About Us

Culture Night is an annual, all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts. This year, it will take place on Friday 18th September 2020. On Culture Night, arts and cultural organisations and venues of all shapes and sizes, from independent studios and art-spaces to national cultural institutions, extend their opening hours to allow increased access for the public. Special and unique events and workshops are specifically programmed at participating locations and all activities  are made available free of charge.

Culture Night has grown from a relatively small-scale cultural event, staged only in Dublin in 2006, to the significant national cultural event it is now, with some 400,000 people visiting museums, galleries, historic houses, artists’ studios and cultural centres across the island. The initiative has captured the public imagination and its success has been propelled by the enthusiasm of artists and cultural organisations.

Culture Night is an initiative of Dublin City Council (Temple Bar Cultural Trust) and became a national event with the support from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht from 2008 onward. In 2020, responsibility for steering and funding Culture Night on a national level was transferred from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to the Arts Council.

Culture Night…

• Helps create a sense of community and belonging – community is at the heart of what we do

• Encourages more people to visit cultural venues and experience culture in their locality

• Reminds us all about the fantastic cultural facilities and resources that we have locally and nationally

• Raises the profile of cultural organisations, activities and facilities

• Encourages people to try new things and to get into the habit of engaging more regularly with  cultural venues and activities in their locality, providing vital support for artists and arts organisations and driving investment in the cultural sector

• Makes it easier for people to play a role in their local cultural scene

• Promotes diversity and inclusion through celebration of all cultures, both new and established.

Who makes Culture Night happen?

Culture Night happens because many people share a vision and enthusiasm for enjoying, celebrating and promoting creativity and culture. The following list gives a taste of the wide range of people and institutions that help make it happen each year: the public, artists, performing groups, galleries, museums, sports clubs, libraries, arts centres, craft workers, studios and workshops, theatres, public spaces, broadcasters, schools, community groups, local authorities, government departments, state agencies and public bodies, transport companies, universities, shops and many more.

For one night only, the island of Ireland and select international locations become YOUR free cultural playground, where you’re invited to seek out the culture around every corner.

Culture Night is brought to you by the Arts Council, in partnership with local authorities and cultural organisations throughout the island of Ireland.

Culture Night 2020

Culture Night planning is well underway. Thank you to all organisations who have agreed to take part and to those who have an on-going commitment to paying artists for Culture Night.  The Arts Council’s #PayTheArtist policy is being highlighted in our terms and conditions to ensure that artists who are invited to perform and participate are paid. We recognise that many artists may also freely volunteer and we welcome participation in Culture Night in many different ways. 2020 will continue to be a difficult year for artists, cultural and community organisations and we hope that Culture Night will be part of our path to celebrate and return to creativity and culture in new, inclusive, experimental and exiting ways. We are looking forward to our launch on 29 July… stay tuned!