Musical performances, poetry recitals, art workshops and heritage events feature strongly in the local programme for Culture Night, taking place this evening, Friday, September 21.
In Athlone, resident artists at Abbey Road Artists' Studios, Leigh Francis, Lelia Henry, Calvin Doyle and Eoin Francis McCormack, will launch a new exhibition. Doors open to the public offering a behind the scenes insight into each of the four artists studios, from 4.30pm - 7pm.
The Aidan Heavey Library in Athlone will host a special event featuring The Poetic Note and The Blossom Harp Ensemble.
'The Poetic Note' are a duo comprised of poet Anne Gaffney and musician Martin O'Hara featuring Anne's poetry and original music by Martin.The Blossom Harp Ensemble is a group of local children (aged 10 to 16) taught by Lizzie Affolter. The Ensemble plays mostly an Irish set which includes traditional dance tunes and airs by Turlough O'Carolan. The event will take place from 7.30pm - 8.30pm.
Meanwhile, in the Athlone Castle courtyard (weather permitting), the Army Band will perform from 7.15pm – 8pm while the Athlone Pipe Band will be present from 6.15pm - 7pm.
The Athlone Youth Orchestra will also give an outdoor performance in front of Civic Buildings, Athlone from 6pm - 7pm.
There will be a music and poetry recital from local group, Poetry in the Park, in the Luan Gallery from 7.30pm – 8pm.
The gallery will also offer guided tours by exhibiting artists Eoin Francis McCormack and Susanne Wawra from 6.15pm to 7.15pm.
There will also be drop in workshops, suitable for children, aged from 6-12, at the Luan Gallery, from 5.30pm-7pm, with the last workshop at 6.15pm.
In Moate, there will be free admission to Dún na Sí Heritage Park from 2pm – 4pm. Artist Dolores Keaveney will oversee a monster doodle from 4pm – 5pm at Moate Library, while Rosemount NS pupils will bring to live their own amazing stories, designs and decorations, from 4-7pm in the library.
In Tuar Ard, Dominique Foley will facilitate the creation of community art work, entitled Moate Community Art Project. People of all ages and ability are invited to participate from 11am to 7pm.
It may be called Culture Night but things get underway in Mullingar Arts Centre at 10.30am when Mullingar Student Players perform their latest production, an adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott's 19th century novel, Little Women.
The Market Square will be place to be in the early evening with the young members of Elevate Dance Studio getting things underway with a performance at 5.30pm, which will be quickly followed by Mullingar Town Band at 6pm. At 6.30pm Energy Plus School of Dance will take to the Square to showcase the talent of their students. The performances in the Market Square are weather dependent.
Áras an Mhuilinn will host an evening of traditional music featuring local musicians and members of Glasgow CCE (8pm). If you want your Culture Night to be a bit more active, renowned local historian Ruth Illingworth will be giving a number of tours across the day. At 3pm, she will be giving a tour of the artwork in Mullingar Cathedral, while at 5.30pm she will be giving a walking tour of Mullingar's public art works starting at the Arts Centre.
Ruth will round of her day with a tour of the museum at the Greville Arms Hotel at 9pm.
Belvedere House will also host two free guided tours, Belvedere by Day (4pm) and Belvedere by Night (6pm).
The are a number of events also taking place in towns and villages around the county. The Ballnacargy branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann is hosting a night of music, song, dance and stories in Teach Ceol, starting at 8pm, while in Castlepollard, the Castlepollard Writers Group are hosting an Open Mic night (7pm).
In Rochfortbridge Parish Hall, the Emeral Lakes Academy of Dance are hosting an evening of Irish music, song and dance (7.30pm), while over in Kilbeggan, the Library will host a performance from local musicians (4pm).
For a full run down of all the events taking place around Westmeath on Culture Night go to: culturenight.ie/events/westmeath/.
Please note that some events require booking. Please check website.
In the wider Midlands region, there are also a number of events.
In nearby Athleague, a fun class, Creating Flowers from Fabric, will be held at the Suck Valley Centre.
This fun class is suitable for adults and children from 8 years. Learn how to make flowers from fabric using easy sewing techniques and glue. Flowers can be used to display in a vase or attached to garments or broaches and other items for decoration. There will also be demonstrations on Patchwork and Quilting. Pre-booking advised.
The Suck Valley Centre will also host Quirks, a group exhibition featuring work from five artists of different disciplines from painting to textiles and ceramics. The show is about individuality and non conformity. Exhibition from 6.30pm - 9:30pm
Roscommon Library will open late, up to 8pm, to present an exhibition displaying creative works from people native to County Roscommon. Based on The Roscommon Literary Heritage Series, the exhibition will display books by the authors Douglas Hyde, Percy French, William Wilde, John McGahern, Oliver Goldsmith and B.M. Croker. Part of the exhibition will also include information on Athlone writer Hannah Greally and artist Roderic O’Conor.
In Lough Boora in Offaly, join artist, Michael Bulfin on a walk through its nature and landscape, focusing on his artwork ‘Sky Train’ and his creative response to Boora’s natural and industrial heritage. Bulfin is a renowned Irish artist with a body of work that constantly explores, interprets and defines facets of interconnectivity with the natural world.
Booking required, call 057 9340010. Meet at the Visitor Centre, 6.30pm-8pm.
In Friends Meeting House in Clara, award winning Clara Musical Society present Songs from the Musicals – an evening of musical favourites with the best show tunes of all times, from 8pm - 10pm
Booking required 087 9366247. Check out https://culturenight.ie/events/westmeath/