Caroline O’Leary on September’s nationwide night of culture
It is always encouraging to see national support of the Irish art scene, especially support that encourages greater participation of the general public and families. Therefore, the now national “Culture Night” is a wonderful innovation that has evolved from a Dublin-based event to include simultaneous nights in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and, as of next year, Belfast. Organised by the Temple Bar Cultural Trust, the night involves galleries and businesses remaining open late to accommodate visitors as well as special events and street performances catering to everyone’s tastes, from students to families.
This year, the Dublin event spread out from its original location in Temple Bar to encompass most of the inner city, including all of the major galleries – many of whom featured special events – the Georgian areas, the Docklands and the quays, attracting an estimated 100,000 people. Even our own Trinity College got involved, with the old Library remaining open late for viewers and the Science Gallery putting on a particularly fascinating exhibit of “Art Bots” – which included an origami-folding robot and RuBot II, the Rubik’s cube-solving robot. Even Dublin Bus had a hand in proceedings, providing free transport to the masses of attendees for the entire night.
Despite the good intentions of the event as a family-oriented affair, some sources have mentioned that certain areas, particularly around the Liffey, encountered problems later on. That said, the night, for the most part, was a success and is something worth keeping in mind for next year.