While the Northern Irish capital streets are quiet as people stay home and stay safe, many of the city’s galleries, museums and festivals have moved online.
With its distinctive quarters offering a host of vibrant cultural experiences, Belfast is well known for its rich heritage, quirky murals and the buzz of its thriving arts scene.
Always bursting with ideas, the city’s creatives are finding new ways to spark artistic inspiration and share their unique home town culture with the world as we all #StayHome.
Thanks to their efforts on digital platforms you can now lose yourself in a photography exhibition from your kitchen table, discover a huge range of Belfast art while you have a lie-down, listen to an orchestra in your armchair, and much more.
Enjoy the sounds of the Ulster Orchestra with their special Let’s Play at Home series on YouTube. The orchestra members are delivering live-streamed recitals, split-screen chamber ensembles, tutorials and tips for players as well as great conversations about music.
Belfast has a long, rich history of folk and traditional music, with the well-known McPeake family, fiddler Sean Maguire and piper Sean McAloon among the city’s greats. A number of hugely talented young people have also taken up the traditional music mantle, gracing various city venues and providing a unique Belfast take on one of the world’s great artforms. Tune into their sounds with musicians from the Belfast Traditional Music Trail.
For a more contemporary vibe, check out Duncairn Arts Centre, which is live streaming a curated series over Facebook and YouTube featuring some of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians.
Belfast’s visual galleries are online too, with the ArtisAnn Gallery exhibiting all of its artists’ works digitally, including a new showing from one of the city’s most artistic couples, Sophie Aghajanian and James Allen.
Belfast Exposed, a stunning photography gallery, has also launched a must-see range of digital materials to bring their excellent exhibitions and 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.
You can also join the Golden Thread Gallery for weekly sessions on Zoom, which include reading and discussions on visual art and Q&As with curators. These online events will be perfect for those who have an interest in, or work in, visual arts.
And if #StayHome is leaving you with the time and the inclination to learn a new artistic skill, hook up with the city’s Crescent Arts Centre, where there is a wonderful line-up of interactive online classes available.
From felt making to ballet, writing and violin lessons, there’s plenty to choose from. So take a look and keep creative, keep engaged and stay connected with buzzing Belfast.
Need more resources? View our images and videos from across Ireland