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New Enlightenment Festival Coming in 2022

Belfast’s Linen Hall Library has been awarded £26,200 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery funding to launch the Library’s pilot Enlightenment Festival which will take place in 2022.

The Linen Hall will work in partnership with DoranBrowne Arts Programming & Consultancy (Seán Doran and Liam Browne) to deliver a series of unique events, installations, talks, readings, performances and debates that will seek to demonstrate how the themes and issues of the Age of Enlightenment are still current and centre-stage.

Linen Hall Director Julie Andrews says: “We are thrilled to be working with DoranBrowne to make the Enlightenment Festival a reality. The Enlightenment ushered in organisations such as the Linen Hall Library, where people could gather and share ideas and information in a world that was literally booming with new scientific and intellectual concepts. The festival will bring forth rare Library archives that were and are fundamental to our understanding of the world.”

Liam Browne at DoranBrowne says: “We’re delighted to be working with the Linen Hall on a pilot festival whose inspiration, the Enlightenment, has such strong connections to Belfast’s history and yet whose themes feel powerfully contemporary and relevant.  The major questions of the Enlightenment shine new light on our world today.”

Key words that resonated throughout the Enlightenment, such as reason, progress, individuality, goodness and tolerance, underpin the focus of the festival events.  The programme will include striking illuminations on Belfast buildings, debates about current issues such as social morality and Black Lives Matter, and events and performances spotlighting prominent figures from the Enlightenment such as Scottish poet Robert Burns and the musician Mozart.

Full details about the Enlightenment Festival will be released in due course.

 The Linen Hall Library’s social network channels can be found at: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


DoranBrowne Arts Programming & Consultancy brings together two highly accomplished artist entrepreneurs, Seán Doran (www.seandoran.co.uk) and Liam Browne, who specialise in creating new innovative concepts that fuse different art forms with a strong sense of place in site-specific locations.  Doran draws on a rich experience working in the performing arts, first as a performer and now long-time producer, whilst Browne draws on his specialist experience as a published writer and long-time literary event curator. Commissions have included the annual Creative Folkestone Book festival, the 2020 NHS Make for Tomorrow digital series; forthcoming commissions include The Waste Land Festival in London and A European Odyssey spanning 18 European cities.

For more information about the Arts Council of Northern Ireland go to: http://www.artscouncil-ni.org/

If you would like any additional information about the Enlightenment Festival or the Linen Hall Library, please contact Rachel Wetherall, Head of Digital and Marketing Communications at the Linen Hall: r.wetherall@linenhall.com.

Arts Council Heritage Lottery Funding