TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has announced an additional €2m in funding for the Irish Arts Center in New York, as part of the government's Global Ireland Strategy.
Mr Varadkar, who has been in the city for this week's UN General Assembly, said the funding was important to help promote Ireland's 'unique culture'.
The money is expected to go towards the renovation of the centre's original 51st Street home.
'Connected to home'
The Taoiseach, who previously visited the centre in 2018 for the dedication of its new facility on 11th Avenue, returned to the building on Friday.
During his visit, he viewed Belfast artist Colin Davidson's exhibition, Silent Testimony.
Featuring large-scale portrait paintings, it tells the stories of 18 people connected by their individual experiences of loss through the Troubles.
Speaking about the funding announcement, the Taoiseach said it highlighted the 'incredible' work being done to promote Ireland's culture.
Wrapping up busy week in Manhattan with Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar visiting the landmark @IrishArtsCenter where he announced further Government support for the Center and viewed the heart stopping @colin_davidson exhibit “Silent Testimony“. pic.twitter.com/duUt00ChUM
— Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason (@IrelandAmbUSA) September 22, 2023
"The promotion of our unique culture is a central element of the Global Ireland strategy, and the announcement today of the new investment in the Irish Arts Center in New York City underscores the Government's commitment to delivering on the ambition of the Global Ireland strategy," he said.
"And I thank my colleague the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for providing the funding for this investment to further the incredible work Culture Ireland does to promote Irish artists around the globe."
He added: "The arts, music and culture help Irish people abroad to stay connected to home, and are the window through which many others see Ireland for the first time."
Founded in 1972 in Hell's Kitchen, the Irish Arts Center focuses on the evolving arts and culture of contemporary Ireland and Irish America.
Located on 11th Avenue between 51st Street and 52nd Street, the centre has completed Phase One of its redevelopment programme, which delivered a flagship 21st century venue and gateway for Irish artists in New York.
Capital funding of €8.85m was awarded by the Department of Foreign Affairs (€4.95m) and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (€3.9m) towards the €60m cost of Phase One.
The funding announced on Friday will go towards the Phase Two development, which involves the renovation of the original Irish Arts Center building on 51st Street.
The government's Global Ireland Strategy was launched in 2018 with the aim of doubling the scope and impact of Ireland’s global engagement by 2025.