It will be a new era for the beloved Irish Arts Center when it opens its brand new 21,700-square-foot, $ 60 million building in December.
Located at 726 11th Avenue, formerly the adjoining city-owned property and the Cybert Tire building, the new hub will open with a “monumental” introductory season of programming, a flexible theater, café and more.
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The Irish Arts Center had planned to build the new space back in 2006, when it acquired the site in hopes of being able to offer even more cultural activities than it has in its “humble” three-story lease at 553 West 51st Street.
Designed by New York-based architects Davis Brody Bond (who was behind the National September 11 Museum and The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center) and consulting and supported by the Irish Office of Public Works, the space includes a theater designed by Fisher Dachs Associates, which designed The Shed and the Park Avenue Armory with acoustic design by Jaffe Holden Acoustics (known for work at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center and The Juilliard School), which will serve as a venue for theater, dance, music, visual arts, interdisciplinary work, residences and special events.
There is also a new studio for classes, rehearsals and community gatherings, an intimate, “warmly decorated” library classroom and patron lounge, as well as an atrium surrounded by the former Cybert Tire building’s interior historic brick facade with a display window of artwork.
For visitors to the building, they can enjoy a large café on the ground floor run by Hell’s Kitchen’s Ardesia with furniture by the Irish craft furniture designer Orior made with authentic Irish materials recycled in a modern aesthetic – the bar counter is made of wood from a century old walnut tree.
With a brand new space for programming, the center will offer a selection of front-row tickets for a maximum of $ 25 for each performance during its inaugural season (December 2021-2022). There will also be a new $ 50 membership program with a discount and some scholarships for class fees.
Looking forward, these are some of the highlights from upcoming shows and programs you can look forward to at the Irish Arts Center:
Camille O’Sullivan: Where are we now?
4.-31. December 2021
Camille O’Sullivan captures the madness and redemption of our world in our encounter again, with an unforgettable musical and emotional journey to mark this extraordinary moment.
Backed by an ensemble of world-class musicians, including longtime collaborator Feargal Murray on piano, Camille asks rhapsodic interpretations of an eclectic collection of songs from iconic New York and Irish songwriters – as we turn the page to a new chapter – Where Are We Now?
February 7, March 14, April 11, September 12, October 10 and November 14, 2022
With a name dating back to a vaudeville act in late 19th-century New York, this beloved moving celebration combines an event – from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and songwriter Paul Muldoon – to music, prose fiction, poetry, high commentary and low comedy, to you by an evolving lineup of world-class guests and house band Rogue Oliphant. Presented for the first time in IAC’s adaptable, sophisticated new venue, the artist-curated omnium gatherum, which was made at IAC 11 seasons ago, continues to bring its blend of joyful relaxation and breathtaking artistry to the art landscape of NYC.
Manchán Magan: Bread and butter
1-3 April 2022
Arán & Im is a theatrical performance / installation where the writer and documentary filmmaker Manchán Magan bakes sourdough bread for 70 minutes while offering insight into the wonders of the Irish language – exploring powerful landscape words, expressions of intuition and insight and the many phrases that evoke the mysterious glory in our natural world to live. It is a celebration of language, the earth
and local Irish food, with freshly baked traditional sourdough bread, which the audience can slice and butter with butter, they themselves core Irish cream.
13th annual poetry festival
1.-4. December 2022
Packed with verses and conversations, PoetryFest has for 13 years brought “literary festival” (The New Yorker) to Irish Arts Center audiences and word lovers all over New York. Curated by Nick Laird with guest curator Katie Raissian, the weekend-long PoetryFest is a haven away from our world of fast-paced online languages that celebrates the value of sitting and listening to words written with sharpened care, intent and nuance – by avant-garde artists carrying Irish and North American poetic traditions into the future.
The room we occupy:
December 4, 2021-22. May 2022
In a multimedia activation of the public area at 726 11th Avenue, six artists representing the breadth and depth of modern Irish visual art, installation, photography, print and drawing, as well as paint and plaster – the physical materials for the building’s renovation – use to mark the opening. of the New Irish Arts Center and invite the viewer to consider the space we occupy during our short time on Earth.
March 13, 2022
At this year’s annual free Open Day, visitors can enter a brand new Irish Arts Center: an institution transformed with their new building in its ability to entertain, inform, explore and amaze, yet at its core the same warmth , hospitable center. Join the IAC this St. Patrick’s season for this special Open Day, activating its space through live music and dance, crafts, educational workshops and more – to get a selection of its abundant new opportunities to celebrate Irish and Irish-American culture.
10th annual book day
March 17, 2022
The IAC is thrilled to honor the beloved tradition of Irish storytelling at St. Patrick’s Day this year with a very special book day dedicated to James Joyce’s unique and uniquely influential novel Ulysses. By celebrating the book’s 100th anniversary and continuing Book Day’s tradition of recognizing the breadth of Irish literature alongside other cultures, this year’s event will also honor Jewish writers from around the world as a tribute to Ulysses’ iconic Jewish protagonist, Leopold Bloom . As always, IAC volunteers and staff, sponsors and supporters – along with its partners in the New York City Council – will distribute thousands of free books in all five boroughs. Books in Spanish and other translation provided by partners Literature Ireland.
19th annual dance and music festival
June 11, 2022
To celebrate National Immigrant Heritage Month, the Irish Arts Center, in partnership with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, invites dancers and musicians from communities across the city to help the organization hold its annual celebration, the traditional kick-off event for NYC’s Summer -on-the-Hudson series of events. Join the IAC at Riverside Park for a free day of performances, sessions, céilis, crafts, workshops and cultural activities.
Halloween / The Irish Halloween
October 30, 2022
In this changing eerie and heartwarming evening of folklore and fun you can dive into the age-old autumn tradition of Oíche Shamhna, the evening of Samhain, across which bonfire lit the land orange and our world was meant to open to the realm of spirits, allowing the dead dear to join the living. Play ancient Irish Halloween games and learn about the origins of Trick-or-treating, dressing up in costume and carving a jack-o’-lantern (originally a turnip) – and do all of the above.
The Irish Arts Center’s new home opens at 726 11th Avenue in December.