Irish Arts Center this week announced two major gifts totaling $500,000 that provide yet another boost of momentum to its historic campaign to build a landmark new cultural facility on Manhattan’s west side.

The gifts come on the heels of its historic centenary concert event and capital campaign public launch, "Ireland Rising," presented by Grammy-winning composer Bill Whelan and Pulitzer-winning poet Paul Muldoon.

IAC has received a $250,000 gift from John and Patricia Nallen. John Nallen is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for 21st Century Fox, the world’s premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay-TV and satellite assets. A member of the 21st Century Fox executive team, Nallen oversees all financial aspects of the company including capital market and merger and acquisition transactions. His signing on to the IAC project is a coup for the campaign.

“Pat and I have been enjoying Irish Arts Center programming for a number of years.” Nallen said.

“The Irish Arts Center deserves a home that matches their commitment to the highest standard of artistic excellence and the incredible Irish talent they showcase. As proud Irish-Americans we are proud to contribute to this project – something that will remain for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”

John and Pat Nallen join more than a dozen other major donors at the Founders level ($250,000 and up), including Loretta Brennan Glucksman, the Breslin family, James and Pat Houlihan, and the actor Roma Downey, who contributed $1 million to the campaign.

Irish Arts Center has also received a second anonymous challenge gift of $250,000 from one of New York City’s most renowned cultural philanthropists, who has helped support some of New York’s most innovative multidisciplinary cultural institutions, including BAM and St. Ann’s Warehouse.

This generous anonymous donor issued the gift as a challenge grant, and has agreed to make another capital pledge as soon as the original $250,000 commitment has been matched by another donor. This is a wonderful opportunity for a generous Irish American to make a gift to the Almost Home campaign and more than double its impact.