Hello <<First Name>>
Welcome to the second edition of our fortnightly special edition newsletters to provide a little uplift during these anxious times. We'll dip into festival memories, catch up with artists and companies who've featured in previous festival editions, and share news from our friends.

Best of the Fest

Across and In-Between_bridge_photographer Helen Sloan
Across and In-Between_round bales_photographer Helen Sloan
Across and In-Between_horses_photographer Helen Sloan
Across and In-Between_canoe group_photographer Helen Sloan

Across and In-Between, Suzanne Lacy, 2018

Created in collaboration with communities in Ireland from both sides of the border, Across and In–Between explores the profound impact the border has on the lives of people who live there.
Co-commissioned by BIAF and 14-18 NOW, it amplified the voices and experiences of border residents through words, imagery, sound and performance giving them an opportunity to reclaim the landscape around them.
A three–screen film projection, The Yellow Line, was made with participants including farmers, horse–owners, scouts, hikers and villagers from communities across the Fermanagh, Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan border–line.
During BIAF18, it was projected upon the facade of the Ulster Museum building, supported by a temporary exhibition featuring documentary interviews and the opportunity to contribute to the conversation about a Border People’s Parliament.
Then, on 20th October 2018, at the height of the Brexit crisis, 150 people arrived at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, for the Border People's Parliament. They participated in drafting The Yellow Manifesto - A True Account of a Border and its People

View the newly released documentary video along with a fuller account of the project here

A Special Message

We caught up with the wonderful Lucy Parham, Juliet Stevenson and Michael Maloney, who entranced audiences last October with Beloved Clara.
They each sent a personal message, reflecting on their time in Belfast and hopes for the future.
Richard Wakely

“It’s solace, comfort, hope and optimism I find in art"

Our Artistic Director Richard Wakely recently contributed to the ACNI blog on how he is coping with lockdown and where he is turning to for inspiration. Read more

Listen Back: The Big World Podcast #1- Owen McCafferty

During BIAF19, Hugh Odling-Smee interviewed Owen McCafferty, finding out more about the inspiration for his film Ordinary Love, how he got started in the writing game, and his experience of the film industry in Northern Ireland. 50 mins. Listen Here

"I’ve seen it three times so far, and found it more joyous, heart-breaking and ultimately uplifting with each subsequent viewing." Mark Kermode, 5 star review for Ordinary Love, which is available to view on many platforms. Here's the link to BFI 

End Meeting For All

End Meeting for All, by Forced Entertainment
Do you recall Forced Entertainment's Real Magic, which appeared at BIAF19? 
Well, Forced Entertainment have been commissioned by HAU (Berlin), to create End Meeting for All during the coronavirus lockdown. In three short episodes, each taking the form of a Zoom meeting, we experience a world in which the lockdown appears to have been going on for a very very very long time!
Part of #HAUonline, the first 2 episodes are available to watch now on HAU YouTube Channel

Operation Elsewhere

Familiar with Big Telly's Worst Cafe in the World (BIAF19), or Freak Show (BIAF18)? Their second isolation piece Operation Elsewhere has been extended: new dates - 23-24 May. This immersive theatre experience takes place live on Zoom. It’s an hour full of fun, faeries, changelings and adventure and is suitable for all the family. More information inc booking

Support NI Artists

Check out the 'Bread & Butter' GoFundMe, which has been set up by Abbie Spallen, Fionnuala Kennedy and Helen Gomez, to offer a one-off £200 payment to NI arts practitioners who have lost income. Find out more

Visual Artists Emergency Fund

New Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund, in partnership with a-n The Artists Information Company, will provide hardship grants of £1,500-2,500 per person. Open to artists and freelancers in the visual arts sector based in Northern Ireland who are experiencing severe financial hardship, including those not eligible for existing public funds. Closes 2pm Thursday 18 June. Find Out More

Deaf/Disabled Artist Support Fund

This fund has been created by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and is administered by University of Atypical.
Deaf/disabled artists resident in Northern Ireland are invited to apply for 25 grants of up to £1,000 each, in order to research and develop their practice. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 20 May. Find Out More

ACNI Artists Emergency Programme

Due to high demand, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has temporarily closed the Artists Emergency Programme (AEP), which offers freelance artists, creative practitioners and performers the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £5,000 each. Find out more

News from our friends

Theatre and Dance NI

Dance Resource Base (DRB) and TheatreNI (TNI) announced their merger at the start of May. We wish Theatre and Dance NI, the new support agency for theatre and dance in Northern Ireland, all the very best and every success in representing, developing and advocating for a thriving theatre, dance and performing arts sector.

New Speak

New Speak Reimagined - final episode this Friday

The Lyric's artist-led initiative New Speak features compelling, invigorating and urgent new work that speaks to where we are right now; from Amadan Ensemble, Dominic Montague, Katie Richardson, Lata Sharma, and Zara Janahi, and directed by Emily Foran and Oisín Kearney. Read more

New Speak Reimagined sees these artists responding to the Covid-19 crisis while in lockdown. Check out the first 3 episodes now on The Lyric's YouTube channel and tune in this Friday at 7pm for the final instalment.

Ten Plagues

The Belfast Ensemble, in association with Outburst Arts, present their first lockdown broadcast. Part cabaret torch songs, part Schubert, Ten Plagues draws parallels with the 20th century emergence of AIDS, but here takes on a breathtaking 2020 significance. Performed by Matthew Cavan and Conor Mitchell. Purchase a ticket (£2.99) to view from QFT

Dear Ireland

The Abbey Theatre commissioned 50 writers to each write a monologue responding to the times we live in. It's an impressive and interesting roll call of writers and artists, many of whom will be familiar to you such as Owen McCafferty, Amanda Coogan, Timmy Creed, and Deirdre Kinahan.
All 50 monologues are available to view online for six months, visit The Abbey Theatre website.
If you would like to listen to the music of Robert and Clara Schumann (and many more greats) performed by the award-winning pianist Lucy Parham, or indeed purchase Beloved Clara or other CDs, please visit Lucy Parham's website.

As this proved a popular item last time, check out the NI artist playlist on Spotify, compiled by ACNI Music Officer Jo Wright, featuring Kitt Philippa, Joshua Burnside, Ryan Vail, Elma Orkestra, Jealous of the Birds, Ruth McGinley, Matthew Whiteside and many more.

You may also be interested in the latest round-up of what's happening in the arts on ACNI website.


We are still planning to deliver our annual festival, opening in mid-October as originally planned, but we feel it is prudent to wait a number of weeks before confirming this. Read full statement

If you have any suggestions for future newsletters, please get in touch by emailing
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