast 11 April – 20 April 2019 At Belfast Film Festival they believe that film should be an experience and so as well as presenting the best in new, short and classic cinema, they have set themselves apart by having site-specific screenings to enhance and intensify your experience of films. Experience Pop Up Puppet Cinema where classic films are condensed into live puppet shows, mocking the originals with plenty of warmth and admiration – see puppets taking on Back to the Future and Jaws at the Black Box. Watch Beyond the 7th Door at the Beanbag Cinema but make sure you read the website to check out the instructions before attending! Aamir Khan will be in conversation with author and Channel 4 Indian cinema curator Nasreen Munni Kabir so don’t miss the opportunity to see the acclaimed director, actor, producer and humanitarian on his first visit to Ireland. You couldn’t be more site-specific than to be at Castleblaney on the border on 29th March at Europe Endless, an evening discussing the border and its history, filmic and otherwise. How about a screening of Strictly Ballroom in the Titanic Hotel Ballroom? Enjoy Robert Carlyle In Conversation with Brian Henry Martin or Lenny Abrahamson with Hugh Odling Smee. Too many fabulous shows to list here so do check the website for the full programme.  

Hillsborough Festival of Literature & Ideas Various Venues, Hillsborough 26 April – 28 April 2019 The second Hillsborough Festival of Literature & Ideas will have more than 30 events taking place throughout the village including poetry, prose, music, film and talks plus events for families and young people. The festival kicks off with a fundraising Literary Potpourri: a pick-n-mix evening of entertainment, competition and bookish enthusiasm, complete with the promise of baked goods! A great array of writing workshops, readings, book launches, conversations and poetry are on offer at this lovely festival in a range of settings including churches, cafes, Hillsborough Castle and the Courthouse. Download the programme from the website to find out more and book your places.  


The MAC Bouncers by John Godber 30 March – 20 April 2019 Set in the MAC’s Luminaire Club, Bouncers is the raucous tale of one night in the late 1980’s. Powered by a soundtrack featuring all the hits of the era, you’ll hear from Lucky Eric, Judd, Les and Ralph as they share their stories in this outrageous parody. All the familiar characters are out on the town, the boys, the girls, the cheesy DJ, the late-night takeaway man and all under the watchful eyes of the Bouncers. Featuring four of Belfast’s finest comic actors, Ciaran Nolan, Conor Grimes, Martin Maguire and Chris Robinson. Premium cabaret seats include waiter service.  

Lyric Theatre, Belfast The Young Pornographers: A Concert Reading 4 April 2019 An old-fashioned Soviet love story. Berlin 1953, an iron curtain draws across war ravaged Germany. Berlin divides in two. Trapped in the east, two young pornographers become embroiled in the chaos of circumstance, art and love. American jazz meets Soviet farce in this world premiere concert performance. With a Broadway influenced score conducted by the composer,Conor Mitchell, live 14-piece orchestra and stellar cast, this latest Lyric commission promises to be a musical for our time.  

The MAC Walk of Shame 2 (Reality Bites) 5 April – 6 April 2019 Ferocious clubber Eleanor Conway has always been a woman of extremes, she partied around the world as a music journo, made porn and Tinder’d her way through most of London. Her superpower used to be the blackout, a power so strong she could fast forward to the future using only a bottle of prosecco and a handful of bad decisions. Now she’s 4 years sober, she’s struggling to live in realtime without something to take the edge off. Hot from an award winning Australian tour expect more sex, sobriety and award winning confessional comedy from this ex party girl in a show about sexual boundaries, and how she doesn’t have any. 2019 winner of FRINGE World Weekly Comedy award. Age 18+  

Strand Arts Centre Stranded! Half Cut Cabaret 5 April 2019 Seedhead Arts’ cabaret – low-fi, channelling the angry, dirty, rebellious spirit of true cabaret.  With a tantalizing mix of music, comedy, magic, circus and the truly bizarre with a compere to hold that fine line between general merriment and total mayhem. Age 18+ BYO  

The MAC The Aeneid Book VI 7 April 2019 In the MAC’s Luminaire Club. A few weeks before his death, Seamus Heaney signed off on his translation of Book VI of Virgil’s epic twelve volume poem. In the two thousand year old verse, Aeneas journeys to the underworld in search of the shade of his father and other ghosts from his life. Published after his death, Heaney’s lifetime’s craft culminates in his masterful and tender translation. In their intimate realisation of it, Stephen Rea reads the text and Neil Martin underscores on cello – mostly together, though at times we hear just the words, at others just the music. Premium cabaret seats include waiter service.  

Grand Opera House, Belfast Ghost the Musical 9 April – 13 April 2019 Walking back to their apartment late one night a tragic encounter sees Sam murdered and his beloved girlfriend Molly alone, in despair and utterly lost. With the help of a phoney psychic Sam, trapped between this world and the next, tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving her from grave danger. The film won an Oscar for screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin who has adapted his screenplay for this musical. Features The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody amongside many more terrific songs co-written by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart.  

Lyric Theatre, Belfast The Harvest 9 April – 10 April 2019 Charlotte is back on track, thanks to support from her steadfast husband Malcolm and son Evan. She thinks she’s found another lifeline in her new friend, Shane but Shane knows more about her idyllic life than she realises, and just how to destroy it. A new thriller about second chances and second lives. What we do when we have them and what we might do to take them away.  

Lyric Theatre, Belfast A Day in May 11 April 2019 On a day in May 2015, the Republic of Ireland became the first nation in the world to introduce marriage equality by popular vote. This is the story of the long fight that led to that day, of the in-fighting along the way, and of the seminal campaign that finally won it. It’s a story too, of ordinary people whose lives were caught up in the struggle, drawn from Charlie Bird’s landmark collection of interviews. A masterclass in how to achieve political change. Performance contains strong language and scenes of a sexual nature. Not suitable for under 16s.  

Millennium Forum Theatre & Conference Centre, Derry Colin Murphy – Big Time 12 April 2019 Fresh from another series of award winning The Blame Game and from fronting his new BBC series, Colin Murphy ‘s Panic Room, Colin is back on the road with a new tour show Big Time. He’ll be taking Big Time across the land, using both motorways and most of the dual carriageways doing what he does best and peeling away the layers of what makes us us. Warning – some of this show was written on holiday whilst in the EU and, as this tour runs over the March 29th Brexit date, some of these jokes may not be eligible for inclusion/deemed funny enough to comply with new post-Brexit arrangements. Also there may or may not be any electricity. Age 16+  

Grand Opera House, Belfast Stones in his Pockets 15 April – 20 April 2019 A small village in rural Ireland is turned upside down when a major Hollywood film studio descends to make a historical blockbuster on location. The story is told through the eyes of Charlie and Jake, employed as extras along with numerous other locals. As cultures clash, it becomes clear that Tinseltown’s romanticised dream of Ireland is a long, long way from reality. Just two talented actors brilliantly bring to life a multitude of extraordinary characters, ranging from the spoilt American starlet to the English director and the village old timer. This hilarious, thought-provoking and witty comedy by Marie Jones, has won numerous awards and ran for four years in the West End.  

Lyric Theatre, Belfast Letting Go or Losing It 16 April - 18 April 2019 Back by popular demand, Nuala McKeever’s hilarious sell out stand-up show returns. Weight gain, menopause, bereavement and becoming invisible – just some of the joys that await the woman of a certain age. Throw in disappearing libido, Donald Trump and comfy shoes and the picture gets even more depressing. Nuala McKeever transforms the awful into the awfully funny, by way of her trademark wit and compassion. Strong language. Not suitable for under 16s.  

Grand Opera House, Belfast Madagascar The Musical 23 April – 27 April 2019 Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and, of course, those hilarious plotting penguins as they bound onto the stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Based on the animated motion picture, Madagascar, the musical follows all of your favourite friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.  

Lyric Theatre, Belfast Ulster American 24 April – 28 April 2019 Winner of the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award as well as a Scotsman Fringe First, the most talked-about show of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 is at the Lyric fresh from a smash-hit, sold out festival run. Jay is the American Oscar-winning actor taking the lead in a new play that connects with his Irish roots. Leigh is the English director who will do anything to get noticed, and Ruth is the Northern Irish playwright whose voice must be heard. The stage is set for great success but when the three meet to discuss the play’s challenges and provocations a line is crossed and the heated discussion quickly escalates to a violent climax. Exploring abuses of power, the confusion of cultural identity and the silencing of the female voice, Ulster American is confrontational and brutally funny, not for the faint of heart, and not to be missed. Very strong language, graphic violence and references to sexual assault. Age 18+  

Lyric Theatre, Belfast Electric 25 April – 27 April 2019 Baby wipes, glitter and cans at the ready Joni and Scarlett head off on their respective weekends. From two walks of life and residing on two sides of the festival, the pair unexpectedly meet in the neon fields of Irish music festival Electric Picnic. Hysterically riotous and soul-stirring, Electric probes our innate prejudices and preconceived notions of who we are while taking you on the session of a lifetime.  

The MAC A Midsummer Night’s Dream 26 April – 27 April 2019 Open Arts, one of Northern Ireland’s most dynamic arts and disability organisations, will be stepping into the spotlight at The MAC on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April for a unique production of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Audiences will be transported to a magical forest world to meet the fairy king and queen Oberon and Titania and their mischievous servant Puck, who creates unintentional havoc for two lovestruck couples with the aid of a magic potion.  Adding to the comedic chaos are the motley crew of The Mechanicals (including in this adaptation a librarian, a DJ and a rugby coach!) performing the famous ‘play within a play’ and poor Bottom, whose head gets magically transformed into that of an ass, creating all the necessary ingredients for a hilarious story of order and disorder, reality and appearance and love and marriage. Presented by the award-winning arts and disability charity Open Arts, this very special event will showcase the drama, dance, choral, visual art, creative writing and traditional Javanese Gamelan melodic percussion skills of up to 65 group members who have a range of disabilities: physical, sensory, learning disabilities and mental health illness.  


The Guildhall, Derry Ulster Orchestra: Saint-Saens’s Egyptian 4 April 2019 Saint-Saens’s delightful fifth piano concerto is wonderfully performed by soloist, the highly talented Louis Schwizgebel. Saint-Saens was an inveterate traveller with a particular love for North Africa and this concerto earns its nickname not only because it was written on one of the composer’s many holidays in Luxor, but also because it is some of Saint-Saens’s most exotic writing containing references to Javanese, Spanish and Middle eastern musical traditions. This concert also features Elgar’s first symphony which was premiered to a rapturous response in 1908, with a slow movement that is counted amongst his most beautiful writing.  

The Sonic Lab, QUB Moving on Music presents Catherine Sikora and Brian Chase 4 April 2019 Catherine Sikora and Brian Chase are two distinguished artists of the avant-jazz community. For the duo’s debut album Catherine and Brian turned to the epic poem Beowulf for inspiration. Think John Coltrane’s Interstellar Space meets epic poetry and you’re on the right track. Free event.  

Saint Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast Sestina Music present Handel’s Esther 5 April 2019 Handel’s setting of the tale of Queen Esther is one of the forgotten gems of the baroque repertoire. Irish Baroque Orchestra, in partnership with Sestina are delighted to continue their exploration of Handel’s lesser known oratorios following the success of Theodora in 2018. Peter Whelan directs Irish Baroque Orchestra with the magnificent young singers of Sestina providing the minor roles and chorus throughout. Star Irish soprano Anna Devin performs the titular role with Spanish tenor Jorge Navarro Colorado returning to perform the role of King Assuerus.  

Crescent Arts Centre String Ninjas 11 April 2019 Synesthesia – a neurological condition in which information meant to stimulate one of your senses stimulates several of your senses. Instrumental powerhouses String Ninjas and the utterly charming fingerstyle guitarist John Tracey have teamed up to bring you a totally new live show with a difference. You, the audience, will have a say in what happens on the night. By harnessing the majesty, mystery and the downright sorcery of social media the audience will be given the chance to vote on various parts of the evening and dictate what happens next. With totally unique original works, on the spot collaborations, quirky covers, top banter and a special guest appearance, get ready to have your senses awakened. BYO. Age 16+  

The MAC Moving on Music presents Night Music: Nathan Sherman + Alex Petcu 11 April 2019 Moving On Music and Belfast Music Society present Night Music, a series of short chamber concerts and accompanying talks featuring new works alongside familiar masterpieces, performed by world-class musicians from Ireland. Violinist Nathan Sherman and percussionist Alex Patcu will combine to present a programme of music by Tigran Mansurian, Kevin O’Connell, Gene Koshinski and Ian Wilson. Alex Petcu is quickly establishing himself both nationally and internationally as a percussionist of the finest calibre. Nathan Sherman has enjoyed an adventurous career both as a performer and as a teacher and has toured extensively. His main passion is chamber music and he is the founder of the Ficino Ensemble.  

Strand Arts Centre Stranded! Wookalilly 12 April 2019 Five women, ten instruments, Wookalilly display a spectacle of musical instrument gymnastics with an eclectic style that’s sure to prick the ears of music lovers everywhere. Expect to be awed and bemused with folk-noir troubadour tales, low bowing double bass, four part harmonies, piano, banjo, psychedelic flutes and more as they weave a sonic world full of wonder, mystery and mayhem creating a cinematic soundtrack that’s otherworldly.  Age 18+ BYO  

Accidental Theatre Grace Petrie 13 April 2019 Grace is a folk singer, songwriter and activist whose unique takes on life, love and politics, are shared with warmth and wit. She has quietly become one of the most respected songwriters working in the UK today and is a frequent guest on radio and TV and has featured in numerous magazines as well as appearing at festivals and touring throughout the UK and Canada.  Age 16+  

Crescent Arts Centre Dean Friedman in concert 19 April 2019 Hailed by critics and fans alike as one of the finest songwriters of his generation Dean Friedman returns to the stage armed with a stunning collection of his insightful and compelling, true-to-life story songs, songs of pathos and humour that deal with family, friends, neighbours, work and the seemingly trivial, yet ultimately essential stuff of everyday life. A consummate entertainer, Friedman will be performing solo on guitar and keyboard, featuring songs from throughout his four decade career. Age 18+  

Clonard Monastery, Belfast Sestina Music present Music for the Sun King 26 April 2019 Early music ensemble Sestina presents a sumptuous programme of French Baroque music from the court of the Sun  King, Louis XIV. Featuring rarely performed music from the Chapelle Royals, this indulgent programme includes Jean Baptiste Lully’s celebratory motet for double choir Plaude laetare Gallia, written for the baptism of the King’s grandson. Experience music from French opera to that of the private court, including a unique opportunity to hear Marin Marais’ exhilarating musical representation of a tempest that was to take the Baroque era quite literally by storm!  

The Black Box Luka Bloom 28 April 2019 With a poet’s heart and a rockster’s soul, Luka Bloom is regarded as one of Ireland’s most respected contemporary folk artists, having produced over 20 albums since the 1970s. Bloom continues to push the boundaries of what his music can do. A master interpreter, Bloom has continued to balance original songs with reinventions of tunes by a diverse range of songwriters.  


The MAC Easter activities for children 20 April – 23 April 2019 There are extra activities at the MAC this Easter to entertain the whole family. Springy Storytime are 45 minute sessions in the Family Room where you can snuggle up to hear a storyteller bring to life egg-citing stories full of adventure and enchantment (age 1-3). The Easter petting zoo will be back with lambs, chicks, bunnies and lots more to cuddle, feed and stroke. Make little nests full of colourful fluffy chicks (age 1-3), or create a miniature enchanted garden (age 4-11). Check the website for dates and times for each activity.  

The MAC Bubble Show: Milkshake and The Bubble Flower 22 April – 23 April 2019 Milkshake’s bubble flower cannot survive a cold winter without bubbles so she must get help from Dr Bubble – and quick! Smoke bubbles, giant bubbles, carousels, light tables, square bubbles, hand bubbles and the dodecahedron. Enjoy the bubble skills and theatrical storytelling of Dr Bubble and Milkshake. Suitable for all ages.  

Lyric Theatre, Belfast Easter Family Day 25 April 2019 Lots of activities for the whole family in this fun-filled festival. Includes arts and crafts, Easter themed storytelling, face painting, drama workshops for the whole family and also an Easter scavenger hunt – explore the theatre, find the clues and you could be in with a chance to win a family ticket to this year’s Christmas Show. Recommended for ages 3-11 years  

Strand Arts Centre, Belfast Silver Screenings April 2019 (Thursdays & Sundays) A wonderful range of classic films, including for April, Easter Parade starring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Peter Lawford, and Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps. Silver Screenings are chosen particularly for their appeal to senior citizens but are open to all. Free transport available to community groups. More information on the website.  

Take Part

The Black Box Black Moon Disco 2 April 2019 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!

In Your Space Circus, Derry Take Back the Streets! March - July 2019 Are you aged between 12-24 and from the Derry, Strabane or Donegal area? This is your opportunity for FREE training in circus, street theatre, graffiti art, parkour and street dance plus a chance to showcase your skills at a Street Arts Festival in Derry in July 2019. If you can commit to 3-4 workshops in your chosen discipline between March and June, and 1 week training at the Summer Street Arts Academy, the festival in July and a follow up workshop in September then this might be right up your street. More information and registration details on the website.

The Black Box Real Sketchy 4 April 2019 Running since 2012 this is an open live sketching event taking place in a bar environment. Over the years it has 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, it is now really interested in the cross-pollination 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. Pens, pencils and paper provided by Ink Monkey.  

Crescent Arts Centre Purely Poetry Open Mic Night 5 April 2019 Poetry NI present: Purely Poetry open mic night. It's the first Friday of the month, so that means once again, we want YOUR poems - the mic is on and it awaits YOU! We welcome readers of all styles and experiences, from first timers to old pros. Purely Poetry fosters an open, laid back and encouraging atmosphere, for people to read their work, and to listen in comfort. To take part, just sign up at the start of the night. All names are drawn out at random, and each person has seven minutes max to read, so that we can give as much time as possible to everyone wanting to read. This event is B.Y.O.B Please visit for more details, or email for enquiries.  

The Black Box Belfast Street Art Walking Tour 7, 14, 21, 28 April 2019 Starts from outside The Dark Horse in Commercial Court. Belfast is famous for its street art and there are hundreds of tours that will show you murals of conflict but what about now? Belfast has become a place where street art has flourished and 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 hour long, gently paced guide to the ever changing face of street art in the Cathedral Quarter.  

Seamus Heaney HomePlace The HomePlace Book Club 7 April 2019 A story is always better if you have someone to share it with and what better spot to meet and share stories than HomePlace. Join Carol O’Doherty and Patricia Broderick 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. Book for April – Slade House by David Mitchell.  

The Black Box The Perfectly Proportioned Quiz of Architecture and Other Things 10 April 2019 A gem in the architectural calendar returns. Open to all architectural aficionados, built environment boffins, unrepentant urbanists, design divas and aspirant alliteralists, The Perfectly Proportioned Quiz of Architecture and Other Things will included prizes and surprises to delight and excite. Unlike other quizzes your mobile phone is welcome as teams compete through an action-packed series of rounds for a chance to win the Sterling Prize. Entrance £22 per team, with RSUA proud to announce that all proceeds will go to the Simon Community NI.  

Millennium Forum Theatre & Conference Centre, Derry Dementia Friendly Tea Dance 18 April 2019 The Millennium Forum’s dementia friendly tea dances will be held monthly in the Studio. The events are free with an afternoon of entertainment and music. Refreshments sponsored by Arbutus at the Forum. Free but booking required.  

The Black Box Wonder Frog, Comedy Improv Night 24 April 2019 Belfast’s best improv comedy group serves up an hour of hot, fresh off-the-cuff comedy. Using only audience suggestions, Wonder Frog come up with comic scenes that have never been seen before and will never be seen again. The show is completely made up on the spot, on the night and it can’t be done without the audience!  

The MAC Release your Inner Cartoonist 27 April – 28 April 2019 Cartoons are great and so are cartoonists. Become part of this elite branch of the arts at this exclusive cartoon workshop. Learn how to transform a flat piece of paper into a riot of laughs, an explosion of adventure, a cacophony of sound and a gobsmack of disbelief. All shot through with the real emotion that comes from drawing eyebrows in just the right position. Recommended for age 7+  

The Black Box Mini Moon 27 April 2019 If you have a young child with any kind of disability why not join in for an afternoon boogie? The music will be low, there will be coloured lights and moving visuals, soft cushions and lots of dancing and enjoying yourselves. The Green Room will be open for tea, coffee or juice or just to chill out from all the dancing. Mini Moon is a monthly event supported by Children in Need.  

UNIque, UU Belfast Campus, York Street Creative Adventures for Children 2 February – 6 July 2019 Join in at monthly workshops in the Art Room at UNIQUE (Ulster University, Belfast campus – York Street) home to Ulster University’s emerging art and design talent, for a series of fun, free, art workshop experiences for children. Facilitated by students from Belfast School of Art, the sessions will include Flower Power (make your own flowers from tissue), Animation Station (flipbook style animation and drawing), Easter Pom-Poms (design and produce pom-pom keyrings), Loopy Loop (imaginative crochet creations), Summer Sketchy Workshop (create your own book of drawings), Fashion Remix (upcycle your own clothes). Workshops suitable for children aged 6 upwards. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Check the website for more information.    

Seamus Heaney Centre (48 University Road, Belfast) Write Night Every Thursday Bringing together writers of any genre – a weekly top-up of motivation, and a writing community for those who want one. To take part contact scullionniamh@gmail.com  

Beat Carnival Tiny Beat & Junior Beat Tuesdays Have you got a tiny artist in your life? Tiny Beat (ages 3-8) is a time for your children to explore their creative side through play. We teach a wide range of art forms including percussion, performance, dance and lots of making! Junior Beat (ages 9-15) is for children looking for more of a challenge and the opportunity to exercise their growing skillset. We teach a lot more drama and making with this group, at the request of the children. Parents of Tiny Beat kids ("Beatniks"!) get opportunities for their own skills training, making it a great way for you to learn alongside your child as part of a vibrant community. The content of each of our classes is designed in partnership with the kids (and parents), so get involved and tell us what you would like to do! For more info contact Rebecca at  

Seacourt Print Workshop Printmaking Workshops Starting February 2019 A variety of workshops to introduce you to printmaking and screen printing and will be suitable for absolute beginners through to the more experienced maker. General printmaking, printmaking for over 50’s, and screen printing are all available with opportunities to try your hand and experiment with a number of other processes and to see how the studio and its members work.  


Ulster Museum Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing 1 February – 6 May 2019 This nationwide event will give the widest ever UK audience the opportunity to see the work of this extraordinary artist. Twelve drawings, selected to reflect the full range of Leonardo’s interests, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany will be shown in each of 12 city venues. The Ulster Museum’s exhibition includes examples of all the drawing materials employed by the artist including pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metalpoint.  

CCA Gallery, Derry Filip Markiewicz: Celebration Factory 23 March – 11 May 2019 Europe today is rocked by various crises: the rise of populist parties, the creeping effects of climate breakdown, the movement of people displaced by conflict and seeking refuge. Beyond these events, consumer society and the world of entertainment continue to perform. Despite the migrant bodies washed up on Europe’s shores and the bodies of revellers left on the Bataclan’s floors, people still go shopping, attend rock concerts, go to the theatre, dance, go clubbing…Artist Filip Markiewicz’s body of work, Celebration Factory, is a product of a Europe in transformation and marked by deep crises, but also an artistic response to this new socio-political paradigm. The project began in 2017 and has evolved as it has travelled over the past two years. The exhibition’s migration is, in part, an autobiographical mirror for the artist – from the project’s debut at NN Contemporary Art in Northampton, home to a significant Polish diaspora, and the artist’s native Luxembourg and now to the Brexit borderland of Derry. The project will continue to Osnabrück, Germany later in 2019. Listed in Friday 29 March Guardian as one of the top 5 art exhibitions in the UK.


Gallery, UU Belfast Campus, York Street The Souvenir Shop, an Exhibition by Rita Duffy 25 March – 6 April 2019 You are invited to visit The Souvenir Shop, where familiar domestic commodities are transformed into art works, exploring the nuances of Irish life. Initially commissioned as part of the 1916 centenary commemorations in Dublin, each venue inspires a new iteration with additional products being added. The project has travelled worldwide and now comes to Belfast. This is an opportunity to engage with a unique interactive project, essentially an exploration of the Irish shared lived experience. Historical, political and social events are reworked and presented to the public as irreverent thought-provoking everyday commodities. Rita Duffy is one of Northern Ireland’s foremost artists, a multi-award winner who has been extensively exhibited both locally and internationally.  

Seamus Heaney HomePlace Seamus Heaney exhibition 28 March – 31 December 2019 Immerse yourself in the extraordinary world of Seamus Heaney and explore through his words and imagination the people and place that so inspired him. This fully interactive exhibition is over two floors, filled with personal stories, images and the voice of the poet himself. Previously unseen artefacts, transcripts and books kindly donated by the Heaney family are also on display, ensuring a truly unique and illuminating experience for all.  

The Black Box Exhibition – Faces of Jazz – Marcin Wilkowski 4 April – 28 April 2019 Faces of Jazz is a series of black and white portraits by Marcin Wilkowski, a graphic designer and photographer based in Belfast. Taken during live performances they come from the author’s aim to capture emotions and intensity of jazz gigs, moments of thrill and instants of silence.  

The MAC The Land That …… 12 April – 7 July 2019 The Land That ….. is a video and mixed-media project by Frances Hegarty and Andrew Stones, based on their collaborative engagement with a ten-acre plot of land in Co Donegal. Ongoing for over five years, the work considers this land from the artists’ combined personal perspectives, and as a miniature territory in a discussion about ‘Land/s’ in a wider anthropological, cultural and political sense. At the MAC, The Land That ….. takes the form of an immersive, single screen projection in the Upper Gallery, and a suite of smaller, interlinked installations in the Tall Gallery. Free admission.  

The MAC Christopher James Burns: Limbo Land 12 April – 7 July 2019 An exhibition of sculptural work exploring the complex relationship between memory, identity and place. Christopher James Burns is a Northern Ireland based artist whose work is concerned with the history, culture and identity of this place; once aptly described by Seamus Heaney as ‘Limbo Land’. Working predominantly in sculpture and installation, Burns’ works challenge the context, value and physicality of the objects around us, particularly those that purport to commemorate or communicate our past. Free admission.  

Golden Thread Gallery Sue Williams and Oorlagh George Exhibition Opening 18 April 2019 The Golden Thread Gallery has a history of showing challenging work that resonates with the social and political climate. See two solo exhibitions: Sue Williams paintings and drawings reflect a society bombarded by images, and filmmaker Oorlagh George shows a two-channel video installation.  

Late Night Art Galleries in Belfast First Thursday of every month The first Thursday of every month sees up to twenty galleries across Belfast welcome visitors for an evening celebration of visual art. Between 6pm and 9pm you can visit the city’s galleries at your own pace, enjoy a complimentary drink, and meet the artists exhibiting their work. Visit independently or join an organized bus or walking tour.  

Own Art scheme Own Art makes buying art easier and more affordable than ever Starting or growing your 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, wanting 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 £2500. The loan can also be used as a part-payment on higher value items, helping to support more ambitious buying. Staff in the galleries can take you through the application process (a credit check is involved) and decisions are instant. For a list of the galleries visit the website:



The Black Box Kusama Infinity 5 April 2019 Kusama – Infinity explores Yayoi Kusama’s fierce determination to become a world-renowned artist. Kusama was born into a conservative family in rural Japan and she made her way to America on the heels of WWII. There, without connections and speaking only broken English, she devoted herself to her one true love, making art. She has received the Praemuim Imperiale Laureate for lifetime achievement in painting and has been named one of the world’s most popular artists.  

Seamus Heaney HomePlace The World’s Wife with Bronagh Gallagher, Andrea Irvine and Kerri Quinn 6 April 2019 A staged reading of perhaps Carol Ann Duffy’s most famous collection of poetry. Original, subversive, full of imagination and quicksilver wit, The World’s Wife is Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at her beguiling best. A selection of poems from The World’s Wife will be read by three of Ireland’s best actors – Bronagh Gallagher, Kerri Quinn and Andrea Irvine – and original commissioned music will be performed by Ursula Burns, in what promises to be an unmissable evening celebrating the untold stories behind the greatest fairy tales, myths and legends.  

The Black Box The Orange Ball (rehearsed reading) 7 April 2019 The first and (so far) only play about cross-community GAA. Two villages divided, a pair of star crossed lovers, a cross-community grant and the very first all Protestant Gaelic football team. Mix them together and you get the Orange Ball. The Infinite Jest presents a rehearsed reading of the new comedy play by Paddy McGaughey and Gerry Waldron.   

Seamus Heaney HomePlace Mohammed Fairouz in conversation with John Toal 14 April 2019 Following the UK premiere of Anything Can Happen, Mohammed chats about the genesis of the piece, his working relationship with Seamus Heaney and his thoughts on the work they created together. He will also explore his work and career in general and how he is drawn to creating musical compositions from words and poetry. Mohammed is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers working today and has been hailed by The New York Times as ‘an important new artistic voice’ and by BBC World News as ‘one of the most talented composers of his generation’..  

Lyric Theatre, Belfast In Conversation with Anna Burns 15 April 2019 In conversation with acclaimed Irish author and fellow Man-Booker winner Anne Enright, Anna Burns will read extracts from her work and give an insight into life growing up in Belfast, her creative inspirations, and her much talked about break-through novel. The event will be jointly hosted by the Arts Council of NI and Faber Members, in association with the Lyric Theatre Belfast. Born in Belfast and now based in East Sussex, Milkman draws on the writer’s experience of Northern Ireland during the troubles. Set in an unnamed city, the story focuses on the middle sister as she navigates her way through a complex and dangerous world, overshadowed by the threat of gossip, rumours, social pressures and politics.  

The Black Box Belfast Film Festival presents: The Social Model 20 April 2019 Documentary looking at how disabled people are portrayed as victims, villains or martyrs and how able-bodied filmmakers and actors have exploited negative depictions of disability to win awards and gain stardom. The film examines the story of 104 Films who are working with disabled filmmakers to fight back against outdated and outmoded depictions of disability. Established in 2004 with the aim of creating a tectonic shift in the representation of disabled people both in front of and behind the camera, 104 Films co-produce critically acclaimed award winning films and recently ran the awareness campaign for greater representation of disabled talent in the film industry.  

Seamus Heaney HomePlace David Mitchell in conversation with John Kelly 27 April 2019 David Mitchell is an award-winning and bestselling author, twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine in 2007. In 2018 he received the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, given in recognition of a writer’s entire body of work, and which was previously won by Seamus Heaney. ‘Mitchell is clearly a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine’ The New York Times. David will talk about his career with writer and broadcaster John Kelly.  

Crescent Arts Centre CinePunked presents Art vs Porn 28 April 2019 As long as humanity has existed it has created sexual imagery. But where does the line sit between art and pornography? What impact does the increasing democratisation of filmmaking have on pornographic image making and its consumption? What impact does #MeToo have on production and censorship? CinePunked presents an interactive panel discussion with Robert JE Simpson, Dr Rachael Kelly and Belfast Feminist Network’s Liz Nelson that seeks to explore these questions and more. Audience participation welcome. This event contains adult themes and content and is strictly over 18s only. Age 18+  

Volunteering Opportunities

Business Members please contact Tania for information and support on any of the following positions  

Void, Derry Looking for new Trustees to join the Board Void is a contemporary art space in Derry with up to 5 exhibitions per year showing the work of established international and Irish artists. A key element to the gallery is the Void Engage programme, which places participation, engagement and learning at the heart of Void, making contemporary visual art accessible to visitors of all ages. To find out more please contact Tania at Arts & Business NI tel. 028 90735150 or email

Belfast Print Workshop Looking for new Trustees to join the Board Is your day-job missing a generous helping of colour or creativity? Are you feeling the need to give something back to the Arts you get so much enjoyment from yourself? Do you have skills that could make a difference outside of the office? Belfast Print Workshop might be the answer!  BPW are seeking Board Members that are passionate about supporting the arts in Northern Ireland. With an interest in fine art printmaking and with a background in business or the public sector with professional skills and experience, by coming onto the Board you will be joining the charity at an exciting time as they look ahead to their future growth and development. BPW are particularly interested in individuals who have skills or experience in any of the following areas: Finance and accounting, HR, Marketing, Fundraising, Trusts and Foundations, Website Design. BPW is a charitable company limited by guarantee, established in 1977 to welcome artists interested in the practice and promotion of the art of printmaking. As a membership-focused atelier, BPW provides a fully equipped and purpose-built studio with year-round access for a capacity of 100 artists. BPW offers an extensive programme of practical courses, alongside open studios and demonstrations, designed to enhance public knowledge, understanding and appreciation of printmaking. BPW also provides opportunities for residencies, exhibitions, skills and professional advancement, to support the income, wellbeing and livelihood of its artists and the communities they work with. To find out more please contact Tania at Arts & Business NI tel. 028 90735150 or email    

Seacourt Print Workshop Looking for new Trustees to join the Board Seacourt Print Workshop are seeking board members who can bring a fresh, enthusiastic and active approach to voluntary work with a small well respected charity. Seacourt is an artist and printmaking studio facility established in 1981 and situated in Bangor, Co Down. Through sustained high-quality, artist-led printmaking activities and programmes for the public, schools, community and well-being groups, Seacourt has established itself as a leading and innovative printmaking community resource.  Seacourt is in a positive period of transition with a newly appointed full time Director and an ambitious plan to consolidate and expand services to a wider audience beyond North Down and the Greater Belfast areas, to include Derry/Londonderry, Enniskillen/Omagh and ultimately other areas. If you have a background in business or public sector work and an interest in promoting and supporting the arts, Seacourt would like you to consider applying to join their Board of Directors. They need three external Board members with a background in either Finance/Accountancy, Marketing/Promotion or Law/HR/Volunteering to contribute their knowledge, understanding and skills to enrich and enhance the Board as Seacourt work to meet the challenges of ensuring good governance and the opportunities that good strategic leadership can bring to the organisation. To find out more please contact Tania at Arts & Business NI tel. 028 90735150 or email  

Sestina Music Looking for new Trustees to join the Board Sestina is a vocal ensemble based in Belfast made up of young singers who have been hand-picked at the beginning of their professional careers.  It is Sestina’s aim to nurture and encourage their excellence through mentorship and collaboration with world-class professionals, and to present performances of the highest quality and energy.  To date, the ensemble has performed all the major stage works of Henry Purcell (The Fairy Queen, King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas), and has collaborated with some of the finest specialist early music practitioners in the world. To find out more contact Tania at Arts & Business NI tel. 028 90735150 or email  

Tinderbox Theatre Company Looking for new Trustees to join the Board Tinderbox Theatre Company is based in Belfast. Formed in 1988, it is one of Northern Ireland’s longest established and most respected independent theatre companies. Tinderbox is dedicated to the creation of new work for the theatre, the artists who create it, and the artistic environment in which its work takes place. Tinderbox produces two to three productions per year, carries out a range of initiatives to develop new work for the theatre, and runs a year-round Outreach Programme in schools and communities across Northern Ireland and a theatre training school. To find out more please contact Tania at Arts & Business NI tel. 028 90735150 or email  

Arts Care Looking for new Trustees to join the Board Arts Care, founded in 1991, is a unique Arts and Health Charity based in Northern Ireland. In partnership with Health and Social Care Trusts throughout Northern Ireland, Arts Care engages 19 artists-in-residence, a team of NI Clown Doctors and many project artists who facilitate and co-ordinate participatory workshops and performances. Believing in the benefits of creativity to well-being, Arts Care makes all forms of art accessible to patients, clients, residents and staff in health and social care settings. To find out more please contact Tania at Arts & Business NI tel. 028 90735150 or email  

Belfast Exposed Volunteers needed Belfast Exposed have a dedicated team of volunteers who assist staff in the day-to-day running of the gallery. While invigilating in the gallery is a primary element of the role, volunteers can also get involved with installing exhibitions, and assisting at events such as openings, talks and workshops. Volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, with many having established or currently developing their own photographic practice. In the past there have been a series of volunteer led projects, including critiques, workshops and exhibitions. Though unable to pay volunteers, Belfast Exposed can contribute to travel expenses and also offer free access to the darkroom and computer room and a discounted rate for their training courses and workshops. To find out more please contact Tania at Arts & Business NI tel. 028 90735150 or email    

The MAC, Belfast Volunteers needed With 363 days of activity throughout the year the MAC welcomes volunteers from all walks of life. As a valued member of the MACtivist team you will have the opportunity to get involved in many aspects at the MAC including the galleries, theatres and creative workshops. So unlock your imagination and make new friends along the way by becoming a volunteer. To find out more please contact Tania at Arts & Business NI tel. 028 90735150 or email


Contact us:

Twitter: @artsbusiness_ni Web: Email: Phone: 028 9073 5150   For information about business membership contact: Maeve at Sarah at   For information about volunteering and board membership contact: Tania at



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