Beveridge Family Foundation Grant Awarded to ICC

The Beveridge Family Foundation has awarded the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England (ICCWNE) a $35,000 grant in support of creating a Community Performance Center at the ICCWNE’s Morgan Road facility.

The grant will support the ICCWNE’s $2 million Capstone Campaign. Funds from the Capstone Campaign will be used to complete the Community Performance Center, which will serve the needs of the greater region for concerts, events, meetings, and private functions. Notably, the Community Performance Center will provide a home for local, regional, national, and international performance groups, making it a full-scale regional base for Irish heritage and culture as well as a center for cross-cultural collaboration. The space will be able to house performances by major Irish cultural groups, such as Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, as well as regional performers of all ages.

“We are thrilled to see our campaign continue to gain traction and momentum,” Chair of both the Board of Directors and the Capstone Campaign, Sean Cahillane said. “We are thankful for this generous support from the Beveridge Family Foundation and are eager to complete work on the Community Performance Center so we can invite the community to enjoy it.”

“The Beveridge Family Foundation is pleased to support the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England in this endeavor that will serve Hampshire and Hampden Counties and improve the quality of educational and arts opportunities in the region,” said Ward Caswell, President of The Beveridge Family Foundation. “An important part of the Foundation’s mission is to preserve and enhance regional quality of life and we are impressed with the ICCWNE’s plan. This project will add substantially to our region’s cultural offerings for many years to come.”

Formerly the home of the Elks Lodge, the facility had been vacant for five years prior to the ICCWNE taking possession of it through a partnership with the City of West Springfield. Improvements have included developing a vibrant, Irish country-style restaurant, pub and meeting and gathering place for the community. It includes 11,500 square feet of space on four floors. The facility has become the ideal setting and home for the Irish Cultural Center, which was established in 1999.

West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt, also a Capstone Campaign Steering Committee member, said that while the ICC is already a vibrant gathering spot the Community Performance Center will expand impact on residents and visitors alike.“We are grateful to The Beveridge Family Foundation for their support of the Capstone Campaign,” Reichelt said. “The Center has become a cultural crossroads for West Side, and I urge others to join the Campaign so that we can leverage the Beveridge Foundation’s support for the Community Performance Center.”