Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation Grant Awarded to ICC

The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation has awarded the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England a $100,000 grant towards their $2 million goal to help create a Community Performance Center at their Morgan Road facility.

The grant will support the ICCWNE’s 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’ve been working diligently throughout the winter to build campaign momentum,” Chair of both the Board of Directors and the Capstone Campaign, Sean Cahillane said, “and we are so grateful to the Davis Foundation for this generous grant that will be instrumental in completing our renovation.”

“The Davis Foundation is proud to support the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England as they create space to offer arts and cultural opportunities for the residents of Hampden County,” said Paul Belsito, Executive Director of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation. “We are excited to support a project that will add significantly to our region’s cultural landscape.”

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 said that while the ICC is already a vibrant gathering spot the Community Performance Center will expand the impact that it has on city residents and visitors alike.

“The campaign’s progress is truly impressive and we are grateful to the Davis Foundation for their generous support,” Reichelt said. “The Center has become a cultural crossroads for West Side, especially for those with Irish heritage. We’re proud to host them, to see the Community Performance Center complete, and to see such support from the community.”