Listen to an orchestra in your armchair, or lose yourself in a photography exhibition from your kitchen table. Belfast’s event venues, museums and galleries have moved much of their content online, so you can explore a huge range of local art and culture from the comfort of your own home. We’ve rounded up some of the top online cultural experiences to bring Belfast’s vibrant arts scene to you.
NMNI's Online Exhibitions
National Museums Northern Ireland has launched their first immersive digital exhibition, marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. Complete with audio, video and artworks, the virtual exhibition explores Florence Nightingale’s life, work and how she impacted nursing in Ireland. Enjoy the exhibition here. You can also browse museum collections online, read curators’ blogs and collections stories and visit NMNI’s YouTube channel for fascinating interviews and videos about their artefacts.
Lyric Theatre Online Screenings
Watch brand new short performances from the Lyric Theatre! New Speak Re-Imagined is a weekly series that reflects on where we are now, where we’re going and imagines where we go next. Or catch an archived theatre performance, like Little Red Riding Hood, which will be released on 22 May and available for a limited time only. Catch all the performances on Lyric Theatre’s YouTube channel.
Seamus Heaney Homeplace
The doors at Seamus Heaney Homeplace might be closed but that won’t stop them their ‘homeplace to yours’! A line-up of acclaimed writers and musicians has been announced as part of our new virtual programme of performances. Go to their YouTube channel for special guest performances from local talent including renowned author, Glenn Patterson, singer-songwriter Anthony Toner, award-winning poets Maureen Boyle and Stephen Sexton and the short story writer and playwright, Rosemary Jenkinson.
Ulster Orchestra: Let’s Play at Home
Enjoy the sounds of the Ulster Orchestra in your living room with their special online series on YouTube. The orchestra members will be bringing you live-streamed recitals, split-screen chamber ensembles, tutorials and tips for players and conversation about music. Find out more at ulsterorchestra.org.uk and follow #UOLetsPlayAtHome on social media
Belfast Exposed Photography Digital Gallery
Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery has launched a must-see range of digital materials to bring their stunning exhibitions and much more to your home! Content includes writings, images, video pieces and audio recordings to encourage creativity and critical thinking, and to expand your ability and understanding of photography. Got kids at home? They’re also releasing daily free activities for children and young people, and encouraging you to share photographs of your life while staying home for a potential exhibition in their gallery later in the year.
BFF20 Online Treats
The 20th Belfast Film Festival was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, but the festival has made a wonderful comeback by turning its website into an online cinema. Join them for series of free online treats, including exclusive new screenings. Grab the popcorn, get comfy on the sofa and tune in for a sensational line-up.
Discover Ulster Scots Online
Delve into our Ulster Scots heritage on Discover Ulster Scots’ YouTube channel, where you’ll find lots of fascinating content on everything from emigration to traditional Ulster Scots dishes. Learn about the connection between our city and Belfast in Maine, and Londonderry in Ulster and New Hampshire; or discover the 1718 Ulster-Scot migration to America.
Crescent Arts Centre Online Courses
Got time to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill? Browse the Crescent Arts Centre’s wonderful line-up of interactive online classes, available in their Spring Term: Tutor Takeover series. From felt making to ballet, writing and violin lessons, there’s loads to choose from, so take a look and keep connected, creative and engaged.
National Trust Collections & Podcasts
Did you know the National Trust looks after one of the world’s largest art and heritage collections, and you can view lots of it on their website? Discover unique artefacts from their properties across Northern and the rest of the UK, and read about the fascinating history behind each. Or listen to the National Trust podcasts for stories, discussions and interviews with experts.
Virtual Cabaret by Duncairn Arts Centre
The Duncairn promises a fantastic line-up of live content over the next few weeks, with a curated series of self-shot performances from some of Ireland and Scotland’s finest musicians, poets and artists. Tune in on Facebook and Youtube, with weekly episodes of Virtual Cabaret streaming live on Saturday evenings at 8.30pm. Want to show your support? You can make donations to the performers before and during the show via PayPal.
Imagine! Belfast Virtual Festival 2020
The Imagine Belfast Festival of ideas and politics moved its March festival online, and you can still watch the events on their website! These must-watch videos include discussions on COVID-19 as well as short movie screenings, ‘Keep Safe’ with Tim McGarry, whiskey talks and many of the festival’s original events in digital format.
Linen Hall Library
As Belfast’s oldest library, the Linen Hall Library offers a place to delve into famous Irish and genealogy collections. Go to the Linen Hall Library website for access to digital collections, including Northern Ireland politics collections and a theatre and literary archive.
Golden Thread Gallery Online Events
Join Golden Thread Gallery for weekly sessions on Zoom, which include reading and discussions on visual art and Q&As with curators. Their online events are perfect for those who work in or have an interest in visual arts.
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While we’re all at home stopping the spread of #COVID19, we want to do our bit to support your wellbeing through collections, culture and creativity. First up, we’ll be focusing on our much-loved #IrishArt collection, like this Sir John Lavery painting, Under the Cherry Tree (1885). #IrishMuseumsOnline #MuseumFromHome
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Join us on Thursday 7th May from 7pm for #LateNightArtBelfast. Goldfish Bowl is a new experimental residency developed by artist Hugh O’Donnell in response to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will include live-streamed performances on our social media platforms, and an archive on our new Vimeo page, which you can watch any time. Link in bio. Live-streaming dates: Thursday 7th May Saturday 16th May Thursday 28th May Thursday 4th June Saturday 13th June Tuesday 30th June (final performance/work)
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FREE ART 🙌🏼Create while you isolate 🎨 Head to my website , fill in your details and I will email you with a PDF for you to print while we all stay at home and stay safe during covid-19. 1. Fill out your details below and click Submit. 2. Download your artwork and print it at home. 3. Colour it in, decorate it or frame it. 4. Tag a photo of your creation and tag me @dannisimpsonart on Instagram 5. In a week i'll announce a winner who will receive an one of a kind artwork valued at £300. 6. Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives. #letsstayhome
Belfast From Home: More Ideas
Belfast Live Music and Entertainment at Home
Missing live music in the pub? Belfast’s bars are bringing the entertainment to you, with live streams from local musicians, playlists and pub quizzes to enjoy
Family Things to Do at Home
Looking for things to do with the kids at home? We’ve rounded up fun activity packs and online experiences for kids, brought to you by Belfast’s attractions.
Taste of Belfast at Home
Discover the award-winning flavours of Belfast’s restaurants at home through these online cookery demos, recipes and delivery services.