Join us for unique Cultural Night festival of self-directed workshops and activities for all ages both online and in person. We will provide the craft materials and self-directed family fun activities for all ages. Just bring along your picnic blankets, cushions & imagination. The main outdoor location for our self-directed activities will take place on the grounds of Kilkenny Castle. Inspired by the work of Fiona Mulholland, we will have safe socially distanced lawn markings for small groups of families & friends, to gather and enjoy a day of exploration and creativity. This year we have partnered with the Kilkenny Arts Office and the Office of Public Works to deliver our Culture Night programme.  

Our Culture Night activities are primarily inspired by our Connected exhibition but our offering also includes existing modes of online engagement that help to contextualise our current Generation exhibition and to encourage participation in our public engagement Narrative Tools project. We are offering virtual exhibition experiences, and interesting content for you to engage with, you will find useful links on this website page ( Our online content includes virtual tours, makers interviews, family fun activities, an exhibition blog and much more. We are preparing self-directed activities as part of our Connected exhibition sculpture trail. All self-directed activities are downloadable from this website through the links below.

PROGRAMME                                                                                                                                                                                                    Self-directed Learning Experiences                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Weave a Star - One Million Stars Project
One Million Stars’ at the Medieval Mile Museum is a project born from the Amber Women’s Refuge to raise awareness of domestic violence. This Kilkenny One Million Stars Project is the first of its kind in Ireland. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 crisis has meant that the many community star weaving gatherings have been cancelled. Please help to contribute to this project by weaving your own star. We have links to online tutorials and have an activates sheet with a materials pack for you to work with on the day. The more star weavers mean more stars which will influence the impact of the final exhibition in Kilkenny in November/ December 2020. There will be an ongoing collection box at our gallery throughout the CONNECTED exhibition and at our Culture Night welcome stand on the day. For more information on this project read here. Download here

Narrative Tools Project                                                                                                                                               We would love to hear stories and see photographs of tools and craft items you received. Narrative Tools is an online and postal intergenerational project hosted by the National Design & Craft Gallery (NDCG) with visual artist Caroline Schofield. We invite you to send a photograph of a treasured handed-down tool or inherited hand-made item and tell NDCG why it is important to you. We advise you to photograph or scan your items on a plain white or non-patterned background at a high quality. Email your submission to or post to Narrative Tools project, National Design & Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny. Include your name, photograph(s), and brief image description. Penned narratives are also welcome (120 words max). To celebrate craft connections, content submitted will be shared on and NDCG’s Facebook and Instagram platforms (@NDCGallery). Click here

Generation Exhibition
National Design & Craft Gallery, Castle Yard
Open to visitors from 11am - 7pm with tours on the hour from 4pm. Book Here.
Generation invites us to consider the unique perspective of a group of designer-makers who are custodians of a familial tradition of making and creativity, continuing and/or reinventing the work begun by previous generations of their family. The exhibition will be open late as part of Culture Night.
If you are not able to visit us, you can enjoy Virtual Visits with curators Frances McDonald and Muireann Charleton, makers interviews, and the NDCG Digital Library that brings together videos, podcasts, and articles on the Generation makers and their stories. As part of a new initiative Get Ireland Making, you are welcome to engage with our new process videos by makers. Click here for more.

Gallery Tours                                               Friday 18 September 4pm / 5pm / 6pm / 7pm National Design & Craft Gallery are delighted to offer Culture Night gallery tours for the current exhibition GENERATION. This exhibition reflects on the invaluable skills and knowledge that can be passed from older members of families to young. Book here

Self-Directed Activities:

Senses Trail
Connect with your surroundings. Our Senses Trail invites children and their adults to explore and connect with nature through sound, smell, and touch. We will provide you with an activity sheet available from our gallery, or downloadable via our website. Please refer to our activities sheet for a list of materials you can use to help you explore using your senses. Download here

Connected Sculptural Trail with Drawing Activity & Quiz
National Design & Craft Gallery (NDCG) sculpture trail contains information, maps, and images of sculptures in the Connected Kilkenny Sculpture Trail exhibition. It presents newly commissioned exhibits alongside existing sculptures throughout Kilkenny city. While exploring the Sculpture Trail, we invite you to join our drawing activities and quiz, to record what you see during your trial. Re-discover our city through fresh eyes! Download here

Record Your Own Soundscape
Identify the characteristics of your location through sound. Our soundscape activity sheet encourages you to stop for a moment, listen, and immerse yourself into the acoustic environment. We have included a range of suggested approaches to record your soundscapes, be them urban, rural, natural, or human-centered. We invite you to submit your soundscape recording including your name, brief description & context of your location. Submissions will be uploaded to our dedicated culture night webpage. Email Download here

Family Activity Zone Friday 18 September 3pm to 4pm / 4:15pm to 5:15pm / 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Join us in our dedicated Family Making Zone where you can safely engage in a variety of fun-filled self-directed making activities from within your own social distancing square. Our family making Zone has been inspired by Connected exhibitor Fiona Mulholland’s sculpture Square Meter of Personal Space. Places are limited to a maximum of five participants per square for a maximum stay of one hour. Advanced booking required. On the day, please call to our Culture Night registration tent outside the Parade Tower at Kilkenny Castle to collect individual self-directed activity packs with materials. Please arrive 15 minutes early. Suitable for all ages. To select your preferred time slot register here

Outdoor Workshops:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Liz’s Mobile Discovery Studio
Friday 18 September 10am – 1pm & 2pm - 5pm Join multi-disciplinary artist Liz Nilsson for 2.5 hours of site-specific activities which will look at the sense of place and belonging, exploring the park and surroundings of Kilkenny Castle. We will investigate the locality using our different senses and simple mark-making on paper, looking beyond the obvious and taking a deeper look at the surroundings. Expect gentle movement, a meditation on sound, close colour observation, and experimental mark-making. The meeting place will be at the Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle. Participants are asked to bring along a notebook and a sitting mat (a yoga mat or similar). Please wear comfortable warm outdoor clothing that suits the weather. All art supplies will be included. This outdoor activity will be weather dependant, it is possible that we may need to adapt the workshop slightly & use the Parade Tower Venue as an alternative on the day. Suitable for adults 18+. (Subject to change due to Government Guidelines). To register click here

Craft Hunt in The Rose Garden
Friday 18 September 4pm - 4.30pm / 4.45pm - 5.15pm / 5.30pm - 6pm
Join us at the castle park for a wonderful fun-filled self-directed craft hunt created by visual artist & master of paper cutting, Paul Bokslag. To receive your Craft Hunt Map, pop over to our outdoor Culture Night welcome stand, located outside the Parade Tower. Suitable for the whole family! If you cannot join us on the day then you are welcome to download our Craft Hunt to use as a colouring sheet. Download here
Location: Kilkenny Castle Grounds. Places are limited. (Subject to change due to Government Guidelines). To register click here

Live Online Workshops:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Paper Blossoms Workshop - Free
Friday 18 September 4pm
Join Design & Craft Council Ireland Education Panel Member Sheila Jordan, for a live online workshop inspired by Connected exhibitor Michelle Maher’s Flower Sculptures. Children will learn how to make unique 3d paper flowers. Suitable for ages 6+. Duration 40 minutes. To register click here

Gestural Papercuts with Paul Bokslag
Friday 18 September 5pm
Visual artist and designer Paul Bokslag will guide participants in the process of working freehand to create intuitive gestural papercuts, exploring movement & form. Suitable for Teens & Adults. Duration 40 minutes. To register click here

Note: If you cannot make our live online workshops, you will find downloadable activity sheets aimed at Primary School level. Activities have been created by our Education Panel members Sheila Jordan & Paul Bokslag.
Download here