Creative Lead/Collective – closing 30 June

Culture Night Belfast Presents 2021

Introduction

Culture Night Belfast is evolving. The last 15+ months have presented an opportunity to reflect upon the event, what it stands for, what works and what doesn’t, and to think about how it moves forward in the coming years.

Historically, Culture Night has been one of Belfast’s largest free events, a cultural celebration that has previously attracted almost 90,000 local, national and international visitors to the Cathedral Quarter and Belfast city centre. Following an extensive review, however, this reimagining, combined with the continuing impact of COVID-19, have directed us to radically rethink how we present ourselves in 2021, ahead of launching a new vision for the event in 2022.

About Culture Night Belfast

Now entering its thirteenth year, Culture Night Belfast (CNB) is the flagship project of the Cathedral Quarter Trust (CQT). Based in Belfast’s thriving creative hub of the Cathedral Quarter, CQT’s mission is to champion the artistic, cultural and heritage-focused regeneration of a thriving Cathedral Quarter. Culture Night Belfast is a key part of this mission.

The Opportunity

Culture Night Belfast (CNB) is seeking to commission a Creative Lead/Collective to conceptualise and deliver an outdoor artwork/cultural experience to engage visitors to the Cathedral Quarter over the course of the weekend 17th – 19th September 2021.

The Objectives

A number of key cultural stakeholders including Belfast City Council, are currently planning for a series of live experiences which will aim to create a safe, welcoming and vibrant environment across the City in September 2021. This presents an important opportunity for CNB to be a part of bringing Belfast back to life, attracting citizens and visitors to the Cathedral Quarter with an ambitious and original artistic experience which will signal a change in the future shape and form of Culture Night over the next few years.

CNB wishes to commission a piece of activity which will provide a reason to visit the Cathedral Quarter before heading off to visit our venues, cafes, bars and restaurants and enjoying all the wider city has to offer. CNB is committed to promoting, supporting and developing our venues, artists, performers and creatives.

The Brief

CNB is looking for a creative response which considers, but is not constrained by, the theme of The City Garden. The concept of The City Garden has developed out of our collective experiences of the last year and the crucial role our gardens and shared outdoor spaces have played in our lives. The City Garden aligns with a number of key themes in A City Imagining, Belfast City Council’s Cultural Strategy 2020 – 2030, and also reflects an increasing focus on environmental sustainability and on the need for more green and shared spaces in the city.

For The City Garden, CNB plans to turn the heart of the Cathedral Quarter into a ‘garden’ for the city, transforming Cathedral Gardens, Writers’ Square and the immediate area surrounding into a colourful, nature-inspired place for play, enjoyment and relaxation and evoking the feeling of a garden in the heart of the city.

The City Garden will be open to the public daily from Friday 17 September to Sunday 19 September 2021 between c4pm and 9.30pm and will be located in and around Cathedral Gardens and Writers’ Square, adjacent to St Anne’s Cathedral. Ideally we are looking for a walk-through experience where audiences may briefly linger, perhaps to experience something interactive or more immersive, but with a general structure of a route through a transformed space.

This format is currently how we can most effectively imagine being able to manage audiences when there are as yet unknown levels of social distancing. We are open to considering alternative suggestions of format, but proposals should not assume that it will be safe to gather a significant number of people in one static location for period of longer than a few minutes. We are particularly interested in proposals which are highly visual and have both a daytime and after-dark life, which use sound in an imaginative way and which may have immersive and/or interactive elements (taking account of Covid safe considerations).

The creative response we are looking for might include lighting, projections, installations, soundscapes, temporary planting, nature or floral themed work, all with an environmental focus. The response should be equally enjoyable and accessible by day and by night and should be suitable for all ages. Inspiration may come from: the renewed importance of spaces to breath and stretch our limbs, places where we can still be communal, the fact that many more people have taken up gardening and found refuge in it in the last year, spaces to think and be creative, the mythology and stories connected with different plants, different ideas of garden design and landscaping, biodiversity and environmental issues, food growing, recycling.

The work should aspire to align with the vision for Culture Night Belfast:

  • To be ambitious, diverse and dynamic;
  • Transform the familiar landscape of our city into a creative ‘canvas’;
  • Bring cultural excellence, innovation and a sense of wonder to our audiences;
  • Showcase Belfast locally, nationally and internationally as a city for artistic leadership, inviting the world to experience our vibrant creativity and distinctive character.

Date

The current plan is that artwork(s) should be ready for presentation to the public by Friday 17th September and should remain in situ until Sunday 19th September 2021

See more information at the following link.

CNB 2021 Creative Brief Call – June 21 (docx)

Susan Picken
Director,
Cathedral Quarter Trust and Culture Night Belfast
109-113 Royal Avenue,
Belfast, BT1 1FF

Tel: 02890 314011
Email: s.picken@cqtrust.org

www.culturenightbelfast.com // www.cathedralquarterbelfast.com

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