13/03/12 Minister Deenihan announces International Celebration of Irish Culture to mark St. Patrick’s Day abroad

Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, today (Tuesday 13th March, 2012) announced a international programme of arts events for the St Patrick’s Festival period. The Minister’s initiative, which aims to enhance the overall impact of the St Patrick’s Day season worldwide by promoting it as an international celebration of Irish culture, was endorsed at the Global Irish Economic Forum last year.

While events will be staged across the globe, this year will see a special focus on several key cities: Beijing, Moscow, London, New York and Paris.

Minister Deenihan commented: “St Patrick’s Day is the ideal time to celebrate and share with the world the evolving imagination, intelligence and innovation of Irish creative talent. While Irish artists are supported year round by my Department’s Culture Ireland, this time of year, when there is a global focus on all things Irish, offers a real opportunity to highlight our creative talent and our artistic reputation on the world stage.  I hope that the rich cultural potential and profile of our national day will continue to grow in the years to come.”

Minister Deenihan will travel to New Orleans and Atlanta for a series of engagements which include formally opening the American Conference for Irish Studies co-hosted by the Irish Network of New Orleans at which Ouroboros Theatre Company (supported by Culture Ireland) will perform. The Minister will also address a reception in the Irish Consulate of Atlanta where renowned international musician Liam O Connor will perform.
In Russia, Macnas will bring an air of excitement and Irish energy to the streets of Moscow on St Patrick’s Day, as performers with a strong visual aesthetic will parade and interact with the audience, representing Ireland in their unique and acclaimed style, as an international leader in street theatre and spectacle. The street events will be complemented by the Moscow Irish Film Festival, now in its fifth year, with a growing audience base, offering an extensive programme of Irish features, documentaries and short films, including The Pier, Kisses, Death of a Superhero and One Hundred Mornings.

In Beijing, leading faculty members of the Royal Irish Academy of Music will perform a series of chamber music concerts in Beijing and Shanghai, while dynamic young traditional music group Ciorras will perform at various venues in Beijing. Collaborative Irish/Chinese multi-media art exhibitions will also be held in Beijing and Shanghai.

The special season of events at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris will encompass film, literature, visual arts and music, while in New York there will be a range of events at the Irish Arts Centre and across the city as well as a special concert featuring Edel Bhreathnach, Moya Brennan & Cormac de Barra in an evening of literature, history and music at the American Irish Historical Society on 5th Avenue.
The streets of London will experience a full contemporary parade by day with Irish street theatre and spectacle specialists Bui Bolg and Artastic, while in the evening a showcase of Irish traditional and popular music including Gemma Hayes and The High Kings will be presented on stage at Trafalgar Square.
Culture Ireland is also supporting significant artistic events across the US and in Australia and New Zealand and will be working closely with other Government agencies to maximise the cross-promotional opportunities these St Patrick’s Day offers.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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