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.

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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).

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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.

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