Good show for Culture Night 2011

I want to report back that while I didn’t get to sample everything at Limerick’s Culture Night 2011, it seemed to be a great success. The organisations and venues involved put a lot of effort into it. It was especially popular with families, students and people from other countries living in Limerick so Culture Night was a great PR opportunity—which was mostly capitalised upon.

The Hunt Museum was very busy and had lots of stuff on including workshops/ activities for kids, a live orchestra and guided tours. The excellent music by CoMA (Contemporary Music Making for All) added to the special atmosphere and the museum was as charming as ever. The current photographic exhibition, Changing Ireland, is amazing, incredibly moving and it’s on until October 23. The photos are displayed in advance of the publication of the latest in the series of books by James Fennell and Turtle Bunbury.

We had a sneak peek at the redeveloped Limerick City Gallery of Art in Pery Square. It was bizarre walking around there with no art in the space! The gallery was giving away free ev+a back catalogues among other books, which was a good idea in the absence of the real thing.

There was tango dancing going on beside the Occupy Space gallery, which made for a bit of voyeurism. After a look around the art exhibition space we tipped across to Conradh na Gaeilge, where they were having a old fashioned sing song and trad session in an chistin. That was good craic.

I have minor complaints…well, the blog is called ‘not good for my rage’. The programme for Culturenight.ie advertised that the Georgian House and Gardens were open for the night, which was wrong. It used to be open to the public during the week but due to funding difficulties, Limerick Civic Trust had to close it for the time being with the loss of several jobs. I think the restored Georgian-era building is one of the biggest jewels in LCT’s crown and it should have been open on the most appropriate night of the year! (On closer inspection, that online programme had a litany of mistakes and omissions. The ones in the local papers were more accurate and there were plenty of leaflets available at the venues).

The poetry bus wasn’t running to schedule and after 15 minutes waiting at the stop it was supposed to arrive at, we decided to abandon it and head for the Hunt Museum.

My little brother had never seen King John’s Castle so we went down there for a look first. The history of the place never fails to impress but I have to say some of the exhibits and the visitors’ centre look tired and/or dirty. There was a lot of litter outside the entrance and no stewards/special event for the night. BUT the castle’s courtyard had fantastic exhibits of ye olde bright blue wheelie bins and ye olde pile of broken pallets. It made you wonder what year ye olde traffic cone was excavated. The castle is due for a multi-million euro revamp next year and I hope it’ll be spent in the right areas.

So all in all, Culture Night was well worth a look. Kudos to all involved!

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