Verbal Arts Centre, alongside their popular Reading Rooms program, hosted a fleet of free events as part of Culture Night on Friday 16th September.
Culture Night is a family friendly event with a range of activities people of all ages can enjoy. Towns and cities across Ireland hold their own Culture Nights, playing host to an amazing range of free arts events open to everyone.
The night saw the opening of ‘Once A Railroad‘, an exhibition from Gregory McCartney and Mara Cavalla presenting an idiosyncratic poetic/film psycho-history/geography of growing up in Derry using the decline of current and former railway lines as a basis for musings on self, history, politics, contradiction and confusion.
Our Reading Rooms project hosted Little Legends, a family fun event bringing stories from across the world to life in a fun and exciting way. Using three large scale characters to engage with families and a younger audience, we met Amelia, Oaksey and Professor Magee for an adventurous reading session.
The adults didn’t miss out either, as Reading Rooms also held a drop in session of Flash Fiction storytelling in the evening, with visitors listening in and sharing their thoughts on the challenged prose selected selected, whilst challenge, supported and enthused by one of our trained facilitators.
Elsewhere, we had a fun and energetic session of Laughter Yoga to help release endorphins, reduce stress and connect people. The combination of deep breathing exercises, gentle movement, simulated laughter and deep relaxation left participants feeling amazing! Also on offer was an introductory session of Global Storytelling Through Dance, with African and international dance designed to help illustrate stories and tales from across the world.
The night ended with a screening of the classic film ‘Fahrenheit 451’.Based on Ray Bradbury’s novel, this dystopian tale is set in a totalitarian society where reading has been banned (perish the thought!). The fire brigade, rather than extinguishing fires, specialises in burning books. The story follows Montag, a fireman, who becomes fascinated by the power of literature and soon stands up against the regime, joining an underground movement of book lovers.
Meanwhile, in Belfast, the Reading Rooms Mobile bus headed out to Writers’ Square, for an evening of shared reading, exploring travel tales from Belfast and beyond through stories and poems read aloud together.