A fiscally sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts. To give to Springboard: http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Springboard-For-The-Arts

MINNESOTA NEEDS AN IRISH CULTURAL CENTER!

YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL HELP ENSURE THAT IT GETS ONE.

Minnesotans of Irish descent, and others who are interested in Irish art and traditions, typically gather in large numbers only twice a year: at the Irish Fair of Minnesota on Harriet Island in St. Paul during the second weekend of August, and at numerous locations throughout the state on and around St. Patrick’s Day. What is currently missing in Minnesota is a centrally-located not-for-profit facility that can serve as a year-round meeting place and focal point for Irish culture.

In addition, many local Irish organizations are ”low overhead operations” that do their best to keep their fees and expenses to a minimum so that they are better able to get (and keep) more people involved, especially in today’s troubled economic climate. As a result, a significant number of them lack the resources to lease, buy, remodel or furnish space that is appropriate for their needs. The primary objective of the Minnesota Irish Cultural Center is to effectively pool and coordinate the energy, experience and resources of these types of organizations (and others) and thereby enable them to collectively achieve what they have been unable to individually accomplish – the creation of a convenient, affordable “place of their own” that suits their varied needs and that they can share with others who have similar interests.

Since at least 2001, dedicated Minnesotans have been working toward the establishment of a not-for-profit facility where present and future generations can regularly and conveniently participate in activities that preserve, promote and celebrate Irish culture. To the extent possible, the plan has always been to find or create a setting that is large enough and flexible enough to be able to accommodate a wide range of activities and uses, including those related to aspects of Irish culture such as music, dance, language, literature, art, history, theater, commerce and amateur sports.

The effort to create a Minnesota Irish Cultural Center is now at a critical juncture. An existing building has been identified that would satisfy the needs outlined above. This currently-vacant building is located just north of Interstate 94, on the border between St. Paul and Minneapolis. Funds are needed to lease and equip portions of the building in order to establish an office for the Center and to make other spaces in the building available for the use of Irish organizations that need meeting/conferences rooms, practice and instructional areas, offices, libraries and storage facilities. Once established in the building, the Minnesota Irish Cultural Center can begin exploring the possibility of eventually acquiring full ownership.

We hope that you will choose to help support this important cultural and artistic endeavor. For more information, please visit our web site at www.MnIrish.org or call 651-983-6384. THANK YOU!

[Photo courtesy of the Irish Music & Dance Association]

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