A bit of a selection of some of the things happening in and around Belfast at the moment. First of all, this is the start of Belfast Children's Festival with lots going on during the next week.
Three venues — the Waterfront Hall, OMAC and Sq space — will be giving us some idea of “the wealth of creative activity being carried out in schools, community centres and groups across Northern Ireland”. Works have been selected by competition and curated in association with the University of Ulster.
Also in the Waterfront Hall, the touring exhibition Champion of the Child which tells the inspiring story of Janusz Korczak (1879 - 1942) who pioneered children's rights. Featured are drawings by the now famous Israeli artist Itzhak Belfer, one of many children protected by Korczak in the Warsaw Ghetto before his death in Treblinka concentration camp.
Also in the Waterfront, free art workshops on the 23rd and 24th of the month. All ages are welcome and the hours are from 11am-4pm.
Don't forget that the First Thursday late openings are still ongoing. The next will be on June 4 and, as always, there will be bus tours of participating galleries leaving the Ormeau Baths at 6.15pm at a cost of £7. A walking tour led by Rhonda Hunter leaves from Belfast Exposed, Donegall Street and costs £5. Afterwards there will be a Late Night Art party in the Black Box. All tickets are available from Belfast Welcome Centre.
A more recent introduction is the Summer Fun On Sunday programme which focuses on the Cathedral Quarter and offers numerous exhibitions in the area as well as street theatre and entertainment in the Black Box. There is a great line-up of special events and activities designed to make the city come alive on Sundays between May and September.
Lastly, if you happen to be a Paul Bell fan you can just catch his latest show in the Eakin gallery, Lisburn Road. Full of his usual fabulous Cows, it was only on for a week and finishes tomorrow. Also good to catch would be the exhibition by Island Design which has just one more week to run in Spacecraft in the Fountain Centre.