Listen to an orchestra in your armchair, or lose yourself in an historic art collection from your kitchen table. Belfast’s museums, galleries and events venues 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.
Out to Lunch Festival
Online Festival, until 30 January
Out to Lunch Arts Festival is proud to kick off a more hopeful 2021 with a month-long programme of live streamed events. The amazing line-up includes Kevin McAleer, Joshua Burnside, Dea Matrona, Jordan Adetunji, Duke Special Gramophone Club and many more.
David Olusoga: Mary Ann McCracken Foundation Launch
Online Event, 20 January
Join the Belfast Charitable Society on Wednesday 20 January as it launches a new foundation to raise awareness of the life and legacy of one of Belfast’s most important, yet least recognised, abolitionists, philanthropists and social reformers – Mary Ann McCracken. This unmissable event will feature BAFTA award-winning broadcaster and historian Professor David Olusoga as the key note speaker. Professor Olusoga will speak on the ‘Legacies of Slavery’- a subject he has extensively researched, written and broadcasted on for many years.
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 Ireland 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.
NMNI's Online Exhibitions
National Musuems Northern Ireland have a full suite of digitised collections on their website! Browse museum collections online, read curators’ blogs and collections stories and visit NMNI’s YouTube channel for fascinating interviews and videos about their artefacts.
Imagine Festival 2021
Online Festival, 22 to 28 March
Join Imagine Festival in imagining a better future as part of a unique festival devoted to politics, culture and ideas. The festival offers up an eclectic week of talks, workshops, theatre, comedy, music, exhibitions, film and tours on themes such as climate change, the impact of the pandemic, partition and legacy issues, democratic innovation, and the anniversary of the foundation of Northern Ireland.
Ulster Orchestra: Let’s Play at Home
Enjoy the sounds of the Ulster Orchestra in your living room with a huge collection of #UOLetsPlayatHome videos on their YouTube channel. Watch the orchestra members perform live-streamed recitals, solo pieces and split-screen chamber ensembles from their home to yours.
Linen Hall Library Online Archive and Events
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. Or join in on their fascinating online events, which include talks and discussions hosted on Zoom. Browse the full line-up on their website.
Belfast Exposed Digital Resources
Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery has launched a must-see range of digital materials. Content includes writings, portfolios and videos to encourage creativity showcase artists’ work. Got kids at home? Their website also has free activities for children and young people.
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 their 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.
Discover Ulster Scots Online
Delve into 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.
Museum of Orange Heritage
The Orange Heritage Museum’s ‘Heritage at Home’ showcases Orange stories from the museum’s archive. Browse the selection of stories and exhibits on their website.
Stories from the Maritime Mile
Discover the stories of Belfast’s waterfront from former employees who worked in the area, Q&As with workers and residents and memories from people who visit. Read the fascinating stories on the Maritime Mile website and let them bring the Mile to life, from Sailortown to Titanic Quarter.