NYPL EXHIBIT: IRELAND AMERICA The Ties That Bind

IRELAND AMERICA The Ties That Bind March 14 through August 13, 2011

www.nypl.org

Here are some excerpts from the NYPL press release about its new exhibition:

Irish culture and heritage will be celebrated throughout The New York Public Library in March, with over 100 events connected to Imagine Ireland, an initiative by Culture Ireland to promote Irish arts across the United States in 2011.

NYPL locations in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island will offer 115 free programs for visitors of all ages, such as film screenings; staged performances of Irish folk tales and legends for children; cooking demonstrations; Irish language lessons; and a talk on how the Irish landscape influences teen fantasy fiction.  For adults, there are dramatic readings of plays by Oscar Wilde and live Irish traditional music with Don Meade.

In addition to the array of programs, the Library will also offer several education initiatives connected to Imagine Ireland, including professional development for teachers and a collaboration between students from New York City and Dublin. The Irish organization “Fighting Words” – which promotes writing – is working with kids from a Lower East Side school and from an NYPL literacy program for kids aged 16 to 21. The kids will work with Irish authors and artist – and then swap their writing with kids in Dublin. All of the work will eventually be published. 

The programming is being done in conjunction with the March 14 opening of the 4,000 sq. ft. exhibition Ireland America: The Ties That Bind at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which explores key aspects of Irish American performance history since 1800, and Hidden Ireland, a documentary film series drawn from the archives of the Irish Film Institute, starting on March 17. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House; the Film Series is in collaboration with the Irish Film Institute.

Ireland America: The Ties That Bind is curated by Professor Marion R. Casey, who teaches in New York University’s Masters of Irish and Irish American Studies program.  Hidden Ireland is curated by Sunniva O’Flynn of the Irish Film Institute and David Callahan of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Both exhibition and film series are part of Imagine Ireland, a year long season of Irish arts sponsored by Culture Ireland and taking place across the United States in 2011.  

 The exhibition includes rare scores, prompt books, posters, banners, costumes, photographs, original sound recordings, oral histories, as well as videotaped excerpts from Irish plays and other performances. Materials have been gathered from the various collections at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts as well as from the Archives of Irish America at Bobst Library, New York University.

Designed to be interactive, the exhibit – which contains material from both NYPL and NYU’s Archives of Irish America – will enable visitors to play music, dance a step, listen to songs and personal stories, as well as experience how records, radio and television made the home an incubator for Irish American creativity and cultural transmission in the Twentieth Century.

Ireland America: The Ties That Bind  will be on display from March 14, 2011, to August 13, 2011 in the Donald & Mary Oenslager Gallery at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Programming is free and open to the public.  Hours: Mon. & Thurs. 12pm-8pm, Tues.-Weds. & Fri.-Sat. 12pm-6pm.

The series starts with a very special Gala screening of the 1935 silent film The Seasons, an intimate portrayal of life in the small village of Kilkelly, Co Mayo, with live musical accompaniment by renowned Irish musicians from Kíla and harpist Cormac de Barra.

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, many of them introduced by Glucksman Ireland House faculty.  Some screenings of note include The Emigrant Chaplain, introduced by the film’s lead subject, Father Colm Campbell of Holy Trinity R. C. Church in Manhattan on Thursday, April 28.  On Thursday, March 17, there will be a rare screening of The Ed Sullivan Show filmed in Ireland in 1959. And on Saturday, April 9, there will be a screening of the documentary From Shore to Shore: Irish Traditional Music in New York City that will feature an introduction by the filmmaker Patrick Mullins of the University of Texas, El Paso. To get the full schedule of films being shown please visit www.nypl.org 

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will also present throughout the course of the exhibition several poetry readings, musical performances, staged readings and panel discussions. A series of case exhibitions on American avant-garde theater, dance and music inspired by James Joyce can be seen in the 3rd floor reading room. Rare artifacts from The Library’s archival collections include Zero Mostel’s annotated script for Ulysses in Nighttown (Off-Broadway, 1958) and John Cage scores. For more information about these programs please go to www.nypl.org  

In conjunction with The Library’s exhibition and film festival, New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House presents a lecture by Professor Stephen Rohs of Michigan State University on March 24th at 7pm.  Rohs is the author of Eccentric Nation: Irish Performance in Nineteenth Century New York City.  For more information about this program please go to http://irelandhouse.fas.nyu.edu. 

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