Hello <<First Name>>

We hope you and your loved ones are well. As we welcome Spring with open arms, this edition includes a coffee-break catch-up with Eileen McClory, we congratulate Oona Doherty and Josette Bushell-Mingo on their recent achievements, and we remember Emma O'Kane. We also highlight a few events and activities that we think you might be interested in.

Meet Eileen McClory

Eileen McClory
Take a 5 minute break and discover what's been happening in the past 12 months with Eileen McClory, our Festival Artist in Residence. Read interview
To say the past twelve months have been busy is a bit of an understatement where Eileen is concerned. She completed her Masters (with Distinction) in Contemporary Performance Practice at Ulster University. She had a baby daughter, who is now 8 months old and raring to get walking. In August she was revealed as our Festival Artist in Residence. She curated Catalyst Dance Festival for Theatre and Dance NI, shining a spotlight on NI dance, which aired as a digital edition in November. And she has been working on a number of projects throughout...
Read interview


Oona Doherty. Photo credit Luca Truffarelli
Congratulations to Oona Doherty, who has been awarded the Silver Lion award, dedicated to promising young artists in dance, by La Biennale Di Venezia. This prestigious accolade is well deserved and we wish Oona continued success and recognition.
Read more
BIAF audiences will recall the raw Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus at our festival in 2016 (Oona was also Festival Artist in Residence that year). You can view an extract of this work up to midnight tomorrow (Fri 26 Feb) as part of #DancingNation at Sadlers Wells.
Watch Dancing Nation
Josette Bushell-Mingo in Nina - A Story About Me and Nina Simone. Photo credit Andrew Ness
Congratulations to Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE on her appointment as the incoming Principal of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. The award-winning actor and director left a permanent impression in the hearts and minds of our audiences with the powerful Nina: A Story about Me and Nina Simone at BIAF18, and most recently Call Nina! documentary at BIAF20. We wish her every success in her new role.
Read more

Remembering Emma O'Kane

Emma O'Kane. Photo credit Conor Horgan
We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of dancer and choreographer Emma O'Kane.
Emma, who was born in Belfast, was a core member of CoisCéim Dance Theatre and delighted BIAF audiences in The Wolf and Peter (BIAF15). She also choreographed Pat Kinevane's Before (BIAF19) and performed with many other companies and venues, including Fishamble, Anu, Project Arts, the Abbey, and RTE.
Our thoughts are with Emma's family and friends and the entire dance community.


Watch BIAF20 on YouTube
Miss anything at the Festival? A select number of events from #BIAF20 are now available on demand on our YouTube channel including: 
Fourteen fascinating discussions with the authors and poets behind the very best fiction and non-fiction, reflections on Northern Ireland's recent past, and work from home-grown talent.


Donate today. Image of audience waiting in theatre foyer before a performance
We bring Belfast to the world and the world to Belfast, a multidisciplinary arts festival that brings people and artists together.

In the midst of the current pandemic, to ensure our survival and a return to a full programme of live events in 2021, we need your help. 

If you are able to make a financial contribution to Belfast International Arts Festival, we can do this together to:
  • Continue to present a vibrant and world-class programme from home and abroad, reimagined for the times we live in.
  • Maintain our Free For Everyone events.
  • Support the artistic community in creating new work, in different formats, to reach audiences and promoters at home and abroad.
Arts Disability Ireland's From Access to Inclusion symposium takes place 9-25 March.
With 22 presenters, from 16 cities, representing a range of organisations such as Theatres, Museums and Galleries, Festivals, Cinema and much much more, the summit aims to exchange ideas and discover new and innovative ways to create accessible and inclusive experiences. Find out more


Some interesting events happening this weekend and March:
  • NI Science Festival now- Sun 28 February. A diverse programme of talks and interactive events, and check out their YouTube channel for selected events available for catch-up.
  • EchoEcho Dance presents a special online festival edition now - Sat 27 Feb, including artist talks, livestreamed solos and classes. 
  • Strand Arts Centre has teamed up with film distributor Dogwoof to begin virtual screenings. 
  • Belfast Children's Festival online Fri 5 - Sun 14 March. Theatre, dance, music, visual arts and more for tots to teens and their families. Cahoots NI's University of Wonder and Imagination was a great hit at BIAF20 - you've a chance to enjoy it again. So too Replay Theatre's young adult dystopian drama Dancing at the Disco at the End of the World, which played at BIAF17. 
  • Imagine Belfast online Mon 22 - Sun 28 March. With the theme The State of Us, 115 events span politics, human rights, democracy, environment and much more. BIAF audiences may be interested in Gavin Esler (who sold out at BIAF19) talking about his latest book – How Britain Ends. So much choice!
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland publish a weekly round up of what's happening in the Arts. Read more
Applications are now open to the Poetry Summer School at the Seamus Heaney Centre QUB. Find out more
The MAC are recruiting for an Assistant Curator (closes 3 March). Find out more

Save the Dates:
Belfast International Arts Festival 2021
13 October to 31 October 

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