The Youth Team at Conversations Press Launch

September saw the Launch of Mount Stewart Conversations Festival, The Youth Team came along to hear all about the stellar line up of international speakers and artists who’ll be performing on 14th and 15th October at the Conversations festival.

Jon Kerr.

The Youth Media Team spoke to Jon Kerr, General Manager, about how the Conversations Festival will reflect the legacy of Edith, Lady Londonderry. He told us: “Edith had the most amazing set of friends. She brought people together that you would never imagine actually coming together, and the conversations they had were magical. We want people to come along and enjoy robust conversation and debate, play with ideas, and open their minds to new concepts.”

The Youth Media Team spoke to Jon Kerr, General Manager, about how the Conversations Festival will reflect the legacy of Edith, Lady Londonderry.
The Youth Media Team spoke to Jon Kerr, General Manager, about how the Conversations Festival will reflect the legacy of Edith, Lady Londonderry.

Tom Freshwater.

Next year sees the anniversary of the first women getting the vote in 1928. The Media Team interviewed Tom Freshwater, National Programmer with the Trust, about the link between Edith’s career as founder of the Women’s Legion, which gained her a DBE, and her position as a leading political suffragist. He spoke to us about bringing these historic stories from National Trust properties into the open and celebrating the ways that they connect to bigger national themes, saying: “we want to know more about Edith, Lady Londonderry, and her work that she achieved. That’s the reason Mount Stewart is such a good place for this event to happen, and the National Trust is very pleased that this anniversary is going to be part of the theme here at Mount Stewart Conversations.”

Johnny Interviews Tom Freshwater, National Programmer with the Trust
Johnny Interviews Tom Freshwater, National Programmer with the Trust

Dessie interviews Event Programmer Adam Turkington.

Dessie spoke to Adam Turkington from Seedhead Arts, who’s been brought in to do some creative programming around the headline acts. He explained: “I’ll be spreading magic dust all over the estate so that even if you’re not coming to one of the talks, it’ll still be a special weekend where there’s loads of extra stuff going on that’s not necessarily part of the main programme.” Adam, previously the manager of Culture Night Belfast, told the Media Team what he believes makes events memorable:  “it’s the furniture around the headline acts: these little experiences or memories you can create that ‘pop’ in your brain if, as well as getting what you expect, you get additional challenges and things that layer on what you’ve already heard in a playful way.”

Dessie Interviews Adam Turkington
Dessie Interviews Adam Turkington

Beyond Skin and Lady Rose

Lady Rose Lauritzen, granddaughter of Edith, Lady Londonderry and the 7th Marquess of Londonderry, attended the press launch for Conversations. She particularly enjoyed the unique musical performance brought to us by Beyond Skin, and posed for photographs with them. She spoke to the Media Team about why Mount Stewart is a great place to relax and enjoy an event like Conversations, telling us about how she remembers her grandparents always having the house full of people.

Erin Jonny and Lady Rose.

Jonny spoke to Lady Rose Lauritzen, granddaughter of Edith, Lady Londonderry, about why people in Mount Stewart’s heyday came here to relax. She told him that, whilst her grandmother and grandfather were in London for all their political life and Edith’s charity work, they came over here where Lady Londonderry made the gardens, to relax saying: “they went riding all around the demesne; friends came to stay, so the house was always full of relations and friends.” Lady Rose explained that Mount Stewart was where her grandparents got away from political life and hard work in London.

Jonny spoke to Lady Rose Lauritzen, granddaughter of Edith, Lady Londonderry
Jonny spoke to Lady Rose Lauritzen, granddaughter of Edith, Lady Londonderry

Heather McLachlan NT NI Director.

“It’s not just about talking about arts, culture and heritage; it’s about how arts in Northern Ireland tell stories of culture.” Heather McLachlan introduces the reasons behind the Conversations festival at the official launch @nationaltrustni #regionaldirector @ntmountstewart #msconversations #arts #culture #northernireland #whatson

Heather McLachlan introduces the reasons behind the Conversations festival at the official launch
Heather McLachlan introduces the reasons behind the Conversations festival at the official launch

Peter Johnston Director BBC NI.

Homer’s Odyssey, C. S. Lewis, trees and the Ulster Orchestra are all part of what the BBC will bring to the Conversations festival, as we heard at the official launch from Peter Johnston, BBC NI Director @nationaltrustni @ntmountstewart #msconversations #arts #culture #northernireland #whatson #bbcni

Peter Johnston, BBC NI Director
Peter Johnston, BBC NI Director