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July 6th- 10th, 2015

NEA Funding Recognizes DC Irish Cultural Arts Program

MAD Week, the premier Irish traditional music and dance instruction immersion program in the Washington, DC region, is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Musical Arts and Dance (MAD) Week is sponsored by the O’Neill-Malcom Branch of the international Irish cultural organization, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE).

For 10 years, MAD Week has helped ensure a revitalized future for Irish traditional music and dance, opening doors for enthusiasts to spend a week learning from master musicians, singers, and dancers. Fun, friendships, and hilarity often ensue. Classes engage, inspire, and teach—from beginners to the highly proficient, from children to adults. Registration is currently open.

Again in 2015, MAD Week’s 10th year, masters of the tradition will be sharing their knowledge and love of the arts. Traveling from Ireland will be fiddler and banjo player John Carty of Co. Roscommon, fiddler MacDara Ó Raghallaigh of Co. Meath, and Co. Galway sean-nós (old style) step dancers Gerard and Patrick Devane. Joining them are Irish immigrant and Irish-American artists such as flute player Kevin Crawford, concertina player and ethnomusicologist Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, fiddlers Rose Conway Flanagan and Sean Cleland, and piper Jerry O’Sullivan and many more. MAD Week 2015 will be held July 6th through July 10th at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Maryland.

This month, 1,023 NEA grants, totaling $74,326,900, were awarded to nonprofit arts organizations in all 50 states plus five U.S. jurisdictions.   NEA recognition and support of MAD Week echoes years of support from the Irish government, including the patronage of the Ambassador of Ireland. The grant for 2015 will help underwrite domestic and international  travel expenses for faculty recruited from the U.S., Canada and Ireland.

Dublin-based Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) is the largest non-profit group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music and culture. Started in 1951, CCÉ now has branches all over the world. The O’Neill-Malcom Branch primarily serves the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

CCE MAD Week, founded and directed by fiddler and music teacher Mitch Fanning, offers daytime classes and evening activities, designed for and open to registrants from across the age and proficiency spectrum. Instruction is offered in fiddle, flute, whistle, uilleann pipes, concertina, accordion, banjo, harp, guitar, bouzouki, piano, and bodhran, as well as traditional dance forms.
MAD Week 2015 is July 6 through July 10, at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Permalink - Posted: May 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm