SPOTLIGHT Ireland!

IMG_0515In New York, we’ve not only got people from just about every country, we’ve also got a number of foreign cultural institutes.  Throughout the year I’ll be featuring a different one, and we’re starting off with Ireland.  Now I know some of you are scratching your heads, since March, with the Saint Patrick’s Day parade would seem a more logical place, but last week I was at the Irish Consulate for their monthly First Friday breakfast reception where Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade spoke.  2016 is a centenary year for Ireland and a number of events are planned across the US to commemorate the 2016 Proclamation of the Republic.  You can find a list of events on the website of the Irish Consulate General in NY  

New York also boasts a number of Irish performing arts/cultural centers.  The Irish Arts Center NYC   hosts wonderful theatre and musical performances.  Right now, they’re co-presenting Enda Kenney’s “The Last Hotel” which is playing at St. Anne’s Warehouse in Brooklyn through the 17th.  At the end of February, they’re bringing back “The Man in the Woman’s Shoes” and in April, the singer Camille O’Sullivan will be performing there.  The IAC NYC also runs classes in Irish music, dance and language, and has lots of programs for kids!

The Irish Repertory Theatre   is currently using other space while it’s own is being renovated.  Through March 6th, you can catch Burial at Thebes, Seamus Heaney’s reworking of Antigone (I’ll be going to see it on the 23rd, and will post a review), and on January 29th, a reading by playwright Jennifer O’Grady of Charlottes Letters.

Just across the East River (and only one stop from Grand Central) in Long Island City, Queens is the New York Irish Center,  an intimate space that’s great for concerts,  films and theatre, and has low ticket prices.  This Friday, they’ll be showing a documentary on the late Luke Kelly of the Dubliners.  Every month, they host a Ceili:  an evening of traditional Irish set dancing.  The Center also hosts classes in Irish music and language.

The American Irish Historical Society  hosts lectures, seminars, readings and performances throughout the year. On January 25th, it will host a lecture on Edward O’Meagher Condon;  on January 27th, a concert with Israeli pianist Tomer Gewirtzman, and on February 25th, the launch of a CD of Yeats poems set to music. Its library and archives contain a wide variety of rare books and artifacts from the 17th century to the present.

At Glucksman Ireland House NYU  you can enjoy concerts, films, and talks, as well as readings by writers, poets and playwrights throughout the year, many of which are free, the others of which are really low cost.

In the fall, Origin Theatre produces 1st Irish, a festival of Irish plays, readings and films that’s simply wonderful.  Every year I attend several of the performances, and they’ve all been great.  Mark your calendars NOW!

If you’re down by Battery Park, stop and visit the Irish Hunger Memorial  at Vesey Street and North End Avenue. It blends very well into its surroundings, and you may take a moment to realize you’ve found it.  Designed by artist Brian Tolle, this calm and pastural site representing  a rural Irish landscape, contains a rebuilt 19th century Irish stone cottage, set in a field with walls made of stones from all across Ireland.

I’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg here, so to speak.  There are many other organizations who will be having events throughout the year, and I’ll post information on them when I get it.  In the meantime, I think you’ve got enough here to get started…

Enjoy!

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