Irish culture and arts center in Manhattan hits $60 million mark in funding – to commence 11th Ave construction within 3 months.

Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar has announced that the Irish government has pledged another $2.5 million to the New York Irish Arts Center's fund to begin construction of a new building in Manhattan. The Irish contribution, fittingly announced on St. Patrick's Day Eve, brings the NY IAC's fundraising campaign, "Almost Home" to $60.5 million.

The latest investment ensures that the first phase of construction on 11th Avenue is fully funded and ready to begin. Pending final approvals from city and state agencies, groundbreaking should occur within the next three months.

Taoiseach announces $2.52m in additional Government funding for the Irish Arts Center

A major milestone for the Irish Arts Center in New York with Mayor Bill de Blasio Leo Varadkar T.D. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2FNf7GU

Posted by IrishCentral.com on Dé Sathairn, 17 Márta 2018

Here’s a funding summary for phase one of the 11th Avenue new building:

Private donors + interest - $9,533,740

New York City - $36,750,000

New York State - $5,909,119

Irish Government - $8,330,657

Total - $60,523,516

The City of New York has contributed $36.75mm through the Department of Cultural Affairs for the project, which will be built on city-owned land conveyed to Irish Arts Center, marking the project as an historic chapter in the long relationship between the City of New York and Ireland.

Read more: Join IrishCentral LIVE from St. Patrick's Day in New York City!

The New Irish Arts Center comprises two buildings on 11th Avenue and 51st Street, joined by a second courtyard entrance on 51st Street. The 11th Avenue construction is expected to take two years, allowing the new building to open in 2020.

An artists representation of the new Irish Arts Center on 11th Ave, NYC.

An artists representation of the new Irish Arts Center on 11th Ave, NYC.

Of the new Irish Arts Center, actor, writer and honorary co-chair Gabriel Byrne said “The New Irish Arts Center is not just a new building, but a new understanding of who we are and how we engage with the world. A place where artists and audiences can challenge themselves, a place where we can laugh at ourselves and develop new ideas. Where we can all come together no matter what our background and really be proud of who we are. The New Irish Arts Center is that place.”

Darrah Carr, a choreographer, whose show “Darrah Carr Dance” was recently hosted by the center said “For Irish American artists based in New York City, Irish Arts Center provides a vital space to celebrate our heritage and to imbue traditional forms with contemporary purpose.

“In the midst of New York City’s highly competitive cultural landscape, Irish Arts Center nurtures deep relationships with artists across the disciplines and throughout all stages of career development.”

Read more: Is Irish America fading away? New data from Chicago Irish community

The new building will augment the Center’s capacity for showcasing innovative and virtuosic Irish and Irish American talent, facilitating collaborations between artists from a range of backgrounds, providing compelling educational programs that complement the arts and heighten cultural understanding, and creating a diverse community in New York.

The new 11th Avenue building will include:

- The New Theatre

- Lobby Café

- Studio Classroom

- Library Classroom

- Dressing Rooms

- Digital Platform

- The Existing Theatre

Keep up-to-date with everything St. Patrick's Day here

Irish leader Leo Varadkar visiting Washington DC for St. Patrick's Day 2018.RollingNews