Westside Lights the Way this Summer


In the Westside area of Galway, local organisations have been eagerly creating a jam-packed festival programme for the Westside Arts Festival which runs from 9 to 13 July.

Over thirty events will take place across local venues, with creative talent such as actor-writer Órla McGovern (of The Spontaneous Theatre People) and street artist Shane O’Malley taking part.

The festival started fifteen years ago and has since become a staple in Galway’s creative calendar. Galway 2020 is delighted to support three impactful projects on this year’s festival schedule from the hugely successful Small Towns Big Ideas community programme, including a storytelling session, craft showcase and film screening. Telling Stories, Sharing Cultures will provide an opportunity for locals to share customs and knowledge from various cultural backgrounds. The workshop will be led by Galway-Nigerian author and actor Adedotun Adekeye, a powerful voice on colonialism and migration. A Wild and Generous Landscape is another exciting project reviving cultural heritage, this time through traditional crafts. Festival goers can expect to see the fruits of 2018 community courses in basket making, patchwork and wool-work. The Small Towns Big Ideas film and documentary screening will also make an appearance. Following on from the remarkable Shot By The Sea gala screening in Salthill Hotel in April, a special selection of short films from the collection will be screened throughout the festival.

Westside is a diverse neighbourhood; the festival hopes to reflect this in the array of local talent showcased in venues throughout the area. A broad range of art forms are included, from candle-making (in partnership with Galway City Museum) to pop singing and light art. The programme is especially attentive to Galway’s thriving performance and literary scenes, incorporating dance workshops, open mics and writing groups. Music lovers will travel back in time with baroque sounds from Galway Early Music and hum along to traditional favourites from John O’Halloran & Friends. The ‘Sky’s The Limit’ parade will surely excite spectators as the festival reaches its pinnacle. A calming counterpoint will then take place on Thursday evening 11 July, when Tribal Chamber Choir will return to the Sacred Heart Church Westside for a festival concert featuring choral music from across the centuries.

“Lighting the Way” is the goal for this year. New horizons of all kinds will be explored, be they cultural, imaginative or scientific. ‘Corrib Kids’ computer coding workshops will prepare Westside youth for a technically advanced future, while the ‘Fly Me to The Moon’ story session, astronomy talk from Brian McGowan and immersive mobile planetarium all promise to boggle the imagination.

Westside Arts Festival invites people from all walks of life to light the way towards a brighter future. Whether you’re a Westside denizen, a curious visitor, or a newbie scoping out the area – you’re sure to have all your boxes ticked this summer.

Find the official programme on the festival’s Facebook page.

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