The full line-up for this year’s Big Arts Weekend has been announced.
This is the seventh year of the festival and to celebrate we have fantastic headliners including Dr Éamon Phoenix, and some familiar favourites including Share-a-Poem and the Family Funday Sunday.
This year’s John Hewitt talk ’50 years of the Corncrake’ is by Cushendun resident Dr James Morrow. Artists should book early for thepainting masterclass led by painter and experienced teacher Michael Sayers.
Back by popular demand are old favourites, The Art Exhibition, the pop-up Tea shop with scrumptious buns and cakes, and Naturally North Coast and Glens Market.
Celebrating the May Bank Holiday, the amazing Armagh Rhymers will be performing in the grounds of Glenmona House accompanied by children from St Ciaran’s and other local primary schools.
The headline artists for the seventh Cushendun Big Arts Weekend, from 3 to 6 May, have been revealed.
Acclaimed political historian and broadcaster Eamon Phoenix will be discussing the theme of the War of Independence in the Glens on Sunday 5 May.
Theatre plays a
huge part in the Big Arts Weekend and this year is no exception. The Armagh
Rhymers, one of Ireland’s most celebrated folk theatre ensembles, will
perform on May Day (Monday 6May), while community
arts group Craic Theatre will delight audiences with their
performance of Extra Time, a play set in a rural pub during
the local football team’s semi-final victory. The Glens’ own Lurig Drama Group bring the festival to
a close on Monday evening.
including Share-a-Poem, Play in a Day and the Family Funday Sunday will all be
returning to this year’s Big Arts Weekend, so keep an eye out for
further announcements in the coming weeks.
ticket sales will go towards the restoration of the Old Church centre in
Cushendun, a dedicated heritage, community and arts space.
years of legal negotiations, funding applications, development plans, and even
an appearance on national TV, work is finally underway to restore and convert an
old church building in the County Antrim village of Cushendun.
Cushendun Old Church Centre will be an arts, heritage and community space
serving people across the Glens of Antrim. The building will also be open year-round
as an information and mini-heritage centre, in which visitors can learn about the
The restoration has been made possible thanks to
funding and support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NI), Causeway
Coast and Glens Borough Council, the Department for Communities Historic
Environment Division (Historic Environment Fund), Ulster Garden Villages Ltd, the
Pilgrim Trust and the All Churches Trust.
Built in 1842
as a Church of Ireland place of worship, Cushendun Old Church was deconsecrated
in 2003 after congregation numbers dwindled.
local residents – led by dedicated volunteers in Cushendun Building
Preservation Trust (CBPT) – have tirelessly campaigned for the building to become
a community hub with a focus on the arts.
The Old Church
project won the Northern Ireland heat in the BBC Two programme Restoration Village back in 2006 but
failed at the last hurdle in the UK finals.
Since work commenced, extensive repairs have been carried out to the interior and exterior building fabric. A new extension annexed to the original building is also taking shape. It is expected the building work will be completed during Spring 2019.
Monica Morgan, Chair
of Cushendun Building Preservation Trust, said, “This is a very exciting time
for us here in Cushendun and in the wider Glens. The village has a long
association with the arts – painters, poets and writers have all been regular
than a decade, we are delighted that this much-needed resource for everyone in
the community is now a reality. It has been a long road with countless
applications, meetings and, of course, setbacks, but we never gave up hope.
“We’re now calling
on interested parties who have a class or a project which would work in the space
– be it craft or exercise classes, an exhibition, drama, concert or other event
– to get in touch. This will be a space for everyone to enjoy, thanks to our
funders, volunteers and supporters!”
That’s what was on offer at this year’s Vintage and Secondhand Book Sale in Cushendun Old Church on the European Heritage Open Days Weekend of 13 and 14 September.
Now in its third year, the Cushendun Vintage and Secondhand Book Sale has become a popular stop for Heritage Weekenders ‘doing’ North Antrim and the Causeway Coast, as well as for locals in the know. Between 300 – 400 visitors came over the two days attracted by the great range of bargain hardbacks and paperbacks – everything from fiction, crime and biography to travel, cookery and children’s reading – as well as our traditionally rather good tea and buns supplied by local home bakers.
For anyone unable to decide which book was for them, this year we launched our inaugural ‘Literary Lucky Dip’. A number of books were neatly wrapped in brown paper and hidden inside one of them was a £20 Amazon Gift Certificate. This proved to be a huge success and something we will do again at our next Vintage Book Sale.
Of course the Book Sale also offers an opportunity to visit the Old Church, a lovely 1840’s country church in the picturesque National Trust Village of Cushendun which is open as part of the European Heritage Open House Weekend (EHOD). This year we are pleased to announce that we raised close to £900 over the course of the weekend and this money will be put to good use for the general upkeep of the Old Church until such times as were are in a position to complete the restoration. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who brought books, bought books, baked or helped out in any number of other ways.
As well as organising the Big Arts Weekend in May, and the Book Sale in September we have been busy putting together our Stage One application to the Heritage Lottery Fund and an application to Ulster Garden Villages. This is a very exciting, although nail-biting, time for the Cushendun Building Preservation Trust and we will update everyone as soon as we know the outcome.
We are starting to plan ahead for the next Big Arts Weekend 1-4 May 2015. If you have any suggestions, would like to be involved or help out at any of the event drop us an e-mail (email@example.com).