With Culture Night Belfast going ahead for 2020 with a core online programme that includes a rich mix of music, film, performance and more on September 18, organisers are calling for submissions for events to be added to their online calendar. 

While the popular celebration of arts and culture normally attracts tens of thousands into the streets of the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast and beyond this year’s offering is going online and the team behind Culture Night have made a commitment to do all they can to help support the local arts and culture scene.

Susan Picken, Director of Cathedral Quarter Trust, the charity behind Culture Night Belfast, said the arts sector across Northern Ireland has shown “great resilience in a time of adversity” and whilst the organisation doesn’t have the funding or ability to facilitate a large scale event on the streets this year she hopes this year’s online core and accompanying showcase programme will give creators from across the country the chance to showcase their work to a larger audience.

She added: “When we were putting the core programme together we wanted to ensure that we supported as many organisations and artists as we could within our means and I’m delighted that we’ll be supporting a diverse range of arts and culture across the sector in the main Culture Night TV broadcast.

“However, one thing we realise is that we have the ability to help further support the arts by opening up the programme to other events which we will help promote and highlight through our social media, press activity, website listings and more.

“Therefore, we’re calling on creators, artists, organisations and venues to submit something to be included in our supporting programme online.

“Of course the stipulation is that the event must have an online element to it. We’re happy to promote work that has already been created – so, for example, you may have a film available on YouTube or another platform that you wish to share with us. Or perhaps, you want to highlight some of the amazing work you did during lockdown.

“Regardless whether you are sharing a new piece of work, going live or sending us links to pre-recorded material we want to hear from you.”

Susan said this is a time for the arts sector to pull together in order to survive the challenges of 2020.

She added: “The arts sector has been really badly impacted by this pandemic, but I think on the whole it has shown how determined people are to keep going. Resilience is a bit of the theme this year, almost like defiance when we are up against it.

“People have plugged away for years, and they’re not going to let something they’ve built be destroyed. People are creative and will always find a way to make things happen.”

This year’s funding has been dramatically cut so Susan says the backing of Belfast City Council and the Arts Council NI has been vital to make sure that they can take Culture Night Belfast online.

The full programme is set to be announced shortly, but it promises to be a packed series of events pre-recorded at locations such as Belfast Cathedral, Oh Yeah Centre, Black Box and The Mac.

If you’re a creator and want to submit your event to Culture Night Belfast this year simply fill out the submissions form at culturenightbelfast.com/cnb-online and follow #CNB20 #CNBonline.

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