Hello <<First Name>>
Welcome to the third 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

The Suppliant Women, with community cast from Belfast

The Suppliant Women

In 2016, we welcomed Actors Touring Company and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh’s production of The Suppliant Women to Belfast. A community cast of 32 participants from across the city were recruited and rehearsed their parts for several weeks prior to performances at the Grand Opera House.
Written 2,500 years ago by the Greek playwright Aeschylus, The Suppliant Women is one of the world’s oldest plays, yet its themes of identity, politics and democracy resonate just as strongly today.
Actors Touring Company and Lyceum’s Artistic Director David Greig were keen to use the techniques of Ancient Greek theatre, pairing a community cast with professional actors to create an extraordinary theatrical event.
Read more

Perspectives: Claire Cunningham

Claire Cunningham, Artist in Residence 2014

In 2014, Claire Cunningham, a multi-disciplinary artist, disabled performer and choreographer, was festival Artist in Residence, during which time she developed Guide Gods, a co-commission by Belfast Festival, the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme and South Bank Centre London.
Claire is one of 35 Artists who have shared their experiences of lockdown on The Alliance of International Production Companies’ new blog.
Claire’s piece, Conflict of Interests reflects on the fear and anger of the disabled community, on dealing with a great sense of loss and on keeping her private spaces, private. Read more

Guide Gods

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

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

Dublin Dance Festival - Digital Capsule

29 May – 7 June 2020
DDF are calling dance lovers, practitioners, and curious newbies to tune into #DDFDigitalCapsule: a selection of short films, documentaries, discussions, workshops and dance parties. Featuring BIAF favourites Oona Doherty, Hiroaki Umeda, CoisCéim, Junk Ensemble and more. Find out more

Poetry Clips: An Archive of John Hewitt Society Contributors

Just launched, this unique collection of short videos showcasing readings from world-renowned poets through to emerging poets will be released on a weekly basis. First up are Jean Bleakney and Billy Collins. View on John Hewitt Society website

The Lyric Online

Little Red Riding Hood & The Big Bad Wolf
Watch the full production for free from 22 - 29 May 
New Speak Reimagined
Watch all 5 episodes of new work from artists responding to the Covid-19 crisis while in lockdown.
Watch now on The Lyric's YouTube channel 

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
Why not check out Oh Yeah Centre's 30 playlists (yes 30!) on Spotify spanning rock, indie, electronica, folk, blues & jazz.
Check out 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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