Pól Ó Ceannabháin – An Ghaeltacht

Pól Ó Ceannabháin, is the Gaeltacht Ambassador for Oíche Chultúir 2020.

He is a native of An Aird Thoir, Carna, in an area known as Iorras Aithneach in the west Galway Gaeltacht, probably the richest area in Ireland for sean-nós songs and singers.
Pól is the son of the well-known singer Michael Mháire an Ghabha and inherited most of his songs from him and his mother before him, Máire Ghabha.  He gained national recognition for his singing when he won the coveted men’s sean-nós singing competition at Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 2005 at the age of 19 going on to win the most prestigious of all sean-nós competitions, Corn Uí Riada at Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 2012. He also was Awarded TG4 Gradam Ceoil Singer of the Year in 2016.

Like all great artists, he has combined his inherent and inherited talents with a personality of his own.  He is a regular broadcaster who can turn his hand to acting and presenting with natural ease. He has presented and appeared in films and TV shows such as, Cúl an Tí, Opry an Iúir, Abair Amhrán, Fonnadóirí na hAirdeTobar an CheoilSong of GraniteMurder Mám Trasna and Opry an Iúir to mention but a few.

“I’m very proud and honoured to be asked to be the ambassador for culture night 2020. I feel that this gives me an opportunity to share the sean-nós style of singing with the wider world and demonstrate that the Irish language lives on in these songs. The Irish language has and is under pressure, like a boat sailing on the sea, trying to navigate the choppy waters. Everyone who uses the Irish language is giving wind to the sails of that boat and the language is propelled to the next generation and lives on.”

Little John Nee – Donegal

Little John Nee is a Donegal playwright, performer and musician, based in the West of Ireland. His plays include The Derry Boat, Rural Electric, Johnny Patterson The Singing Irish Clown, Sparkplug, Radio Rosario and Tea Dance. In 2016 he was elected to Aosdána. In July he toured to several towns and villages in Donegal as part of the Earagail Arts Festival,  performing an outdoor show, Tilt of the Sky. He also created a radio series, The Jumpin’ Inn, for Earagail and The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton. A companion episode is available on the RTÉ Drama on One website.
www.littlejohnnee.com

Katie Holly – Cork County

Katie Holly is a graduate of Drama and Theatre Studies, and she subsequently completed a Masters in Irish Literature, both in University College Cork.  Her first play Marion starring Laura O’Mahony (RTE’s ‘Bridget and Eamon’ and ‘The School’) premiered at Cork Midsummer Festival 2016 and was invited to Clonmel Junction Festival, Skibbereen Arts Festival and toured to many venues around the country.  Her second play Sharon premiered at Cork Midsummer Festival 2017 and was immediately invited to West Cork Fit-Up Festival, toured to Bewleys Theatre Cafe, Dublin in 2018, was recorded and broadcast as a radio play on RTE Radio 1 and won a New York Festival Award for ‘Best Digital Drama’.  Katie has also written and produced two productions as part of Creative Communities Scheme, supported by Cork County Council and collaborated with visual Artist Marie Brett on ‘Day of the Straws’, an online artwork for Cork Midsummer Festival 2020.  Up until March 2020 Crowman (her third professional play) was touring nationally, starring Jon Kenny.  She was commissioned by Cork County Library Service and Arts Office to write ‘Crossword’ for Bealtaine Festival 2019, a two person play that toured to libraries in Cork County.

Speaking about the role as Cork County Culture Night Ambassador, Katie said:

I feel privileged and proud to be Cork County Culture Night Ambassador, and look forward to the most innovative Culture Night yet.  It had to be more innovative than previous years because we’ve never had to engage with restrictions and guidelines like these before…but I think that these seeming limitations have driven us to think laterally about how we communicate, how we express ourselves and how we share cultural experiences in a post Covid-19 era.  

I am delighted to be involved in three projects as part of Cork County Culture Night on 18th September.  A play I wrote called ‘Crossword’ will be broadcast as an online audio drama (starring Tadhg Hickey and Danny Buckley).  I will act in a short play I wrote called ‘Pageant’ (with Irene Kelleher) outdoors to a limited audience in Schoolyard Theatre, Charleville, a play which involves the fabulous local trad group ‘Ceoltoiri Clarach’.  An online artwork called ‘Day of the Straws’ on which I collaborated with visual artist Marie Brett, will find a physical home in Sirius Arts Centre.  

These pieces, amongst the many talented artists and gifted arts organisers in the county who are producing work to be experienced for free by the audience, show what we as a people can do to feel a part of the cultural community, even if we cannot all be in the same physical space.  Here is to a fantastic Culture Night around our beloved County Cork!

Cónal Creedon – Cork City

Cónal Creedon is an Award winning novelist, playwright and documentary filmmaker. His most recent novel, Begotten Not Made – won the Eric HofferAward for literary fiction USA 2020, and The Bronze Award Winner of the Next Generation Book Awards USA 2019 and Finalist in the Montaigne Book Award ‘Most Thoughtful Book of the Year award USA – and is currently long list of the Dublin International Book Of the Year Award. 2020.

Visit www.conalcreedon.com

View: www.youtube.com/channel/UCOBA4bczvtl8pyUf1W-TTUQ

 

Keith Walsh – Kildare

Keith Walsh is a Radio and TV Broadcaster. He currently presents on weekends from 5pm-7pm on RTÉ 2FM and weekdays on RTE Gold. Previously the lead anchor on RTÉ 2FM’s Early Morning Breakfast Show ‘Breakfast Republic’, Keith has also lent his talents to the small screen appearing in a variety of roles on RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and Virgin Media.

​Hailing from Lanseboro, Co Longford, now settled in Newbridge, Co. Kildare via Athlone! Keith studied drama in Inchicore College of Further Education.

Keith’s acting work on the small screen includes the part of ‘Phelim’ in Bridget and Eamon on RTÉ Two. ​Keith reprised his role in season four of Bridget and Eamon. He has appeared in The Gun Show and Tested on Humans also on RTÉ Two

On RTÉ One, Keith presented The New Year’s Eve Show (2015) with Kathryn Thomas and the St Patrick’s Day Highlights Show (2016 and 2017) with Sinead Kennedy. In addition to TV, Keith has performed in the iconic Abbey Theatre’s 24 Hours Plays.

Keith recently performed part of his new play ‘Pure Mental’ live from the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge.

Speaking about his role, Keith said:

I am delighted to be asked to be the Culture Night Ambassador for Kildare this year. It genuinely is a great honour. I’m looking forward to promoting the night and the arts in general in Co. Kildare, having recently benefited from the facility and knowledge and expertise that comes with our very own Riverbank Arts Centre. We performed my one man show ‘Pure Mental’ from the stage in the Riverbank during lockdown and I was blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of everyone involved, and feel very grateful to have such a facility on our doorstep. It’s so important, especially this year that we all do what we can to support the arts in whatever way possible. See you on Culture Night!

Cat Hogan – Wexford

Cat Hogan is an award nominated Irish Novelist and screenwriter from Co. Wexford. She has published two fiction novels, They All Fall Down (2016) and the Bord Gais Energy nominated Crime Fiction of the Year Novel, There Was A Crooked Man (2017). 

Cat spent two years on the Panel of Artists for Creative Communities with Wexford County Council and is represented by Curtis Brown Literary Agency. When she is not conjuring up imaginary friends and mad men, she teaches Creative Writing & Mental Health programs to young teenagers and adults, and tutors in Adult Literacy and Further Education with the Waterford Wexford Education and Training Board.

‘As Culture Night Ambassador, I’m honoured to celebrate and champion the wealth of talent and creative magic that permeates the air here in Co. Wexford. I’m delighted to highlight the importance of the arts in our everyday lives, support our arts communities and open up the world of the arts, across all platforms. Creativity and the Arts doesn’t belong to the artist alone, but to the whole community.’

KILDARE, Eric Donovan

Eric Donovan s an Irish boxer from Athy, County Kildare. His achievements include five Irish Elite titles and a bronze medal at the 2010 European Championships in Moscow, since turning professional he became the first boxer to win the BUI Celtic title inside five fights.

KILDARE, Inni-K

Inni-K (Eithne Ní Chatháin) grew up in Kilcock, Co. Kildare & now lives in Dublin. Her mesmerizing vocals set off with tight musicianship and captivating stage presence creates a musical experience, rich with spine-tingling tenderness.

Inni-K, a now well established presence in Irish music, has received consistent praise for her distinct, fresh style of indie-folk since the release of her acclaimed debut album The King has Two Horse’s Ears’ in 2015 & most recently her new single ‘Edges’ released earlier this year.

“An album designed to make the world a better place, even if just for a moment in time” – State Magazine

Inni-K’s folk background is always recognizable but clearly here is an artist not afraid to explore into new musical territories. Following a summer of Irish festivals, including Body & Soul, Another Love Story, Earagail Arts Festival, Arcadian Fields; with New York, European & Irish dates in the pipeline for later in the year and 2019; Inni-K is busy preparing for her next album which is due for release in 2019.

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WEXFORD, Richard Carr

“Wexford is a county that treasures its communities, welcomes its visitors and celebrates diversity. This years Culture Night will be a showcase of this on a national stage.

With such a wide array of high quality events, opening up free of charge to the public, Wexfords’ Culture Night is going to be absolutely fantastic. At the heart of every cultural landscape should and must be a focus on its artists / cultural practitioners and Wexford is beginning to lead in this field.”

 

Since returning home to Wexford Richard has been invested in making Co. Wexford a livable destination for artists and cultural practitioners and through his work with OpenGorey has been extremely active in developing the cultural landscape of the county. Wexford has fantastic cultural facilities and its resources have continued to grow over the past few years.

 

I believe it is possible to live and work as an artist outside of the cultural capitals and Wexford as a region can lead in this regard. Industry, culture and communities thrive when in each others company, working in a collaborative fashion by opening up and sharing resources and knowledge.”

 

Richard has proved himself as one of Ireland’s leading young artists. His recent solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art London was selected by Culture Ireland to feature as part of its national GB18 programme. Towards the development of this exhibition he was also awarded the ArtLinks Bursary Award for professional artists living in the South East.

 

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WATERFORD, Anna Jordan

The Waterford Ambassador is Anna Jordan. Anna was born and bred a publican’s daughter in Waterford. She is the proud and doting single mother of three.

Anna is a playwright and the founder and director of Modwords and Modwordsfest. Founded in 2016, Modwords is a literary hub in Waterford. It is a safe platform for people to test new works, plays, spoken word, dance, film and all things creative. Anna facilitates creative writing classes, modword classes, and regular open mics, and cafe theatre. Anna founded Modwordsfest in 2017. A two day festival that celebrates Waterford City and all of its wonderful people through local creativy.

She also works as a freelance literary facilitator concentrating on mental health issues. Anna is a team member of Waterford Walls, the international street art festival based in Waterford. She also volunteers with Shine Discovery mental health drop- in centre and is co-founder of Busk Aid, a charity organisation helping to raise raise money and awareness of issues surrounding homelessness.

This is Anna’s second year on board with Culture Night Waterford and absolutely honoured to stand as this years Ambassador.

TIPPERARY, Roseanna Purcell

To celebrate Culture Night 2018, Tipperary Arts Office has appointed Roseanna Purcell as Culture Night Ambassador.  An actor and writer from Littleton, Thurles, Roseanna’s work includes Signatories at Kilmainham Gaol, Red Rock for TV3 and most recently Copper Face Jacks The Musical at The Olympia Theatre. She wrote her first play “Test Copy” in 2017 which premiered at Nenagh Arts Centre. Roseanna will return to Nenagh Arts Centre on Culture Night as Tipperary Culture Night Ambassador to launch the specially commissioned Culture Night exhibition “The Journey” by artist Carine Arnakis.

ROSCOMMON, Deirdre O’Gara

Deirdre is Curator of the Douglas Hyde Interpretative Centre in Portahard, Frenchpark, Co Roscommon.

LAOIS, Emmet Byrne

Emmet started acting at 21 in the Drama Society in NUI, Galway and completed a MA in Drama and Theatre in 2012. He moved to Dublin to pursue a career and since has acted on stages around Ireland including: The Lime Tree in Limerick, Town Hall Theatre in Galway, The Abbey, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and The Gaiety in Dublin, and The Royal Opera House in Belfast. Most recently he starred as Sean Bourke in Cell Mates at The Hampstead Theatre, London. He also recently starred in RTÉ’s Striking Out as Ray Lamont.

KERRY, Gemma Sugrue

She is the director of a vocal tuition centre, Voiceworks Studio, which she co founded in 2011 and now has 2 branches in Cork and 1 in Kerry, run by a team of 14 diverse and inspiring vocal coaches training singers of all ages, levels and styles.

Gemma is classically trained and holds a 1st class hons MA and BMus from CIT Cork School of Music. She hosts masterclasses in Ireland and UK in schools and colleges including BIMM Manchester, BIMM Dublin, UCC and UL and festivals including Cork Choral Festival, Gospel Rising, Summer Sing, Sing Out Loud and more! Gemma completed her contemporary teaching diploma last year and is thrilled to be a board member at ViP, a global network of voice experts.

Gemma got her first job as a professional vocalist aged 17 when she toured Australia and Europe for 2 years with various Irish dance show companies. She most recently featured as the soloist with Jenny Greene and the RTE Concert Orchestra, recreating 90s dance classics at Electric Picnic and sold out shows at the 3 Arena Dublin, The Marquee Cork and Galway Arts Festival. Gemma is currently planning to release her own material in 2018 but loves working as a hired vocalist for TV, radio and events. She has performed as a backing vocalist with artists including Bon Iver, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Mark Feehily of Westlife, Brian Deady, Jack O’Rourke and has supported acts including Chic and Billy Ocean.

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CORK COUNTY, Nora Twomey

Nora Twomey is an Irish animator, director, screenwriter, producer and voice actress.

CARLOW, Turlough O’Brien

“I spent my entire life immersed in GAA culture. In my book, ‘South Leinster Cycle Routes’ I visit and celebrate many of the heritage sites of County Carlow and the importance of our sense of place and who we are. We are Carlow.

Culture takes so many forms, each of them enriching our lives. Irish culture finds its expression in our songs, our dance, our story tellers, our poets and our artists. It is what makes us Irish.

The artists I am most familiar with are those who play our native games. Our games are unique and nothing engenders greater pride in me, as an Irishman, than to be present on match days as our camán wielders and footballers display their silken skills while they compete with pride in the place they come from and the people they represent.

On a musical front, I never cease to be amazed by the work of my wife Mary and her choir ASPIRO as they push out the boundaries of performance and collaboration with other art forms.”