Hot off the heels of Culture Night Belfast, the city is gearing up for its second celebration of the arts this month with the world’s first ever BabyDay from Replay Theatre Company on Sunday [27th September].
There will be over 80 events all over Belfast at venues including the MAC, the Crescent Arts Centre, Duncairn Cultural Centre, Skainos, Spectrum Centre, Oh Yeah Centre, the Black Box, BeanBag Cinema, Ulster Museum, the Strand Arts Centre & Easons. BabyDay will also take over all of Belfast City Hall both inside and out.
BabyDay is set to feature an eclectic mix of theatre, film, dance, music, art and even science put on by some of Northern Ireland’s premier arts and cultural organisations including the Ulster Orchestra, Arts Ekta, NI Opera, Belfast Film Festival, Lyric Theatre, Northern Ireland Science Festival and even a children’s theatre company coming all the way from New York City.
“We wanted to create an extraordinary day to capture the imagination of the whole city. Two years after the original idea was conceived, BabyDay will take place with many many local and national arts organisations contributing events and venues all over the city contributing space. There will be 80 events, from Little Bollywood to Baby Gamelan, from a show about being a new dad to a show inspired by interviews with women in their 70s and 80s about motherhood, from a Womb Room immersive installation inspired by sonograms, to an exotic fruit orchestra and a sea of stories.
It is for everyone. And we really do mean the whole city. A substantial amount of the budget has been spent on an engagement programme because we want it to be an event and a journey that the city’s most disadvantaged, disenfranchised communities feel part of – rather than something they might perceive to be an arty city centre event that’s not for them.”
Ms Newell also stresses that BabyDay isn’t necessarily the start of a new annual festival in the city but rather a sign of things to come of a newer and brighter future for the next generation of Belfast’s citizens.
“We’re not in the business of creating an annual date to boost greetings card manufacturers’ profits, but rather a one-off catalytic moment; one great big bundle of joy from which emerges a new way of thinking about the potential of early years arts by funders, by health professionals, by policymakers, by artists and by the general public.
We’re hoping that Belfast BabyDay will be the first of many across the world: each a beacon of hope, creativity and play that, tiny step by tiny step, will begin to transform the future.”