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$5M Grant Brings Ireland To Chicago

CHICAGO (STMW) - Chicago theaters, galleries and concert halls will help showcase the full range of Irish culture in the coming year as part of Imagine Ireland, a $5.2 million project underwritten by the Irish government.

The project, which was formally announced Friday at New York's Lincoln Center, will showcase Irish-bred work in the fields of theater, music, the visual arts, film, dance, literature and more, and will reach 40 cities nationwide.

To be seen in Chicago under the general umbrella of the project will be two previously announced theater events — the Druid Theatre production of Martin McDonagh's "The Cripple of Inishmaan" (running March 16-27 at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), and the Abbey Theatre production of Mark O'Rowe's "Terminus" (running March 2-6 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Theatre).

The musical riches of Ireland — a nation that has recently gone from "Celtic Tiger" to economically troubled member of the European Union — will include: "The Chieftains" (March 4 at Symphony Center); Altan (March 13 at the Old Town School of Music); the David Munnelly Band (March 4 at the Mayne Stage); and Camerata Ireland (March 12 at Dominican University).

An exhibition of the work of 13 contemporary Irish artists will be mounted in May, and a solo show of the paintings of Ronnie Hughes will run April 29-May 2 as part of NEXT, The International Exhibition of Emerging Art.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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