The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in collaboration with New York University's Glucksman Ireland House, the Irish Film Institute and Culture Ireland will present an Irish Festival this Spring including a major exhibition at the Performing Arts Library as part of Imagine Ireland: a year-long season of contemporary Irish arts in the US in 2011, an initiative of Culture Ireland.
Irish music and theatre have carried the cultural markers of identity across an ocean and down two centuries. Songs, tunes, dances, plays, and dramatic roles from the past resonate in the present. From the enduring melodies of Thomas Moore to the infectious percussion of Riverdance, Irish art continues to appeal to American audiences.
In the United States, tradition and popular culture are twin strands that determine Irish musical and theatrical expression. Both are deeply embedded in the Irish-American Diaspora. This exhibition, entitled IRELAND AMERICA The Ties That Bind, explores aspects of Irish American performance history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly those that illuminate the nexus between public and private, culture and subculture. It explores the home as the incubator of cultural identity and the stage as the platform for ethnic creativity and transmission.
Free public programs throughout the branches will offer insights into contemporary Irish life as well as Irish America.
A documentary film series, illustrative of themes within the exhibition and of a broad range of contemporary and historical perspectives on Ireland, has been curated by the Irish Film Institute and the Performing Arts Library and will be presented throughout the exhibition schedule. Screenings will take place on Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM. and on selected Saturdays at 6:30 PM beginning March 17 through May 19, 2011. Poetry readings, musical performances, staged readings and panel discussions will also be presented.