Maria Deasy Elected President Of Irish American Writers & Artists

By: Feb. 14, 2020
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Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc. (IAW&A) announces its 2020 Board, electing Maria Deasy as President and Brendan Costello Jr. as Vice President. Sean O'Dowd will join the Board as Treasurer, while Karen Daly will resume her role as Secretary.

Playwright-Activist and Yellow Cab Driver John McDonagh will also join the Board of the organization. Returning to the Board are Directors Sarah Fearon, Malachy McCourt, Siobhan McCourt, Skye Quinn, and Kathleen Walsh D'Arcy. Kathleen Donohoe and Kate McCabe will act as Special Advisors to the Board.

Maria Deasy is a New York-based actress, who has appeared Off-Broadway and in several award-winning films and television shows. She won the Bairbre Dowling Spirit of the Festival Award at Origin Theatre's 2019 1st Irish Festival for her work as a Producer of Derek Murphy's Inside Danny's Box, and also received a Best Actress nomination for that production.

"It is a great honor to be given an opportunity to build on the wonderful successes of Malachy McCourt and the other founders of this organization, and of past presidents like Peter Quinn Larry Kirwan, and Mary Pat Kelly. I look forward to expanding our reach while continuing our grassroots ideology of supporting both developing and acclaimed artists. You only need to attend one of our salons to enjoy the broad range of creativity within the New York Irish community and beyond. We are a diverse and expressive bunch," Deasysaid.

Brendan Costello Jr. teaches creative writing at The City College of New York, where he earned his MFA. He won the Irwin and Alice Stark Award for short fiction. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in, The Huffington Post,,, and Epiphany Magazine.

Sean O'Dowd runs the Family Business Advisory group at Silvercrest Asset Management, a NYC-based RIA with $27 billion in AUM. He is also a NYC Ambassador for the Celtic FC Foundation and in 2019 was awarded the Belfast Ambassador Medal as part of the Belfast International Homecoming for work he has done within the Irish community on both sides of the Atlantic.

Karen Daly, a former book publishing executive, is an editor, researcher, writer and NY Public Library volunteer career coach.

Founded and operated as a non-profit organization, Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc. serves as a rallying point and sponsor for Irish Americans in the arts. The organization welcomes Irish-American writers, actors, filmmakers, musicians and artists of every (and no) religion. IAW&A is committed to bringing together the Irish American creative community in new self-awareness, and to being a force for inter-ethnic and interracial solidarity, understanding and active cooperation.

In addition to staging its own events and keeping members abreast of each other's projects and accomplishments, IAW&A works with local, regional and national cultural and artistic organizations to cross promote and spread awareness of performances, concerts, exhibitions and readings. Its Eugene O'Neill Lifetime Achievement Award a?? has become an esteemed annual event, honoring the accomplishments of a writer, actor, musician, or cultural institution that has sustained a body of work that best exemplifies the level of integrity maintained by O'Neill. Past winners have included Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy, actor Brian Dennehy, legendary folk singer Judy Collins, Ciaran O'Reilly and Charlotte Moore of the Irish Repertory Theatre, playwright/screenwriter John Patrick Shanley, journalist, author and IAW&A co-founder Pete Hamill, author, actor and IAW&A co-founder Malachy McCourt, broadcaster Phil Donahue, journalist and publisher Patricia Harty, traditional musician Joanie Madden, and author and historian Peter Quinn.