Thursday, 12 June 2014

Irish Cultural Centre stands out at the HF Arts Festival

It has been a mad week over here at the Irish Cultural Centre and we are only halfway through it! It’s Hammersmith and Fulham ArtsFest time and we have quite a few events going on all throughout the week. If you haven’t been able to hit any of them up yet, don’t worry! Some of our biggest events are coming up this weekend!

Jarlath Regan "I'm delighted to be a part of the HF Arts Fest. I've never worked with the Irish Cultural Centre before so this gig is a bit special for me.   They've been a pillar of Irish Arts and Culture for 20 years in Hammersmith. Their new venue, when its built next year, looks set to be a great location for comedy and other kinds of live events."
On Friday 13 June, we are hosting a Comedy Night at The Hop Poles in Hammersmith. This evening of laughter will include the comedic genius of David Duff, Jarlath Regan, Aideen McQueen, Peter Callaghan, and MC Chris McIlroy! 

Tickets are usually £12, with a concession price of £10. Lucky for you, there is a promotion running for the friends of the Irish Cultural Centre! Enter the code eventicch when you are checking out and get your ticket for only £8! Gerry Nwimo, from Take the Mike is delighted to bring it on! He said, “What better way to celebrate talent than with a themed evening during summer season! This promises to be a fantastic evening for fun and laughter! We’re delighted to present ‘Another Irish Cultural Celebration’ in association with the Irish cultural Centre.”

Get your tickets here: Ticket LINK

On Saturday 14 June, we are holding a Poetry and Storytelling afternoon from 12:00PM until 1:30PM at the Hammersmith Temporary Library. This afternoon will be filled with new and old faces sharing their poems, stories, and maybe even a couple of songs!

Also on Saturday, we are offering a free taster of our music classes from 10:00AM until 2:30PM. According to our tutor, Brendan Mulkere, his classes foster an environment where “friendship and social exchange are prized!” Brendan also wanted to emphasize that, This is not going back to school! It is a fulfilling and fruitful journey into the wonderland of traditional Irish music.” Be sure to stop in on Saturday to see for yourself! Classes are available for children and adults from beginners to the more advanced.
Kitty O’Beirne, a music student, said that taking classes with the Irish Cultural Centre had a tremendous impact on her social life by helping her make simply wonderful friends! She added, “I do not know of anywhere else that young and old mix together so well as at music classes.”

Denise Rochford - Irish Ceili

Then, to round out the HF ArtsFest, we are holding a Pop-Up Ceili! This event will be held at the Durell Arms on Fulham Road and will feature a performance by Finches Fly at 6:00PM. The ceili will start around 7:45PM. This ceili is going on with help from the lovely Denise Rochford, who helped us kick off the 10K Session with a ceili! Worried about your dancing skills not being up to par? Don’t be! Denise says that everyone no matter what level of dance skills can get involved” in all of the fun! She also mentioned that, “every Ceili is different depending on the venue, music and guests but I have a feeling this one is going to be great, not to be missed”.  Make sure you stick around after Finches Fly to be a part of this mayhem!

Being such a big part of the ArtsFest is very important to us here at the Irish Cultural Centre. It just seems right for the cultural centre to have a presence here, especially given our recent challenges. This festival has definitely been a way for us to get our name back out in the public to let people know that, even though we have cut back, we are still here and active! Since we do not have our own “home”, getting the word out about our events has certainly kept us on our toes.

We truly appreciate the advantage we had in our old cultural centre with the foot-traffic through our building. Before, someone could walk through the door for a gig, for example, and see that we had a class going on that they are also interested in, and sign up. Now that we're holding events in other locations this has changed. However, happily, we are enjoying the advantage of meeting plenty of new people at these new locations, and our community is gradually expanding.

Our GM Kelly O'Connor said "we are looking forward to the day the doors of our new venue open next year, when we can bring all our new found friends and followers together under our own roof. We are aiming for a high level of presentation with the building, and are at this moment working on the design elements, including specialist acoustic finishes and excellent quality audio visual equipment. It's going to be some party! In the meantime, we are enjoying working collaboratively with our neighbours and other Irish organisations in London. This festival is the perfect example of this."

Through the HF Arts Fest we have have been given the amazing chance to utilize the power of collaboration. For us, this has meant hearing fresh ideas and finding new ways to develop our position in the Hammersmith community. Since we have had to cut back on staff and resources over the last year, we have found real pleasure in working alongside the festival team, who are such a bundle of positive energy. Irish woman Avril O'Riardan is on the festival committee, and has been behind us all the way.

Overall, we love being a part of the HF ArtsFest because of how it brings the community together. We love being in Hammersmith, so anything that can bring the community out and about, celebrating the arts and their cultures is something we want to be involved with!

Written by Lauren Kithas

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