The New York Irish Center, a hub for culture and community enrichment serving a broad audience from its base in Long Island City, has a busy and varied line-up planned into June. Among the highlights are new installments of the popular comedy night “LIC Laughs!” hosted by Fiona Walsh (Sat May 14, 8pm); the primetime concert series “Ireland Live … From New York” with the award-winning trad stars Colm Gannon and Seán Gavin (Thur May 5, 7pm); a “Speakeasy Jazz” night with the Josh Marcum Quartet (Thurs May 26, 8pm) and the inimitable Cathy Maguire headlining a night of country music joined by a cavalcade of her musical friends (Fri June 3, 7pm).
This year’s Bloomsday special guest will be Irish Ambassador to United States Dan Mulhall, who will share insights about “Ulysses,” the subject of his new “Ulysses: A Reader’s Guide.” (Wed June 15, 7pm). Also festooning the calendar with spring brightness are filmmaker Tom McGrath (Thur May 10, 7pm) and a Pop-Up Gaeltacht celebrating the Irish language (Tue May 24, 6pm). And celebrating Gay Pride, NYIC presents two special LGBTQ+ events taking place back-to-back on Sat June 11, as well as a staged reading of a new play on Wed June 22.
Highlights Chronology MUSIC, FILM, BOOKS AND COMEDY
MUSIC: “Ireland Live … From New York”
This evening of traditional music stars accordion wizard Colm Gannon and flautist Seán Gavin. Gannon, whose playing is as vibrant and beautiful as the Connemara Hills themselves, was born in Boston of Connemara parents and learned his music from his father and brother Sean. In 1994 he won the All Ireland on the accordion button. Uilleann piper and flute player, Seán Gavin, is one of the most highly regarded Irish musicians of his generation. In 2016 he became the first musician born outside Ireland to win the prestigious Seán Ó Riada gold medal, and his most recent recording was hailed by The Irish Echo as “traditional music at its best!” Mon May 5 at 7pm ($ 25)
FILM: A screening with talk-back of “Saved By My Feet”
A new film by Tom McGrath, that tells the inspirational story of McGrath’s overcoming an almost fatal alcohol addiction by running. McGrath has run thousands of miles across Ireland and the US to find out how alcohol and mental health problems are linked and to raise funds for charity along the way. A brief Q&A with McGrath follows the film, and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to his fundraising efforts. Thur May 12 at 7pm ($ 10)
COMEDY: NYIC’s new comedy series “LIC Laughs!”
Featuring some of the most popular comics from across the New York City comedy circuit, and is fast-becoming one of the most anticipated nights of fun-filled hijinks on the NYIC calendar. Emcee Fiona Walsh keeps the evening moving as one rapier-witted comedian after another parades their comedy through Long Island City. Sat May 14, at 8pm ($ 20)
In this warm-hearted evening of networking, music, and discussion-all in Irish, through and through-NYIC’s Pop-Up Gaeltacht welcomes speakers and listeners of varying abilities to meet, talk and enjoy music, readings and impromptu declarations, in a convivial, informal atmosphere. Tue May 24, at 6pm (Free)
NYIC turns our flexible seating Reilly Room into an intimate jazz club for the Spring edition of “Speakeasy Jazz,” as we welcome back the popular Josh Marcum Quartet. Josh is joined by Hyuna Park, Amadis Dunkel and friends in bringing their magic back to the stage for a bracing evening of bold-face jazz performance. Thur May 26, at 8pm ($ 20)
NYIC welcomes back the charming musical enchantress Cathy Maguire for a night of country western. Joined by a rodeo of her friends, Maguire opens the country songbook to the wide skies with songs enshrined through the ages. Maguire began her career as a successful child star in Ireland, and has since toured extensively. She has performed with artists and groups such as Martina McBride, Randy Travis, and the High Kings. Fri June 3, at 7pm ($ 40)
GAY PRIDE SOCIAL/THEATER
This year’s Craic Fest LGBTQ+ features a screening of a new feature film, “Who We Love,” directed by Graham Cantwell, followed by a talk-back with the director and the film’s co-star Amy-Joyce Hastings. Sat June 11, 5pm ($ 10). This is followed by a conversation led by two members of the Traveler (Mincéir) Community – actor and filmmaker John Connors and Martin Warde. Sat June 11, 7pm (Free). And as part of our Theater Tonight series, we present a staged reading of a new play, “Club,” by Grant Corr. In this comedy, a newly single gay man re-enters the Belfast dating scene, only to find the rules have changed dramatically and the scene is nothing like he remembers. Directed by Guy Retallack. Wed June 22, 7pm ($ 5)
This year NYIC celebrates Bloomsday with literary flair, as we welcome Irish Ambassador to United States Dan Mulhall, who will share insights about “Ulysses,” which is the subject of his new “Ulysses: A Reader’s Guide.” Wed June 15, at 7pm (Free)
When it was founded in 2002 by the late Father Colm Campbell and Paddy Reilly, in 2002, NYIC was primarily an Irish immigrant service organization and community center. It secured the center’s 10,000 sq ft Jackson Avenue building in 2003 (which opened its doors in 2005). Starting in 2009, NYIC’s board of directors raised more than $ 10M for operations and capital campaigns for extensive building upgrades, leading to 100% debt mortgage elimination, and a vastly expanded cultural profile. During this time NYIC also evolved its outreach to supplement traditional services for seniors (like its weekly Wednesday Lunch Club and various food and toy drives) with programs responding to changing demographics and needs. George C. Heslin took over as executive director in the fall of 2020.
NYIC runs several community enrichment programs responding to today’s New York Irish diaspora. These include its Wednesday Lunch Club – one of the most popular active retirement gatherings in New York City – and “The Story Continues” – NYIC’s quarterly LGBTQ+ networking event, featuring prominent voices from the community and a safe space for conversation and advocacy . NYIC also houses Solace House, a provider of free, confidential suicide prevention counseling for one-on-one, group or family mental health support. Solace House’s services are available for anyone seeking help.
The New York Irish Center, 1040 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City NY 11101, is just seven minutes, and one stop, on the 7 train from Grand Central Station. For more information visit www.NewYorkIrishCenter.org or call 718-482-0909. For further inquiries email info@NewYorkIrishCenter.org