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Irish Arts Center to Present a Holiday Ceili Celebration in December

Irish Arts Center to Present a Holiday Ceili Celebration in December

The Holiday Céilí Celebration is an opportunity to engage in a festive tradition, utilizing yet another configuration in the Center’s state-of-the-art flexible theatre.  

Irish Arts Center has partnered with the Consulate of Ireland in New York to bring New Yorkers a vibrant Holiday Céilí Celebration, on December 8. Surrounding its 50th Anniversary, and concluding its momentous first year in its new home at 726 11th Avenue, IAC turns its flexible theatre into a spacious dance hall for this event led by Megan Downes, artistic director of City Stompers.

In addition, honoring the foundational community spirit of IAC on the occasion of the milestone anniversary, the organization has launched an oral history project to preserve the stories-in their own voices-of the dynamic community that founded IAC in 1972 and brought it to life in subsequent years.

The Holiday Céilí Celebration is an opportunity for the Irish diaspora community and audiences of all backgrounds in New York to come together in one of the city's vital cultural centers to engage in a festive tradition, utilizing yet another configuration in the Center's state-of-the-art flexible theatre.

Céilí (kay-lee) dances are Irish traditional group dances usually performed in groups of eight or more, similar to square dances and polkas in the American context, and have been a key part of Irish step dancing and Irish cultural identity since the Gaelic revival of the 19th century. Led by an experienced céilí caller and featuring live musicians, céilís as social events have long been a staple community tradition in Ireland and in the Irish diaspora in the United States and globally.

Consul General Helena Nolan said, "We are delighted to be partnering with Irish Arts Center on this wonderful year-end celebration for the Irish Diaspora community in New York, and encourage everyone-people of all ages and backgrounds-to join us."

The Holiday Community Ceili will commence at 7pm, with doors opening at 6:30pm. There will be live music, Céilí dances led by Megan Downes, and refreshments provided until 9pm. The IAC café will remain open 9-11pm for afterparty revelers. Tickets are free, but capacity is limited, so reservations (maximum two per reservation) are essential and available at irishartscenter.org. The new Irish Arts Center is located at 726 11th Avenue (between 51st and 52nd Streets) in Manhattan.

Led by Jessie Reilly, IAC's Director of Education, Family, and Community Programming, the new Oral History Initiative seeks to honor the Center's earliest history. Everyone with memories to share is welcome and encouraged to sign up for an interview at www.irishartscenter.org.

In announcing these new initiatives, IAC Executive Director Aidan Connolly said, "As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, and the end of a historic first year in our wonderful new home, we remember that we are a part of a larger story-one that precedes us and will long outlive us. And an ever-evolving community where everyone is welcome is at the heart of that history."

About Irish Arts Center

Irish Arts Center, founded in 1972 and based in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, is a home for artists and audiences of all backgrounds who share a passion or appreciation for the evolving arts and culture of contemporary Ireland and Irish America. We present, develop, and celebrate work from established and emerging artists and cultural practitioners, providing audiences with emotionally and intellectually engaging experiences-fueled by collaboration, innovation, adventurousness, authenticity, and the celebration of our common humanity, in an environment of Irish hospitality. Steeped in grassroots traditions, we also provide community education programs and access to the arts for people of all ages and ethnic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. In an historic partnership of the people of Ireland and New York, Irish Arts Center recently opened a state-of-the-art new facility to support this mission for the 21st century.


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