3rd Annual Saint Paul Irish Arts Week

Always seeking the new, the fascinating, and the surprising, the Saint Paul Irish Arts Week interlinks the international, national, and local energies of Irish culture with ten days full of fun activities. We are bringing two offerings directly from Ireland and one from Canada. For the first time, we will present professional theatre with Gary Murphy’s performance of Frank O’Connor’s "The Genius," presented on Park Square’s Proscenium Stage. Also, author and literary historian, Christopher Fitz-Simon will read from his witty and irreverent collection "Rise Above! The Letters of Tyrone Guthrie." From Toronto, Professor Máirtín Cóilféir will offer his innovative accelerated Irish language learning class.


Friday, April 20

7:30 – 9:00 p.m. Art and Spoken Word Reception. Free.

Turning Heads Salon, 2230 Carter Ave, #A, Saint Paul MN 55108

Dublin-born artist, poet, and actor Eddie Owens and other artists showcase their creative and innovative work.


Saturday, April 21

10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Irish Arts Week Kick Off Day!

Eoin McKiernan Library in the Celtic Junction Arts Center


10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Center for Irish Music’s Practice Fleadh. Free.

Celtic Junction Arts Center in Studio 2

The Center of Irish Music is having a practice fleadh in preparation for their upcoming competition. You are invited to come and watch as their wonderful musicians fine-tune their pieces.


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. “Family constellations and healing Irish immigration trauma.” Free.

Katherine Curran Ph.D., co-founder of the Minnesota Center for Systemic Constellations, examines how departed family members impact the present family soul.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. “Fascinating Family History Stories.” Free.

A panel of researchers from the Irish Genealogical Society International shares their favorite engaging family history stories that they have discovered.


1:00 – 3:00 p.m. “Irish on Rocket Fuel: Accelerated Irish Language Learning.” $30 per person.

Professor Máirtín Cóilféir from St. Mary’s University in Toronto invites you to try his book-free and paper-free innovative immersive language technique. This course helps build upon one’s listening and pronunciation skills. It is ideal for beginner and intermediate Irish language speakers. By the end of the class students will be able to communicate more clearly and accurately during conversations. Everyone can learn Irish Gaelic with this fun method!

To register: email patrick.o'donnell@normandale.edu and bring a $30 check (made out to the Irish Fair of Minnesota) or cash to the class.


4:00 – 5:30 p.m. “Famine Ship Voices: A Dream Play.” $10 per person.

The Celtic Collaborative’s ensemble of actors and writers present an original made-from-scratch show evoking the history, folklore, mythology, songs, and memories of the shattering Irish Famine of 1845-1851.


6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Welcome Reception for Arts Week. Free

Come toast Celtic Junction Arts Center and Eoin McKiernan Library’s Creativity and Arts Award from Irish Central. Justin Dolan, Vice Consul, from the Consulate General of Ireland-Chicago will be the keynote speaker, and there will be music from the Center for Irish Music!


6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Hendrickson Fine Art Photography 

Emotive and luminous fine art photographs inspired by the landscapes of my ancestors, Ireland. 

Ireland is a country brimming with history, passion, and beauty. It draws you in, enveloping you in nostalgia and a deep sense of belonging. This is what late photographer Barry Hendrickson has captured in these exclusive evocative landscape photographs. Nancy Hendrickson is continuing her husband’s legacy by making these, and previously undeveloped prints available to others who are also captured by their allure.

The "Ireland in Black & White" series will on display at the Celtic Junction, beginning with the opening reception of Irish Arts Week on Saturday, April 21 from 6 - 8 pm.


7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Family Céilí with Paul McCluskey and the Twin Cities Céilí band. $5 per person, $20 a family.

Traditional folk dances of Ireland with live music from the Twin Cities Céilí Band. Dances taught and called by Mike Whalen and Paul McCluskey!


Sunday, April 22

1:00 – 3:30 p.m.  Historic Bus Tour of St. Paul’s Connemara Patch. $30 per person. Limited to 30 participants.

The Celtic Junction Arts Center  

Take a 1950s vintage bus to Connemara Patch and take a walking tour of the area with the ebullient tour guide Teresa McCormick.

Connemara Patch was an early poor Irish immigrant settlement. This area has a rich history. The dwellings have been torn down, but this location is currently part of Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.

Buy Tickets


1:00 – 3:00 p.m.  Children's Fair. Free.

The Celtic Junction Arts Center

Dancing with O’Shea Irish Dance, music by The Center for Irish Music, art time with MN Feis and Irish Music and Dance Association. The Irish Dance Parents Association will provide games and snacks. There will be creative story time in the Eoin McKiernan Library. Children can learn about Irish culture in an interactive and fun way!


Monday, April 23

7:30 – 9:00 p.m.  Resist! Sing with Michael Sturm. Free.

The Black Dog Café in Lowertown, Saint Paul

Join a community singing session of ballads and songs of resistance, protest, and liberation! Everyone is welcome to come, even those who are not musically gifted!



Tuesday, April 24

7:30 pm.  Rocky Ros Muc The Film, an Irish Boxer Film. Free.

The Dubliner Pub

This award-winning Irish language documentary chronicles the exploits of a famous Connemara boxer, Sean Mannion. This is the first Irish language film to be long-listed for a nomination for an Oscar. The film was specially loaned to us by the filmmakers and is not yet available in the U.S.

Check out the film review


Wednesday, April 25

7:30 p.m. Frank O’Connor’s "The Genius" Performed by Gary Murphy. $20 per person.

Park Square Theatre, Proscenium Stage

For one night only this special theatrical event is coming here all the way from Ireland! Actor Gary Murphy has been in television shows like The Tudors and Vikings. His one-man show is based off Frank O’Connor’s short story "The Genius," which was originally adapted to the stage by Patrick Talbot. The Guardian, said “Frank O Connor’s hilarious childhood stories are beautifully adapted for the stage.” The performance garnered rave reviews after a seventeen-week tour of Cork, Dublin and Belfast. The show is 45 minutes, and will be followed by an on stage interview by MPR host Tom Crann.

Play review

Buy Tickets


Thursday, April 26

7:30 p.m.  Christopher Fitz-Simon “Tyrone Guthrie in America: From Broadway to Minneapolis.” $10 per person.

Eoin McKiernan Library in the Celtic Junction Arts Center

Direct from Dublin comes Christopher Fitz-Simon, Ireland’s celebrated literary historian, author, and raconteur to read from his literary work "Rise Above! Letters from Tyrone Guthrie". His work delves into the letters of Irish director, Tyrone Guthrie, the famed founder of Minnesota’s Guthrie Theater. This book offers an intimate look at a man who made a lasting impression on the Twin Cities.

Buy the book


Friday, April 27

7:30 p.m.  Contemporary Irish Poetry Reading by Tony Curtis. Free.

University of St. Thomas / John Roach Center 

A public reading by acclaimed poet Tony Curtis for winning the prestigious 2018 Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry.


Saturday, April 28

8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Minneapolis Feis. Free.

Gangelhoff Center at Concordia University in Saint Paul


10:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. Uilleann Pipes & Irish Fiddle Workshops. $35 per person.

The Celtic Junction Arts Center

Workshops by David Power and Willie Kelly, presented by the Center for Irish Music.

Register online


12:00   5:00 p.m. Tom Dunn’s "Irish of Minnesota" Exhibit. Free.

Lowertown, St. Paul: Studio 242 Northern Warehouse, 308 Prince Street 

Tom Dunn, a member of the Minnesota Irish community, displays his evolving and vivid exhibit of photograph portraits. This is also a Saint Paul Art Crawl Event.

Saint Paul Art Crawl takes place April 27th, 28th, 29th, and is hosted by the Saint Paul Art Collective. It helps promote connections between local artists and the greater twin cities community.


8:00 p.m. Concert with David Power and Willie Kelly. $17-22 per person.

The Celtic Junction Arts Center

Join David Power, a foremost uilleann piper, and Willie Kelly, a talented fiddler, for a night of deeply evocative Irish traditional music. This is traditional Irish music at its best!

See more!


Sunday, April 29

8:00 a.m.   3:00 p.m. O’Shea Irish Dance Feis. Free.

Gangelhoff Center at Concordia University in Saint Paul


5:00 8:00 p.m. Beltane Bonfire and Sing-a-long. Free.

Newell Park

Celebrate the arrival of summer in ancient Irish fashion. Musicians and dancers welcome! All ages. Family friendly.