Cookies on the DFA website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site while also complying with Data Protection requirements. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

Ireland 2016 in the US Midwest

The 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising will have particular resonance in the United States.

Five of the seven signatories to the Proclamation of Independence spent periods of time in the U.S. that significantly influenced their thinking and actions. The U.S. is the only foreign country specifically mentioned in the Proclamation; it has the greatest concentration of our Diaspora; and the contemporary ties are of extraordinary depth and breadth.

The Consulate of Ireland in Chicago, together with the Embassy of Ireland in Washington D.C. and our 5 other Consulates General (Atlanta, Austin, Boston, New York & San Francisco) have been preparing a programme of political, economic and cultural events across the United States throughout the centenary year. The defining character of the year’s events will be to present modern twenty first century Ireland - with 1916 as the point of departure. The emphasis will be on the journey and the point of arrival, as well as setting our compass for the future. 

An outline of confirmed events in Chicago is below. A full list of 2016 events in the USA by geographic area can be found on the website of Ireland’s Embassy to the USA.

New events and cities are being added regularly so please check back for further updates.

Are you organising an event in the US Midwest? Let us know!

Chicago and the Mid-West

January 28, 2016: Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati Irish Film Night

Screening of the film A Terrible Beauty - the story of the 1916 Rising told from different viewpoints. 7.00 p.m.

February 13, 2016: Áine Phillips: “Performance Art in Ireland”

Aine Phillips looks at the evolving practice and challenges of writing and researching Irish performance art and how this informs new art historical studies of contemporary performance and live art, both nationally and internationally. With Roberto Sufeuntes and Robin Deacon. Part of Culture Ireland’s I Am Ireland programme. IN>TIME Festival, Chicago Cultural Centre, 78 E. Washington St., 12.30 p.m. Part of Culture Ireland’s I am Ireland programme.

February 25, 2016: 1916 Centenary presentation by Dr. Ray Hebert

Hosted by the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati. Dr. Herbert is the former Dean of Thomas More College and chair of History and International Studies specializing in History and Literature of Irish Nationalism. 7.00 p.m.

February 27, 2016: A reading of author Larry Kirwan’s Blood–A story from 1916

Hosted by the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati. Larry is a writer and musician, most noted as the lead singer of Irish band ‘Black 47’. 4.00 p.m.

March 2– 5, 2016 Téada–reAwakening

Inspired by the remarkable artistic flourishing of the Irish at home and abroad in the 100-year period from 1916 onwards, reAwakening sees leading Irish band Téada set historic musical and song material beginning from the early 20th century to a backdrop of archival video footage and still images from the 1916 Rising.

March 2: Gamble Music Hall, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio
March 5: Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey, Michigan
Part of Culture Ireland’s I am Ireland programme.

March 3, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Gala Premiere

Produced by the University of Notre Dame and COCO Television and narrated by Liam Neeson, this landmark documentary tells the story of the 1916 Rising through a combination of archival footage, new segments filmed on location worldwide, and interviews with leading international experts, and also uncovers the story of the central role Irish Americans played in the lead-up to the rebellion. University of Notre Dame William and Mary Ann Smith Ballroom, The Morris Inn, and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, 5.30–9.00 p.m.

March 3-6, 2016: 17th Chicago Irish Film Festival

Since 1999, the Chicago Irish Film Festival has been dedicated to presenting the works of Irish filmmakers in the Chicago community and has screened over 500 features, documentaries and short films by many of Ireland’s most talented and award-winning filmmakers. Logan Theatre, 2646 North Milwaukee Avenue, and the Gallery Theatre, 1112 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago.

March 4, 2016: The Murphy Beds and The Map is Not the Territory

Irish music duo The Murphy Beds—Jefferson Hamer and Eamon O’Leary— present traditional and original folk songs with close harmonies and deft arrangements on bouzouki, guitar and mandolin. Ticket holders may also enjoy an Irish dance workshop at 7.00 p.m. The concert is held in conjunction with the exhibit The Map is Not the Territory: Parallel Paths—Palestinian, Native American, Irish, which examines relationships and commonalities within the experiences of invasion, occupation and colonization. Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI, 8.00 p.m. Exhibit runs until May 15.

March 4, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Book Launch

The launch of a companion book to the film, titled The 1916 Irish Rebellion, published by the Notre Dame. Press Union League Club, Chicago. All day.

March 4–18, 2016: We Banjo 3 in concert Link to:

This award-winning quartet from Galway delivers a ground breaking mixture of Irish Music and Old Time American and Bluegrass influences.

March 4: The Ark, Ann Arbor, Michigan
March 5: The Midland Theatre, Newark, Ohio
March 6: Musicbox Supper Club, Cleveland, Ohio
March 11: Live at the Ludlow Garage, Cincinnati, Ohio
March 16: Chief O’Neill’s, Chicago, Illinois
March 18: Irish Cultural Heritage Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Part of Culture Ireland’s I am Ireland programme.

March 5, 2016: Special concert: Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones

Hosted by the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati. 7.00 p.m.

March 8, 2016: Siamsa na nGael Concert Choir

Siamsa na nGael has become a well-known event in Chicago, celebrating unique, world-class Celtic entertainment. The program for 2016 is entitled The Women of the Rising: Pathways to Peace, and will tell the tales of three women who were instrumental in the Rising through song, dance and story. Features performances by the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, Old St. Patrick’s Concert Choir, Trinity Irish Dancers and more. Chicago Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Ave., 7.30pm.

March 12-19 2016: I Am Ireland

To honour the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, celebrated Irish tenor Paddy Homan will present I Am Ireland, a one-man show accompanied by a three-piece band of traditional Irish musicians to take American audiences on a journey through the songs, speeches and images of the time to honour and celebrate the Irish road to freedom.

March 12: Chicago Gaelic Park, 6119 West 147th Street, Oak Forest, IL, 8.00 p.m.
March 19: Wentz Concert Hall, 171 East Chicago Avenue, Naperville, IL.

March 12, 2016: Opening of the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati’s 1916 Exhibition

Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati Library and Museum. 3.00 p.m.

March 17, 2016: St Patrick’s Day Irish Mass

In memory of those who have passed away, particularly the men and women of 1916. Followed by a celebration including music, dance, food and friendship. Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati. 2.00 p.m.

March 13, 2016: Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The 58th annual marching of this parade will have Kitty Heinzman as the Grand Marshal and features dancers, pipers and other local organizations. This year’s theme is “1916 Easter Rising: A Legacy of Irish Heroes and Freedom”. Starting at Michigan Avenue and 6th Street and continuing down to 14th Street, Detroit, MI, 12.00 noon.

March 13, 2016: AOH March Programme: A Celebration of Ireland’s Independence

The 146th annual St. Patrick’s Day Hibernian Celebration will celebrate the tradition of Irish independence through songs and stories. Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN. Time TBD.

March 21, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Screening—Gene Siskel Theatre, Chicago

The Consulate will host the North American Premiere of the Notre Dame documentary, 1916: The Irish Rebellion, at the Gene Siskel Film Center as part of the EU Film Festival. Gene Siskel Theatre, 164 North State Street, 6.00 p.m.

March 26, 2016: The Music and Images of the 1916 Easter Rising

An afternoon of reflection on the events of Easter 1916, featuring sights, sounds, and guest speakers Marguerite Helmers of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, McKayla Sutton of the University of Wisconson-Milwaukee, Jeff Ksiazek of the Ward Irish Music Archives, and Catherine Lewis. Presented in conjunction with the Consulate of Ireland, Chicago. Milwaukee Irish Fest Center, 1532 North Wauwatosa Avenue, Wauwatosa, WI, 1.00 p.m.

March 27, 2016: Gaelic League Easter Commemorative Mass & Potluck

The annual Easter Sunday mass and commemoration of the 1916 Rising, followed by a potluck dinner, at the Gaelic League, 2068 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, 4.00 p.m.

March 28, 2016: Easter Rising Commemoration of the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati

Includes a gathering at the Memorial Plaque dedicated to the first Irish immigrants who arrived on the waterfront of the Ohio River, a reading of the Proclamation followed by Dr. William H.A. Williams’ presentation of the Easter Rising in song and stories with the Blue Rock Boys, Ceol Mhór and the Irish American Theater Company. 5.30 p.m.

March 31, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Screening—2016 American Conference for Irish Studies

The documentary 1916: The Irish Rebellion will be screened as part of the American Conference for Irish Studies (March 30-April 3), followed by an address from the film’s executive producer, Christopher Fox, Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies; and the film’s creator, writer and producer, Briona Nic Dhiarmada, the Thomas J. and Kathleen M. O’Donnell Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. A launch of the companion book, The 1916 Irish Rebellion, to follow. Free, but ticketed, event. DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Leighton Concert Hall, 100 Performing Arts Center, Notre Dame, IN, 8.30-10.30 p.m.

March 31 –April 3, 2016: North American Comhaltas Convention

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music around the world, will hold a 1916 Reflection event as part of the North American Comhaltas Convention in the St. Louis Union Station Hilton Hotel.

April 3, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Screening—Gaelic Park, Chicago

A screening of the new Notre Dame-produced, Liam Neeson-narrated documentary reflecting on the events surrounding the 1916 Rising, followed by a question and answer session with the film’s creator, writer, and producer, Briona Nic Dhiarmada, the Thomas J. and Kathleen M. O’Donnell Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. Chicago Gaelic Park, 6119 West 147th Street, Oak Forest, IL.

April 5, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Screening—University of Michigan

A screening of the new Notre Dame-produced, Liam Neeson-narrated documentary reflecting on the events surrounding the 1916 Rising. Followed by a question and answer session with the film’s executive producer, Christopher Fox, Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the film’s creator, writer, and producer, Briona Nic Dhiarmada, the Thomas J. and Kathleen M. O’Donnell Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. Hutchins Hall, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 6.00-8.30 p.m.

April 7, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Screening—Cleveland Museum of Art

A screening of the new Notre Dame-produced, Liam Neeson-narrated documentary reflecting on the events surrounding the 1916 Rising, followed by a question and answer session with the film’s executive producer, Christopher Fox, Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the film’s creator, writer, and producer, Briona Nic Dhiarmada, the Thomas J. and Kathleen M. O’Donnell Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. A post-film reception will follow at Nighttown restaurant. Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland, 7-9.00 p.m.

April 9, 2016: 1916-2016 Commemoration Day-long Educational Programme

An interactive programme exploring Detroit’s connection to the Rising, the women of 1916, a lecture on poets, socialists and Boy Scouts, music and poetry. Detroit Gaelic League, 2068 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, 1.00 p.m.

April 12, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Screening - University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis

Hosted by the Notre Dame Club of Minnesota in partnership with the Irish Studies Program at the University of St. Thomas. The feature-length version of the documentary will be screened in the Terrence Murphy Hall auditorium, followed by a Question and Answer session with Christopher Fox, Professor of English, Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and executive producer of the documentary and Rory Rapple, Professor of History at Notre Dame.

Post-film gathering at The Local, open to all ticket holders. Tickets free but required. Terrence Murphy Hall, Auditorium, St. Thomas University, 6.45pm.

April 15 & 17, 2016: 1916: A Terrible Beauty

A screening of the new feature docu-drama A Terrible Beauty, which tells the story of the 1916 Rising from both the Irish and British perspectives, showing the human cost of fighting on both sides. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 North State Street, 8.00 p.m (April 15) and 3.00 p.m. (April 17).

April 16 & 17, 2016: Be Thou My Vision: All Things Irish!

The Chicago Chamber Choir will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter rising, one of the defining moments in Ireland’s struggle for independence with a Celtic mosaic of traditional, popular, and contemporary music of Irish and American composers.

April 19, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Screening —University of Missouri, St. Louis

The feature-length version (86 minutes) of the documentary will be screened, followed by a Question and Answer session with Bríona Nic Dhiarmada, the Thomas J. & Kathleen M. O'Donnell Professor of Irish Studies and Concurrent Professor of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame, and the creator, writer, producer, and executive producer of the film. University of Missouri-St. Louis, Summit Lounge, J.C. Penney Center, 7.00pm.

April 23, 2016: Stephen Walsh Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians—Easter Rising Mass & Dinner

A mass to honour the events of the 1916 Rising followed by a dinner. 25300 Five Mile Road, Redford, MI.

April 23-24 and 26, 2016: Omaha Easter Rising Commemoration

On Saturday, April 23, a mass to commemorate the Rising will be followed by a ceremony at the Douglas County Courthouse Plaza and a reception with traditional Irish music. On Sunday morning, the Irish American Cultural Institute will present a centennial program which includes the one-act play Rising from the Brigit St. Brigit Theater and a reading of the Proclamation. On Tuesday, April 26, enjoy a screening of The Wind that Shakes the Barley followed by a panel discussion. Mass, St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, 19th and Dodge Streets, 12.00 noon. Reception, Castle Barrett, 4330 Leavenworth St., following ceremony at Courthouse Plaza. Sunday program, Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St., 11.30am. Film screening, Ruth Solokof Theater at Film Streams, 14th and Mike Fahey Streets, 6.00pm.

April 24, 2016: Irish American Heritage Center Day

The Irish American Heritage Center of Chicago presents a special day-long series of events designed to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, including a Mass, a reading of the Proclamation, a screening of the film Birth of a Nation with a question and answer session, music and poetry, and a panel discussion. Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox Avenue, Chicago. Mass starts at 11.00am, Proclamation reading at 12.04. All events to follow.

April 24, 2016: Songs of Freedom—A Tribute Concert to the 1916 Easter Rising and Ireland’s Freedom

Celebrating the complete history of the cause of Irish freedom, the concert features rebel songs, ballads and more moving performances as the Irish music community comes together to put their own spin on commemorating the Rising. Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox Avenue, Chicago, 4.30-6.30pm.

April 24, 2016: Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati Centenary Event

Take the opportunity to see and hear the people of the Rising brought to life through interviews, song, music and theatre. There will be a laying of a memorial wreath, lunch, a play, a pub celebration and an opportunity to explore the Irish Heritage Center Library and Museum, featuring artefacts, rare medals and collections. Tickets required. Wreath laying, Sawyer Point in Bicentennial Commons, all other events Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati, 3905 Eastern Avenue, 1.00pm.

April 25, 2016: Staged Reading of Cathleen ni Houlihan

DePaul University Theatre School presents an event incorporating vocal and instrumental music and the William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory-penned one-act play Cathleen ni Houlihan, where Ireland personified calls her sons to revolution. The Theatre School at DePaul University, Room 301, 2350 North Racine Avenue, Chicago.

April 28, 2016: Chicago Irish Immigrant Support 1916 Centenary Commemorative Event

Chicago Irish Immigrant Support, in conjunction with Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform, will host a symposium on April 28th commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, bringing together scholars and community organizations to share research and inspire future collaborations. Gage Restaurant, 24 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, 5.30-8.00 p.m.

April 2016: Irish Fair of Minnesota 1916 Easter Rising Commemoration

The Irish Fair of Minnesota will commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising. The Irish Fair will sponsor an eight-day Irish Arts Week centered on the Easter Rising, including music and dance, art, poetry, theatre, film, and panels and seminars at a variety of locations.

April-May, 2016: Cahoots NI presents Egg

Join three madcap birds on an adventure of a lifetime as they grapple with growing up and giving in to their natural instincts to take flight. This funny, delightful and sometimes bittersweet tale resonates as strongly with adults in the audience as it does with children.

April 4-9: Des Moines Performing Arts, Temple Theater, 1011 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA.
April 28-30: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL.
May 3-8: Playhouse Square Foundation International Children’s Theater Festival, Westfield Insurance Studio Theatre, 1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH.
Part of Culture Ireland’s I am Ireland programme.

May 1–July 24, 2016: (Re)Public

Organised by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland, (Re)Public is an exhibition which engages with key issues, reflecting the complexity of 21st century Ireland and the dynamic and diverse arena of collaborative arts. The exhibition will highlight the diverse practices of seven of Ireland’s leading socially engaged artist whose work engages in profound ways with different publics in exploring pressing social, political and environmental issues. 5020 S. Cornell Avenue, Chicago. Part of Culture Ireland’s I am Ireland programme.

May 27-30, 2016: Gaelic Park 30th Irish Fest

This four-day festival attracts attendees from all over the country and features music, dancing, wine tasting, theatre, kids’ events, and a Sunday mass. Gaelic Park, 6119 West 147th Street, Oak Forest, IL.

June 24-30, 2016: World Choral Festival—New Dublin Voices

Founded by conductor Bernie Sherlock in 2005, the singers who make up New Dublin Voices come from many different backgrounds but share a high level of experience and musicianship. Sherlock will work alongside other notable conductors at the World Choral Festival at the Kauffman Center of Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Boulevard, Kansas City, MO. The New Dublin Voices are also planning performances in Chicago and Evanston, details to follow.

June 28, 2016: Songs From Ireland

The New Dublin Voices are delighted to perform the first show of their “I Am Ireland” tour, featuring primarily Irish music. Drexel Hall, Kansas City Irish Center, 15 W Linwood Blvd, Kansas City, 8.00-10.00pm.

June 30, 2016: “The 1916 Rising—The Photographic Record”

Award-winning Irish historian Turtle Bunbury discusses his new book on the photos of the Rising and will be joined by other historians and soprano Máire O’Brien. The event will be followed by a cocktail reception and an opportunity to view the Department of Foreign Affairs’ panel exhibition on the Rising. Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland in Chicago, the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago and the Irish Georgian Society. Registration required. Chicago Culture Center’s Preston Bradley Hall, 78 East Washington Street, 5.30pm.

August 12-14, 2016: Irish Fair of Minnesota

The largest free Irish fair in the country returns for a celebration of Irish heritage through activities such as step dancing, Irish sports, a Celtic marketplace, cultural displays, native Irish dogs, traditional food, drink and tea, and music.

August 18-21, 2016: Milwaukee Irish Fest

The Cultural Exhibits Pavilion in the Cultural Village area of the Milwaukee Irish Fest will present a variety of opportunities to learn about the 1916 Easter Rising including an opportunity to view the 1916-2016 Irish Postcards – Destruction of Dublin display, put together by the Ward Irish Music Archives.

September 2016: Chicago Council on Global Affairs Panel Discussion

The Irish Consulate General and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a prominent foreign affairs think tank, will host a 2016 commemoration event, particularly looking at the political and historical legacy of the 1916 Rising in modern Ireland. More details to follow.

October 26-30, 2016: Abbey Theatre Production of The Plough and the Stars

Set amid the tumult of the Easter Rising, The Plough and the Stars is the story of ordinary lives ripped apart by the idealism of the time. The residents of a Dublin tenement shelter from the violence that sweeps through the city’s streets. A revolution that will shape the country’s future rages around them. The Plough and the Stars was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1926. Now regarded as a masterpiece, this provocative play is an essential part of our understanding of 1916. Southern Theatre, Columbus, Ohio presented by CAPA and The Ohio State University.

October 2016: iBAM! Chicago

iBAM! is an annual celebration of books, arts, music and all things Irish each October at the Irish American Heritage Center. The event features 3 days of literature, music concerts, lectures, poetry readings and contests, panel discussions, theatre performances, exhibits on loan from Ireland and a gala dinner honouring the achievements of the Irish in the arts. There will be special focus on commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising.

November 13, 2016: “1776 and 1916: Two National ‘Vanishing Points’’

Professor Patrick Griffin serves as the Hesburgh Lecturer speaking on the parallels between the American Revolution and the 1916 Rising. The lecture is foundational to the film 1916: The Irish Rebellion, which will be screened the following week. Kansas City Irish Center, 15 West Linwood Boulevard, Kansas City. Time TBD.

November 20, 2016: 1916: The Irish Rebellion Screening - World War I Museum, Kansas City

A screening of the Notre Dame-produced, Liam Neeson-narrated documentary reflecting on the events surrounding the 1916 Rising., followed by a panel discussion with the film’s executive producer, Christopher Fox, Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies; and the film’s creator, writer and producer, Briona Nic Dhiarmada, the Thomas J. and Kathleen M. O’Donnell Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. National World War I Museum, 100 West 26th Street, Kansas City, 2.00-4.00pm.

Late 2016: Opening of new Kansas City Irish Center, Kansas City, Missouri

The new Irish Center will open in Kansas City in late 2016 and will host a range of events to mark the 1916 centenary and its grand opening.