THE Alley Theatre Facebook page will this Saturday kick off an action packed online summer programme when it hosts the first ever Virtual Strabane Summer Jamm Festival.
The Summer Jamm has been hosted for the last 17 years in the town but was cancelled due to the restrictions to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The full programme was announced at Tuesday's virtual meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Business and Culture Committee.
It follows extensive engagement with members of the local arts sector who have supported the venue over the last 13 years and features a feast of interactive activities over the summer months including arts and crafts, workshops, summer schools, music and dance.
The closure of the Alley Theatre in March has led to the cancellation of a number of arts events and the online summer programme aims to reconnect them with the public.
"Since the Alley Theatre opened in 2007 it has had a strong ethos of community engagement and participation," explained head of culture at council, Aeidin McCarter.
"The Alley has facilitated the growth of the community arts sector in Strabane, working in partnership with many groups and as a result community arts are thriving within a range of activities from drama, music, art and craft classes.
"We are working hard to reopen the Alley Theatre to the public but in the mean time it is important that we continue to engage with our arts partners and the public through this virtual programme.
"We believe the programme will impact positively on the general well being of our customers due to the significant association between cultural engagement and good health which is particularly important at this challenging time."
The Summer Jamm has celebrated the start of summer for the last 17 years and programming has included a family fun day with children's activities, music, street performances/entertainment and stalls.
It has provided a platform for local performers and musicians to display their work in front of a wider audience giving them new skills and confidence.
The Summer Jamm Festival was due to take place on Saturday, June 13 and on that date a small interactive festival will be broadcast on the Alley's Facebook page including an online busking competition, music from local acts, Tic Toc challenge and a Summer Jamm online video collage.
Full details on how to get involved are available at derrystrabane.com/summerjamm