Portumna’s Shorelines Arts Festival, 18th – 21st September 2014

A feast of Music, Theatre, Visual Art and Children’s Entertainment on the shores of the Shannon’s Lough Derg

Celebrating its seventh year, the Portumna festival offers another innovative programme of literature, theatre, music, visual arts and performance for four days from 18th to the 21st September while the annual Shorelines Arts Exhibition in The Gallery at The Workhouse will run from 7th-28th September featuring local art work, sculpture and photography as well as invited guest artists.

The festival is a true community project organised by an eight-member local voluntary committee who take pride in seeing the population of Portumna significantly increase in numbers for the duration of the festival. Providing fun and entertainment for all, the festival organisers have planned a bumper 36 events, many of them free, held over 3 days. Announcing this year’s programme Festival Chairperson, Noelle Lynskey, said she was “justly proud of Portumna in hosting such an event. As a small community, we are delighted to be able to put together a premier boutique festival in the Midlands and a programme of this calibre for our 7th festival thanks to our local and national sponsors.”

The official Opening of Shorelines by Galway city’s Des Kenny takes place on Thursday, 18th September at the Irish Workhouse Centre. This free event welcomes all the community, artists, sponsors and friends with music by Omna Singers and No More Mossies.

2014 Shorelines Arts Festival

Headline Events

This year, the Shorelines Arts Festival is delighted to be hosting three terrific concerts: on Friday, 19th September, We Banjo 3 will blast off at 8.30 pm with their electrifying and energetic music – from bluegrass to trad, your feet will be hopping! On Saturday, 20th September, Eleanor McEvoy of A Woman’s Heart, one of Ireland’s leading female singer-songwriters, will be in concert at The Church of Ireland and then on Sunday, 21st September at 5 pm, Chopin at Portumna Castle will be performed by Ireland’s international pianist, Finghin Collins, who will also facilitate master classes for piano students on Sunday morning. Admission to all concerts is €15/€12.


Art Exhibition – The Gallery in The Workhouse

In the unique setting of Portumna Workhouse, an exhibition of art, photography and sculpture from both local and invited artists will run from 7th-28th September. Invited artists include SallyAnn Beirne, Krystyna Pomeroy and Birr Photography Group and admission is free. As part of Galway Culture Night, SallyAnn Beirne will present a free talk on “Painting – Thought & Practice” on Friday afternoon, 19th September. An additional attraction on Sunday, 21st September is the Portumna Vintage Club display at The Irish Workhouse Centre along with Mark Wilson, a blacksmith and coppersmith, who will demonstrate the traditional art of the forge.


Literary Delights

A warm and literary welcome awaits you in Portumna with writing and poetry Workshops, the annual Literary Brunchas well as the always hotly-contested Nicholas Treacy Memorial Recitation competition. This year our literary guests include award-winning writers Julian Gough and Niamh Boyce, poet, songwriter and dramatist Pete Mullineaux as well as leading poet James Harpur. Details of all workshops facilitated by these writers (as well as booking and pricing information) is on our website www.shorelinesartsfestival.com.

Locals and visitors to Shorelines are invited to write an entry in our new Shorelines Diary – an opportunity for you to create a diary of the day on Saturday of the festival. Also, patrons of the local pubs have an opportunity to enter the annual Pub Limerick competition where the winner is honoured with our ‘L’ award created by local craftsman, Brian Murray.


For the children…

The festival moves outside on Saturday with our family fun day featuring street theatre and spectacle with Sorcaluba’s aerial performances, story-telling with Tegolin Knowland of the Curlew Theatre Company as well as a willow Dream Catcher Workshop, street games and face painting.

The annual Barbara Kennedy Writing Award – awarded to 4th class primary school children in the locality for excellence in prose and poetry – will be presented at Portumna Library on Saturday, 20th September. A shortlist of entries will also be on display for the festival.

Thursday’s Children’s Workshops in Hand Composing & Poster Printing, Printers Hat-Making and Book-Making withThe National Print Museum round off a weekend with an event guaranteed to suit all ages.


Master classes, Songwriters & Chanting

In addition to the headline musical events, a Master Class from pianist Finghin Collins awaits young piano students on Sunday morning, 21st September in the Castle (booking is essential on 086-3579002). Don’t miss this opportunity to witness inspirational piano teaching and the next generation of Irish pianists.

At The Shorelines Singer/Songwriter Showcase, Portumna’s song-writing fraternity can enjoy a late night session of sound and song in The Beehive on Friday, 19th September.

Noreen Ni Riain, the ‘High Princess of the Gregorian Chant’, will accompany the Shorelines Mass on Sunday, 21st September with her unique and magical singing.



Portumna Castle is the wonderful backstage for Synge’s The Shadow of the Glen by local drama group, Half-DayThursday, directed by Jim Hynes. This is a Galway Culture Night event on Friday, 19th September and admission is free. Passes for this event are at Portumna’s Cafe Rose.  On Saturday, Emigration Road, one of five ‘Plays for Voices’ devised, written and directed by Eamon Grennan from New York, will be performed by Curlew Theatre Company from Galway in the evocative setting of Portumna Workhouse


Our Built and Natural Heritage

East Galway is an area steeped in heritage and history and this year, local archaeologist Christy Cunniffe will talk onMedieval Art of the Region on Saturday, 20th September while local historian, John Joe Conwell will commemorate the centenary of the building of the current Portumna Bridge with a historical talk on the Bridges of Portumna on Sunday, 21st September.

Join the newly-formed Port Omna Beo nature group for a Saturday morning stroll along the Shannon’s historical Hymany Way while learning about the flora and fauna specific to the area.


Food and the Country Market

Our annual Shorelines Country Market will again feature a series of talks on topical and food-related issues. We welcome Siobhan Lawless of The Foods of Athenry introducing their Gluten-free products while Sharon Greens of The Wild Irish Foragers & Preservers will demonstrate new & modern uses for traditional Irish wild foods. Portumna-native Aoibheann O’Brien and co-founder of FoodCloud will talk about her company which connects businesses that have too much food with charities that have too little.


Millinery, Knitting & Annie Sloan Workshops

Need an original, unique headpiece for that special event? Then this one-day intensive Millinery Workshop with Niav Riley on Saturday, 20th September is just for you! Booking is essential on 087-6274259. On Sunday, 21st September, an Entrelac Knitting Workshop is on offer from Rainbow Wools in Portumna – information and booking on 087-7829980. Demonstrations of ‘Up cycling’ using Annie Sloan Paints will run three times a day on Saturday at The Cottage Antiques Store.


Tickets for the three headline events are available to purchase now at €15/€12 from Ladies Day, Palmerston Stores or Hayes & Hayes Pharmacy in Portumna or online at www.shorelinesartsfestival.com. Seating is limited at all venues so you are strongly advised to book early.  For further information please email info@shorelinesartsfestival or visit our websitewww.shorelinesartsfestival.com.

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