4th Annual Irish Arts Week

Welcome to the Fourth Year of Irish Arts Week: May 3-12, 2019

Make it new.” Spotlighting the new in Minnesota’s Irish culture, this 1920s artistic slogan guides the 2019 Arts Week as our ten-day schedule is crammed with original content. The larger context for our work is the Irish government’s Global Ireland 2025 initiative doubling Ireland’s global economic and cultural footprint. Brian O’Brien, the Consul General from Chicago’s Irish consulate, will discuss this initiative and Brexit. The Irish Fair, a multi-generational family event in its 40th year, and the Celtic Junction celebrating its 10th anniversary, both demonstrate Minnesota’s dynamic and continuing contribution to enlarging this cultural footprint.

We at the Irish Fair of Minnesota hope you enjoy the cultural vibrancy contained in our Arts Week.

Thank you,

Patrick O’Donnell
Irish Arts Week Director

Friday, May 3

7:30-10:00 p.m. SuperCELTifragilisticexpialidocious: Dance and Art Ball. $15 in advance $20 door. Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Ave N. St. Paul, MN 55104. Cash bar availablePremier Event! Never seen before in Minnesota and inspired by “Atelier des Lumières” in Paris. You’ll see art and dance mingling in an immersive art film experience: projected moving images of Celtic mythology accompanied by the folk/punk duo The Langer’s Ball and DJ Drew Miller. This unique must-attend event will be talked about for months. Join us! White attire recommended to make the dancers living parts of the art experience! Get your tickets before they sell out!

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Saturday, May 4

Whole Day Celebration of Celtic Junction’s 10th Anniversary and Irish Arts Week Kick-Off Day!

1:00-2:00 pm. Courtney Buck "Murder Ballads - From Ireland and abroad.” $10 per person. McKiernan Library. Featuring the local musicians, Michael Sawyer and Courtney Buck, this event features songs about murder from across the pond with ballads and stories that made it from Ireland, Scotland, and England to the mountains of Appalachia and beyond. The songs featured will include: "Tam Lin," "The Blackest Crow," "The Wife of Usher's Well," "The Drowned Lovers," "Down in the Willow Garden," and more.

2:00-3:00 pm. Carrie Finnigan. "Drawing Celtic Mythology." $10 per person. McKiernan Library. Discover the extraordinary pantheon of Celtic gods, goddesses, warriors, and creatures.

3:00-4:30 pm. Ethna McKiernan 'Swimming with Shadows' Poetry Book Launch. Free. Celtic Junction Studio 2. Minnesota’s premier female poet unveils her latest collection.

4:30-5:30 pm. Consul General Brian O’Brien on Brexit and the Global Ireland 2025 initiative. Free. Celtic Junction Main Room. Learn how Ireland’s government is linking up with Irish communities to double Ireland’s economic and cultural footprint.

5:30-10 pm. Celtic Junction’s 10th Anniversary celebration, launch of the 4th Irish Arts Week, and IFM’s 40th year. Free. Celebrate multiple anniversaries with our launch night.

5:30-6:00 pm. Gallery opening with Margaret Mulligan. Free. Enjoy the latest exhibition from this energetic Chicago-based artist. Margaret Mulligan’s collection of Irish landscapes will be featured in her exhibition: The Ireland I Love. Through mediums of oil, watercolor, and pastels, Mulligan recreates the colors, light, and shapes of pastoral Ireland. In this series, the artist hopes to share her love for the culture and the lifestyle of her late father. “Memories, music, food, and scent live in our minds as culture,” Mulligan says. “If I smell a turf fire, or see a pint glass, or hear a tune, I feel connected to life. Creating the series was like writing a love letter to my dad. I hope the viewers can feel the beauty of those places.”  Please find Margaret’s paintings by visiting her web site: margaretmulligan.art

6:00-8:00 pm. Tom Crann, MPR radio host, acts as Master of Ceremonies for musicians and speakers featuring Irish Consul General, Brian O’Brien. Free. Cash bar available. Multiple speakers and musicians celebrate the impact and achievement of the Celtic Junction

8:00-10:00 pm. Party with The Gunn Slingers band. Free. Cash bar available. Round out the night with a rocking dance band.


Sunday, May 5

12-2:00 pm. Historic Bus Tour of St. Paul’s Connemara Patch. $30 per person. Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Ave N. St. Paul, MN 55104. Limited to 30 participants. Take a 1950s vintage bus to Connemara Patch and take a walking tour of the historic area with the ebullient tour guide Teresa McCormick. Witness a re-enactment of Minnesota's oldest murder mystery from 1839 as the notorious Edward Phalen assails John Hays. 

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2:00-4:00 pm. Children's Fair. Free. Celtic Junction Arts Center. Sample our Irish community center’s activities for kids!

6:30-9:00 pm. Tenor Paul Byrom. Tickets: $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Celtic Junction Arts Center. Cash bar available.  Discover one of Ireland’s premier tenors and a former member of Celtic Thunder. The Dublin-born tenor has been in the music industry for over 20 years, recording his first album "The Golden Voice" as a boy soprano aged 14. His second release, entitled VELVET, was in 2005 and reached #2 in the Irish music charts which has led to many appearances on Irish Television and Radio, including "Celebrity Jigs and Reels" where he reached the grand final. In 2007 Paul became one of the original soloists in the hit show Celtic Thunder. He toured North America and Australia with the group and had six #1 World Billboard albums. He has since left the production and his following album "THIS IS THE MOMENT" debuted at No.1 on the World Billboard Charts and was shortlisted for a Grammy Nomination. Last year Paul's latest album THINKING OF HOME reached the top of the iTunes, Amazon and World Billboard Charts and he has just been named for the second time in three years, The Irish Tenor Of The Year by the Irish Music Association.

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Monday, May 6

7:30-9:00 pm. Silver Apples of the Moon: The Strange Genius of W.B. Yeats. $10 per person. Celtic Junction/McKiernan Library. Performance by the Celtic Phoenix Theater in the Eoin McKiernan Library. $10 per person payable at the door. Transfixed over three decades by a love for the great Irish beauty and nationalist revolutionary, Maud Gonne, and seeking a spiritual vocabulary to transcend our material world, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was a passionate dreamer, a magician with words and rituals, and a mover and shaker in Irish cultural politics who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. Widely acknowledged as perhaps the greatest poet of the twentieth century and Ireland's national bard, his life and times uniquely inform his prophetic and heart-wounded poetry.


Tuesday, May 7

5:00-6:00 pm. Tom Dunn “Irish of MN”. Free. Joe and Stan’s Pub 949 7th St. W, St. Paul, MN 55102. Hear Tom Dunn speak about his wonderful photo exhibition of the MN Irish community at Joe and Stan’s pub.

7:30-9:00 pm. Documentary film: "Máirín de Burca: A Loner's Instinct". $5 per person. Celtic Junction/McKiernan Library. A candid portrait of an Irish campaigning feminist and political activist.  



Wednesday, May 8

5:00-6:00 pm. Clare Pelzer Art Wall. Free. Emmett's Public House 695 Grand Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105. Hear Irish-American artist Clare Pelzer speak about her new work on the art wall at Emmett’s public house. When she’s not working behind the bar at Emmett’s, Clare is honing her skills as a fine artist. Like her father, David Pelzer, also an artist, Clare works mainly in pencil and digital and oil print. Inspired by her childhood growing up in Connemara, Ireland, her works include depictions of “The Lost Isle” oil on board, or “Slainte!” digital drawing, reflecting Ireland’s beautiful nature and its people. Artwork from Clare’s father, who currently resides in Ireland, will also be on display. His works include “Inishmaine Abbey” charcoal on paper (print), and “Joyce Country Boy and Lamb” oil on board  (print). Chat with Clare while viewing her artwork and enjoy a pint at the same time. Prints for sale.

7:30-9:00 pm. Patsy O'Brien. The Boy Patrick – The story of Patrick. The boy who became a saint. $10 per person. Celtic Junction/McKiernan Library. A musical and educational presentation on the youth of Ireland’s national saint.


Thursday, May 9

7:30-10:00 pm. Danny Schwarze "Small Adventures" album launch. Free. FINNEGANS Brewery. 817 5th Avenue Minneapolis MN 55404. The Inland Seas are the opening band at Danny Schwarze’s of The Northerly Gales solo debut album "Small Adventures".


Friday, May 10

7:00-8:30 pm. Sonoglyph: Literary and Musical group. Free. Eastside Freedom Libraray 1105 Greenbrier St, St Paul, MN 55106. An energetic performance group blending music, poetry, and the spoken word.

7:30-9:00 pm. Paddy Keenan. $18 in advance $22 at the door. Celtic Junction Arts Center. Cash bar availableA performance by one of Ireland’s most accomplished uileann pipers.

Saturday, May 11

3:00-5:00 pm. O’Shea Irish Dance Spring Recital. $10 per person. Celtic Junction Arts Center. The unstoppable and world class OID showcases its youngest dancers.

3:00-4:00 pm.  Dan Milner The Unstoppable Irish: Songs and Integration of the New York Irish, 1783-1883.  $5 per person. McKiernan Library. New York-based author and music historian discusses his well-regarded song history book.

7:00-9:00 pm. Dan and Bonnie Milner in Concert (sponsored by the Traditional Singers Club). $10 in advance, $15 at the door, 18 and under free. Senior discount available at the door. Celtic Junction Arts Center – Main Room. Dan and Bonnie Milner sing traditional Irish, Irish-American and maritime songs solo and in unaccompanied harmony. Dan, a geography professor and world traveler, grew up in a singing Irish family in Birmingham England, Ballybunion, Ireland and Brooklyn, New York. His Smithsonian Folkways CD, Irish Pirates Ballads, received 2 Indie Award nominations in 2011. Bonnie's interest in sea songs was sparked by hearing shanties sung at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, and carried further by her friendship with the last working shantyman, Stan Hugill. She is a member of the renowned, all-woman quartet, The Johnson Girls. Dan and Bonnie have toured extensively in Europe and North America.

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Sunday, May 12

1:00-6:00 pm. Center for Irish Music Spring Recital. Free. Celtic Junction Arts Center. The award-winning musicians of this St. Paul gem demonstrate their abilities. 

5:00-8:00 pm. Bonfire and Labyrinth. Free. Newell Park. Celebrate the arrival of summer in ancient Irish fashion with a bonfire in Newell Park! Musicians and dancers welcome! All ages. Family friendly. Our annual community Bonfire is complemented with a new 30-foot "Creativity Labyrinth" created by Marilyn Larson. Marilyn is a highly accomplished Labyrinth maker and artist, and will be shaping a five circuit North Star Creativity Labyrinth as an original pilot project for the Arts Week. "It will be a place to create creativity," she asserted, "and practice change as a community." She will organize the labyrinth with an oak tree as its center.