Culture Ireland of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has commenced delivery of the I Am Ireland programme, a key part of the Global and Diaspora strand of Ireland 2016, the official state programme to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising. An international worldwide programme of Irish arts, I Am Ireland is designed to celebrate this significant moment in Ireland’s history and the pivotal role played by Irish artists in 1916 and over the past century in shaping Irish society.
Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said that "The Government's commitment to funding of €2.5m is recognition of the critical role our artists play globally. Culture is the most powerful, positive connection for the 70 million global Irish, and for the hundreds of millions more who have come to know and love Ireland for our music, our literature, our dance, our theatre, our art, our film. 2016 allows us a special opportunity to celebrate this connection."
The North American premiere of The Last Hotel, Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s  new chamber opera, at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York today (Friday 8 January 2016)  marks the first major event of Culture Ireland’s I Am Ireland Programme.  Uniting two of Ireland's great creative talents, this new opera by Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera as part of the Prototype Festival and presented in association with the Irish Arts Center, has already attracted significant international acclaim.
The opening of the programme in New York is significant given the importance of the special cultural relationship with the US.  In 2016, by bringing a new wave of Irish creative talent to audiences across America, Culture Ireland, together with Ireland’s Embassy and Consulates in the US, will mark the next chapter in our shared cultural story with the US. Highlights of I Am Ireland include a US tour by the Abbey Theatre of The Plough and the Stars by Seán O’Casey in the Autumn, Corn Exchange’s production of A Girl is a Half-formed Thing presented  by the Irish Arts Center at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in April, special appearances throughout the year by Irish writers and poets at many of the most prestigious US literature festivals, managed by Poetry Ireland and the promotion of a range of Irish work from traditional music to visual arts by Mid-America Arts Alliance.
Over 115 separate projects covering hundreds of concerts, performances, exhibitions and readings will feature as part of the international programme throughout the next twelve months, with particular focus on the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
 
P cumhachtaí agus is dearfaí don 70 milliún Éireannach ar fud an domhain agus do na céadta milliún duine eile a bhfuil grá acu do cheol, litríocht, damhsa, amharclannaíocht, ealaín agus scannáin na hÉireann. Le 2016 tugtar deis speisialta dúinn an ceangal seo a cheiliúradh.”
Leis an gcéad taibhiú i Meiriceá Thuaidh de The Last Hotel, an ceoldráma aireagail nua de chuid Dhonnacha Dennehy agus Enda Walsh, ag St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, Nua Eabhrac, inniu (Dé hAoine, an 8 Eanáir 2016), cuirfear tús le mórimeachtaí chlár Mise Éire Chultúr Éireann.  Agus beirt de na daoine cruthaitheacha is cumasaí in Éirinn á dtabhairt le chéile aige, tá moladh idirnáisiúnta nach beag tuillte cheana ag an gceodráma nua seo le Landmark Productions agus Wide Open Opera, atá á chur i láthair mar chuid den Prototype Festival i gcomhar leis an Irish Arts Center.
Tá suntas ag baint le hoscailt an chláir i Nua Eabhrac mar gheall ar an tábhacht atá leis an gcaidreamh cultúrtha speisialta leis na Stáit Aontaithe.  Sa bhliain 2016, trí rabharta nua de dhaoine cruthaitheacha na hÉireann a thabhairt chuig lucht féachána ar fud Mheiriceá, cuirfidh Cultúr Éireann, i gcomhar le hAmbasáid agus Consulachtaí na hÉireann i SAM, tús leis an chéad chaibidil eile i scéal cultúrtha comhroinnte na hÉireann agus na Stáit Aontaithe. Ar bhuaicphointí Mise Éire tá camchuairt Amharclann na Mainistreach i SAM le The Plough and the Stars le Seán O’Casey san fhómhar; léiriú Corn Exchange de A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, arna chur i láthair ag an Irish Arts Center sa Baryshnikov Arts Center i mí Aibreáin; scríbhneoirí agus filí Éireannacha ag tabhairt cuairte ar go leor de na féilte litríochta is mó le rá i Meiriceá, arna bhainistiú ag Éigse Éireann; agus réimse saothar Éireannach á chur chun cinn ag an Mid-America Arts Alliance, idir cheol traidisiúnta agus amharc-ealaíona.
Beidh níos mó ná 115 tionscadal ar leith, a chuimseoidh na céadta ceolchoirm, taibhiú, taispeántas agus léamh, mar chuid den chlár idirnáisiúnta sa dá mhí dhéag amach romhainn, le fócas faoi leith ar na Stáit Aontaithe, Ceanada, an Bhreatain Mhór, an Astráil agus an Nua-Shéalainn.
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