The Irish Arts Center in New York City will honor Stephen Colbert at its 2023 Spirit of Ireland Gala, to be hosted at Pier Sixty on Friday, November 17.

Announcing Colbert as this year’s honoree, the Irish Arts Center said it “proudly recognizes the enduring quality and influence of Colbert’s insightful social commentary and humor, and the honesty and warmth with which he has convened his nightly national conversation, especially during difficult times.

“An American of Irish ancestry who has shown a keen interest in his heritage and in the arts, his towering career has seen him speak with levity and compassion to the American public for nearly two decades, first durationally in character via the beloved ‘Colbert Report,’ and in recent years as himself, with ‘The Late Show.’”

The 2023 Spirit of Ireland Gala will also recognize Kathleen B. Lynch, who the IAC says has had a “distinguished three-decade career in the financial services industry, including leadership positions UBS and Merrill Lynch. 

“Born and raised in the United States, her mother’s roots are in Burtonport, County Donegal, Ireland, and have given her a deep interest in and appreciation of Irish culture. 

“Lynch dedicates her time to philanthropic efforts on both sides of the Atlantic. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of UBS Americas Holding LLC and Eastman Kodak.”

IAC’s 2023 Spirit of Ireland Gala, which last year honored Ed Sheeran, will feature special appearances by the Center’s longtime honorary chairs Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson, and a musical performance from the Irish Afro-Soul singer-songwriter Loah, a frequent IAC visiting artist and host of RTÉ’s "The Heart of Saturday Night."

The Gala is chaired by IAC board member Robert J. McCann, a veteran Wall Street executive, Co-Chair of New Edge Capital Group, former President of UBS Americas, and a previous Spirit of Ireland Gala honoree.

The Irish Arts Center Spirit of Ireland Gala will celebrate the success of the organization’s first two years in its landmark new 21,700-square-foot building and helps ensure IAC’s sustainability and further growth.

Founded in 1972 and based in Hell's Kitchen in New York City, the Irish Arts Center is a home for artists and audiences of all backgrounds who share a passion or appreciation for the evolving arts and culture of contemporary Ireland and Irish America.

The IAC presents, develops, and celebrates work from established and emerging artists and cultural practitioners, and provides audiences with emotionally and intellectually engaging experiences—fueled by collaboration, innovation, adventurousness, authenticity, and the celebration of our common humanity, in an environment of Irish hospitality.

Steeped in grassroots traditions, the IAC also provides community education programs and access to the arts for people of all ages and ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds.