Imagine Arts Festival available to all online this year

The first online Imagine Arts Festival will get underway on Friday, October 16th at 12 pm with a total of 40 events taking place all freely available to the public.

According to the Imagine Festival Manager, this is a big step for the festival which is 19 years old.

“It is an adventure that we are excited to embark upon, perhaps this online element may even remain as part of our festival offering from here on.”

The festival opens with a virtual art trail and a series of virtual exhibitions along with the opening of a virtual art shop. The artists set to exhibit their work include Margo Banks, Janet Sibley, “I” a curated selection of works by emerging artists; Kitsch Doom, Ciara O’ Neill, Matt Higgs, William Murray and MONUMENTS II (Memory Traces) by Ciara Rodgers.

Creating Together Apart is another such exhibition that features young artists and their works which were created during lockdown. They will be showcased in the windows of City Square in Waterford and virtually.

Other highlights include the John Dwyer Trad Weekend which will also take place over the opening weekend.

A ‘Glór Na nDéise’ concert will take place with some of Waterford’s finest trad musicians including Sarah O’Gorman (fiddle) and Claire Fennell (flute) Áine and Tomás Ó Dálaigh (concertina and fiddle), Jimmy O’Brien Moran (uilleann pipes). Ciarán Ó Gealbháin and Edel Fox will host the event.

From free online trad workshops to a concert honouring the life and work of the late John Dwyer on Saturday, the weekend will be jampacked.

Not only that but Waterford Writers Weekend opens on Thursday, October 22nd. It runs for three days with 13 online events on offer from workshops, masterclasses and readings to poetry events, author interviews and discussions with some of the country’s foremost writers.

Ambassador to Ireland to the US Dan Mulhall will be hosting a poetry reading

Highlights include an interview with Sara Baume who will talk about her first non-fiction title – an exploration of productivity and what it means to be an artist.

Brian Conaghan will chat about his latest YA title The M Word, an unforgettable novel about grief and healing. An interview with award-winning writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa will see her discuss her stunning debut prose ‘A Ghost in the Throat’. Colm Keegan will premiere ‘This is Waterford’, a vibrant and contemporary literary work.

There will be a performance with Felicia Olusanya, Leke Ogunde and Samuel Yakura. In a free online event, Ambassador of Ireland to the US Dan Mulhall will host a Desert Island poetry reading.

Two of Ireland’s finest playwrights and directors Jim Nolan and Jimmy Murphy will chat writing, process and legacy. Poet Mark Roper will host a beginners poetry workshop plus lots more.

Director Jim Nolan will be taking part.

On the final day of the festival, Imagine is honour Eric Sweeney with oh, this hectic world, the last piece Eric composed. The setting for this will be 10 classic Japanese haikus selected by the poet Mark Roper, who had collaborated with Eric on many ventures over many years.

Composer and pianist Marian Ingoldsby, a close friend and colleague of Eric’s at WIT for over 25 years, has very kindly agreed to step in to play Eric’s music.

More information can be found on their website here.

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I'm a freelance content creator and a journalist who has a strong desire to do as much as possible in the time I've got left on this planet. I got a taste for storytelling when I interned in Storyful many moons ago and since then have worked for places like WorldIrish (now Irish Central), Her.ie and Lonely Planet. I am constantly curious.

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