Cultural centers

The John Steinbeck Festival comes to the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Center

The Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Center is delighted to partner with the John Steinbeck Festival for a wonderful program of events celebrating Steinbeck’s connection to the Limavady region through art, music, storytelling and spoken word.

John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. was an American author who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962 for his writings which often explored fate, injustice and the human condition. Steinbeck’s grandfather, Samuel Hamilton, was from Mulkeraugh in Ballykelly and the writer visited the area in 1952 to explore his roots, documenting the trip in an article titled “I’m going back to Ireland”.

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East Of Eden, one of Steinbeck’s famous novels, was also published in 1952 and the main character, Samuel Hamilton, was based on his Ballykelly-born grandfather.

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This year’s Festival celebrates its notable connection to Limavady with wonderful events kicking off Friday, February 5 at 8 p.m. with Mark Carruthers in conversation with acclaimed artist Colin Davidson. During the evening, they will discuss Colin’s life and work, including his famous “Silent Testimony” portraits echoing the suffering of ordinary people struggling with forces beyond their control, such as migrants. who faced the Dust Bowl era on their journey across America. The event will close with music from the Dust Bowl era by Allan Nicholl. Tickets cost £8.

On Saturday, February 12, the Dust Bowl photography exhibit opens at 12 p.m., followed by a virtual tour by Doulas Bartlett and Harry Coates on Tuesday, February 15 at 1 p.m. streamed via Facebook Live on the Roe Valley Arts Center page.

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Additionally, the local schools’ Steinbeck Book Cover Competition exhibition will open at the center with themed book covers designed by 6th and 7th graders. The big winners will be announced soon and their creations will appear on light boxes on Main Street in Limavady during the Festival.

The Festival continues on Friday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. with the incredibly popular and world-famous Tenx9 presenting an evening of Storytelling on the theme of Dreams, which Steinbeck has often explored in his writings. Tickets are free, but limited, so booking is essential.

On Friday, February 25 at 8 p.m., MP Claire Hanna will show her love for the work of John Steinbeck. Claire will discuss her works, her themes and read excerpts from her books. This is sure to be a great evening for any Steinbeck aficionados or those interested in learning more about Steinbeck’s work, with musical accompaniment from Matt McGinn. Tickets cost £5.

Dana Masters, the famous American blues and soul singer will sing the American Songbook to close the Steinbeck events held at the Arts Center on Saturday February 26 at 8 p.m. It promises to be an evening of jazz, blues and soul music not to be missed. Tickets cost £15.

The Festival’s final event will take place at the Roe Park Resort to celebrate Steinbeck’s birthday. Best-selling author Rosie Schaap will talk about “Alcohol and America” ​​with music from The Stumblebums and Eamonn Mailey. Tickets £6.

All bookings for events can be made online at or by calling the box office on 028 7776 0650.

The Arts Center galleries are open throughout the Festival as follows:

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 10am – 4pm
Wednesday: 10am - 4pm and 7pm – 9pm
Thursday: 10am - 4pm and 7pm - 9pm
Friday: 10am - 3pm
Saturday: 10am - 1pm

For more information visit

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