On August 30, a gala reception and fundraiser will take place in Kingston, New York to raise money for the Hudson Valley’s new Irish Cultural Center. Ireland’s ambassador to the United States Anne Anderson will be the guest of honor.

Anderson is Ireland’s 17th ambassador to the United States, and she has previously served as Ireland’s representative to the UN, the European Union, France and Monaco, as the first woman to hold each of these positions.

Guests will enjoy authentic Irish food and live music. In addition to Anderson, notable guests include author William Kennedy, actor and author Malachy McCourt and Nancy Carey Cassidy, daughter of former New York State governor Hugh Carey. Speakers include New York State congressman Chris Gibson, state Assembly member Kevin Cahill and Kingston Mayor Shane Gallo.

Anderson is traveling to Kingston from Washington, D.C. with a focus on economics, and a goal of to increase tourism and cultural exchange between Ireland and the U.S.

In a recent press release, president of the center’s nonprofit sponsor Robert Carey said, “We think of the center as a mini university open to the entire Hudson Valley – a place for anyone interested in Irish culture and history to experience and celebrate the best in traditional and contemporary Irish music, dance, literature, crafts and sports.”

Event chairman Paul Tully said in the press release that they’ve already bought the land and have acquired city approvals to build.

The goal of the fundraiser is to continue campaigning for the 15,000 square foot building that will overlook the historic Rondout Creek with three floors of classroom, performance and retail space.

“We’re so honored that the ambassador is coming to the Hudson Valley to highlight our efforts to create a year-round destination downtown,” Tully said.

“We’ll host film festivals here, along with cooking and craft classes, staged readings and other literary and musical events. The center will become a community hub that will contribute to the vibrant culture of the Rondout district.”

Recently voted in Businessweek as one of “America’s best places for artists,” Kingston is located 90 miles north of New York City.

On the morning following the gala, Ambassador Anderson will raise the Irish flag at the 10:45 am dedication of the building site, prior to the opening ceremonies for the 13th annual ‘Hooley on the Hudson,’ which is a daylong waterfront celebration of all things Irish with family activities and live performances.

The mission of the Irish Cultural Center is to preserve and promote Irish arts, culture and history for a new generation. The event is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Steelhouse Restaurant.

Tickets are being sold at $100 per person; space is limited.

For more information, email info@icchv.org.